Open doors for the citizens of Razgrad

The project’s main goal was the establishment of civic control over local self-government through the institutionalization of a civic defender (ombudsman) in the municipal administration of Razgrad. Some of its main activities included: 1. information board for corruption signals in the office building of the Municipality; 2. realization of a public forum “Civic Defense and Mediation Through the Local Ombudsman Institution””; 3. dissemination of materials / reports of the ombudsman and press conferences.”

Civic pressure on corruption and incompetence at local and state administration levels regarding illegal construction

The project was designed to fight against corruption in the municipal and state administration in the sphere of illegal construction. for the purpose an expert group monitoring the process of issuing construction licenses in the municipalities of Sofia was established during the actual project implementation. The project activities included: 1. analytical report on corrupt practices in cases of illegal building in Sofia Municipalities based on one-year survey; 2. development and dissemination of a brochure: “What Should We Know in Case of Illegal Building and Reconstruction””; 3. setting up of a citizens “”Complaints and Information Desk”” for legal assistance and lodgment of signals; 4. research and publicity on the municipal-level process of issuing construction licenses; 5. active public and media campaign to educate citizens about their rights in cases of illegal construction and to present the made disclosures of corruption in this field.”

Forum for ethical business promotion

The Foundation for Promotion of Entrepreneurship (Fundacja Rozwoju Przedsiębiorczości) had a general objective of raising the social awareness about corruption and its social and legal consequences and at the same time the project was to promote ethical behavior. Additionally, mapping out corruption risks in the Łódzkie province constituted another main goal.

Coalition for Clean Universities

The CCU project was created as an exercise of watchdog and benchmarking, meant to give a complete image of the academic integrity in Romania.

The project developed an integrity ranking for Romanian state universities by applying an already tested methodology was used in a pilot phase of the same project (October 2007-May 2008, funded by a MATRA-KAP Grant of the Embassy of Netherlands in Bucharest).

External evaluators were selected for monitoring the integrity and transparency of the universities. The project started by mapping out the problems of integrity that exist in the Romanian higher education system, and classified them by categories.

  • the administrative transparency and probity – the publication of accounting documents; publishing income declarations and declarations of interests and those reflecting the status of not being involved in the communist political police; access to public records on acquisitions;
  • academic fairness – plagiarism, performance in research, academic unfolding process;
  • quality of governance – nepotism, involvement of students in decision making, usage of financial grants, filling teaching positions;
  • financial management – discretionary expenditure, managing public acquisitions processes.
  • 42 state universities were evaluated, out of a total of 56, during 3 months. At the end of this programme, the Coalition published the Integrity ranking of Romanian Universities.

The project received the support of the main stakeholders: The Ministry of Education, Research and Youth, Students’ Organisations (ANOSR), Trade Union (Alma Mater), The National Agency for Quality Evaluation in Higher Education (ARACIS), educational NGOs.
The Coalition for Clean Universities is composed of the following:

  • Centre for Independent Journalism (CJI),
  • Pro Democracy Association (APD),
  • Euroregional Centre for Democracy (CED),
  • National Association of Students Organizations from Romania (ANOSR),
  • The Group for Reform in Universities (GRU)
  • Group for Social Dialogue (GDS)
  • Romanian Academic Society (SAR)
  • University Solidarity Association (SU)
  • EduCer Association (EduCer)
  • Ad-Astra Association (Ad Astra)
  • Romanian Society of Political Science (SRSP)
  • FAR Association (FAR)
  • New Europe College Foundation (NEC)

National Integrity System

The project sought to:
– Undertake a survey regarding the basic state pillars and bring recommendations how to reduce corruption in this institutions;
– Publish the survey in National Integrity System Study in English language;
– Promote results of National Integrity System Study through mass media;
– Stimulate broader public discussion on anti-corruption issues;
– Strength the rule of the law;
– Improve accountability and transparency of the public sector.
Activites of the project included:
– Investigation of the corruption phenomenon on the ground i.e. in 11 basic state pillars (Government, Parliament, Judiciary, Prosecutors, Police,);
– Printing of the National Integrity System Study;
– Media presentation;
– Distribution of the Study.

Arms Trade Control

The project focused on establishing regular contact and communication with relevant Czech parliamentarians and other relevant parties and on monitoring and analysing the existing legislation and documents. It also helped increase the information value of regular publication of detailed reports on arms and military material exports from the Czech Republic.

Face to face with corruption: institutionalization of the civic defender and public councils to fight corruption at municipal level

The project aimed to shape an adequate public counteraction against all forms of corruption. Advocacy and capacity building for the local Ombudsman institution (Public Mediator) in Banite municipality and multiplication of the experience (best practices) in other municipalities of the Rhodopa region were some of the projects core activities.

Transparency and Civil Participation in Budget Policy of the Self-Governed City of Rustavi

The project was designed to raise public awareness on 2008’s budget of Rustavi in publicly comprehensive language; also to assist interest groups in knowing how to involve into decision-making (media, civil society and youth) and then how to take action with decision-making itself (local government). Program goal: the project aims to encourage transparency, civil participation and enlarged governmental accountability in budget policy. Program objectives:
• Informing interest groups on 2008’s budget of Rustavi;
• Providing platform to 2008’s budget-financed programs for interest groups;
• Improving the civil service agencies of Rustavi self-government;
• Providing skills and knowledge for interest groups and local government on the issues of participation in budget formation process;
• Providing skills and knowledge for local government related with public opinion research and the designs of PR campaign.

Education without corruption

The project aimed to initiate a dialogue between state authorities, academic institutions and civic organizations with the purpose to create basis for fighting corrupt practices in the secondary and higher education in Bulgaria. Some of its main activities included: 1. Publication of a collection of articles outlining the objectives of the project; 2. Four public round table discussions; 3. Discussion forum in Culture newspaper.

Transparency and publicity in the work of the regional and local administrations – a guarantee for honest and good governance

The project aimed to identify and evaluate the possible methods and mechanisms for better transparency and accountability of the public administration. The project activities included: 1. research on the best practices in the field and publicity and dissemination of a guidance book; 2. analyses of the effectiveness of the working processes of targeted institutions and development of precise recommendations for improvement; 3. realization of a national conference with the participation of representatives from the public administration and the civil society sector; 4. development of an web site dedicated to the transparency of the administration.

Increasing the Awareness of Estonian, Latvian and Lithuanian public Servants and Journalists about Internal Audit and Political Corruption

The aim of the project was to develop the national integrity system of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania by restraining corruption through the training of public servants and journalists. One part of the project was the dissemination of the principles of good governance and relevant information using Internet.

Assessment of FOIA compliance (2002/2005)

In November 2005 a financing contract was signed for a new project funded by the European Union through Phare program. The project started to be implemented at the end of 2005 and during 2006 we have conducted an evaluation of the respect of transparency laws by public authorities. According to the law each public institution is required to publish an annual report (activity and financial) but the rate of compliance with these procedures reached a feeble 4% of all public bodies (as presented by a quantitative evaluation conducted by the Romanian Government). Following an in-depth research, the project aims to identify best-practice models and to train representatives of the public bodies in how to collect data and to put them together in an annual report which will provide relevant and accurate information to the public.
This project is a follow-up of the advocacy campaign run by SAR in 2000 for the adoption of FOIA. A first assessment of its implementation was carried in 2002 and indicating unsatisfactory compliance with legal provision. For the current project we use the same methodology and sample as in 2002 allowing comparisons.

National Integrity System 2004

The project sought to:
– Undertake a survey regarding the basic state pillars and bring recommendations how to reduce corruption in this institutions;
– Publish the survey in National Integrity System Study in English language;
– Promote results of National Integrity System Study through mass media;
– Stimulate broader public discussion on anti-corruption issues;
– Strength the rule of the law;
– Improve accountability and transparency of the public sector.
Activites of the project included:
– Investigation of the corruption phenomenon on the ground i.e. in 11 basic state pillars (Government, Parliament, Judiciary, Prosecutors, Police,);
– Printing of the National Integrity System Study;
– Media presentation;
– Distribution of the Study.

Prosecution of corruption and other serious economic crimes

The project activities (an analysis) aimed to initiate a debate on usefulness of the introduction of special anti-corruption institutions that were established in Slovakia to the Czech environment. A study “How effective are the Czech and Slovak law enforcement agencies”” was published and a conference on prosecution of corruption in the Czech Republic and Slovakia took place.”

Integrity in education: a study on corruption and ethical principles in high schools

  • Project aim and locale

The project aims to raise awareness regarding the benefits of ethical behavior in high schools, both on the part of teachers and administrative staff, as well as students and parents.

  • Project outcomes

• 8 focus groups with representatives of target groups;

• 4 training courses

• 1 final seminar to disseminate good practices and information on internal complaint mechanisms;

• 1 guide on applying ethical principles and fighting corruption in high schools.

Legislative proposal concerning municipal property

Via Iuris advocated for and helped to draft legislation introducing efficient and transparent criteria (e.g. public announcement, transparent decision-making) concerning the sale of municipal property to individuals. Via Iuris started its project with a complaint filed with the European Commission which then asked the Slovak Government to adopt the necessary legislation. Pressured by the EC, the Ministry of Finance cooperated with Via Iuris in drafting the law. Before the adoption of the law, mayors could sell land to their relatives at a very low price.

Local ombudsman in the Rhodope region municipalities – establishing a best practice model for monitoring, civil control and partnership

The project aimed to establish an efficient civic control on the services provided by local authorities and to guarantee the access of citizens to public services. Some of the project main activities were: 1. building premises for the establishment of local Ombudsman institution in the municipalities of Chepelare, Banite and Nedelino; 2. realization of three round tables with participants from the local authorities on the discussion on the Ombudsman institution; 3. radio broadcast on the topic: “100 answers about corruption””; 4. development of an anti-corruption web site; 5. realization of a closing regional conference regarding the prospects for an efficient work of the local Ombudsman institution.”

Public Policy Program “Strengthening of Civic Activism in Bosnia & Herzegovina in Electoral and Post-Electoral Processes”””

The basic goal of this project was to build and promote an efficient, transparent and participative process of creating and implementing public policy in BiH through organized action and citizens’ and CSOs advocacy, with the purpose of building a political responsible and consistent authority at all levels of BiH society. During three-years period, planned project activities were implemented in a total of 36 local communities in both of BiH entities. In 2008, project activities were implemented in 15 municipalities in cooperation with local organizations: Velika Kladuša, Donji Vakuf, Trebinje, Rudo, Vlasenica, Modriča, Kalinovik, Bihać, Livno, Bugojno, Goražde, Tuzla, Sarajevo and Doboj.

Implementation of Integrity Pacts in Three Large Construction Projects

The purpose of the grant was to improve transparency and increase efficiency in procuring and constructing three public projects – the National Library, the Acoustic Concert Hall and the Contemporary Arts Museum, all under the responsibility of the Latvian Ministry of Culture. This was to be accomplished through an “Integrity Pact” signed in September 2005 between the Ministry and DELNA.
The grant was expected to result in:
• More transparency in the procurement processes for the three projects resulting in lower project costs.
• An enhanced dialog between the public and private sectors and NGOs on transparency matters
• Anti-corruption policies and guidelines adopted by a number of private companies
• Based on the experiences of these projects improvements in the Latvian legislation and procurement practices.