Secret client – development of mechanisms for better accessibility to information, transparency and accountability of the municipal administration

The major goal of the project was to develop mechanisms for better information accessibility, transparency and accountability of the municipal administration. The project foresee the incorporation of these mechanisms at targeted municipalities. Those mechanisms that work well were then multiplied and disseminated to other local administrations. In particular, the initiative included: 1. analyses of best practices with regard to transparency and accountability within different local administration in EU countries; 2. analyses of the current deficiencies in the targeted municipalities in the country; 3. development of specific recommendations and a “technical guideline for municipal transparency””. 4. dissemination of the results to other municipal administrations in the country.”

Social roots of the various types and forms for corruption practices in the higher education in Bulgaria (typological model of the most typical cases and strategies for counteraction)

The project aimed at providing analysis of the prerequisites and the conditions for corruption in the higher education, types of corruption in the universities and elaboration of a strategy for curbing corruption. The main project activities included qualitative studies – content and documentary analysis, expert assessments and evaluations.

The citizens and the municipality – partners for transparent and effective local administration

The aim of the project was to increase the transparency, accountability and effectiveness of the municipal administration in Bulgaria by creating bridges between the civil society structures and the local authorities. The initiative included: 1. survey and analysis of the existing working practices of the Bulgarian local administration; 2. development of precise measures for improvement at national level; 3. development and realization of educational seminars and workshops for the targeted groups; 4. dissemination of the results of the project.

Corruption Research Centre

This is an academic research institute within the Corvinus University of Budapest where the scholars are not only doing academic work but actively engaging in promoting their findings, collaborating with other NGOs (e.g. Energy Control Project, TI-HU), and seeking media coverage of uncovered corrupt cases.

Raising transparency through advocacy: challenges in fighting corruption

The basic goal of the project was to assist in raising the respectability of the Bulgarian democratic process and the transparency in the work of public institutions in three spheres: healthcare, the judiciary and public procurement. The implementation of the project took place in three main stages: In the first stage, the bulk of activities was concentrated on conducting a series of analyses and research identifying the basic deficits in the legislation and its application in the three spheres. The second stage focused on creating and maintaining a network of NGOs and media partners for the purpose of information exchange. In short, the results were: conducted surveys and analyses; established cooperation with NGOs and public institutions; two national round tables for information dissemination and exchange.

Stimulating transparency in the NGO sector

The main aim – to assess the situation in the third sector in terms of transparency and accountability. No such tries were done before neither by TI, nor any other organisation. TILS interviewed 600 NGOs based on TILS’ created questionnaire. Based on the results of the study to draft an NGO transparency and accountability primer. To raise awareness of NGOs themselves, but also donors, state institutions and the general public on the issue.

Crime and culture

The research project aimed to develop means to optimize corruption prevention in the EU. urgency of such a project was reflected in the fact that corruption holds the potential to retard seriously the process of the Community’s enlargement and integration, even to the extent of threatening the very core of its concept of social order. The prevention policies that have been developed by the EU and implemented so far within individual member countries have in general been characterized by legislative, administrative and police force measures. These are based on a definition of corruption prevention developed in political and administrative institutions that, for its implementation, rely on a “top-down“ procedure. The research project purported to conduct not an inquiry into the nature of corruption “as such“, but rather into the perceptions of corruption held by political and administrative decision-makers in specific regions and cultures, those held by actors representing various institutions and authorities, and above all by the citizens and the media in European societies.

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.

More active civil society – more trust in the work of the local administration

The project aimed to improve the cooperation between the structures of the civil society and the public administration in the Southwest region (NUTS II) in Bulgaria in order to: improve the civil control and monitoring; prevent the corruptive practices; and increase the accountability of the administration. The project included: 1. survey of the public opinion in the region regarding the work, transparency and accountability of the local and regional administrations; 2. realization of educational seminars for representatives of the civil society regarding mechanisms for monitoring, control and prevention of corruption in the administration; 3. realization of round tables with representatives from the civil society sector and the public administration; 5. development of a web site of the initiative.

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)

Reform of the Prosecution Office of the Republic of Bulgaria

The aim of the project was to increase the effectiveness of the institutional cooperation in the fight against corruption, to ease the transfer of know-how in the field as well as to increase the institutional capacity and authority of the National Prosecution Office. The outputs of the project are: 1. realization of several conferences and educational workshops for the National Prosecution Office experts with the participation of experts from the civil society sector as well as representatives of the prosecution offices of different EU countries; 2. realization of a sociological survey regarding the public perception over the work of the prosecution office as well as a training seminars for the PR department of the institution; 3. publications of the results and recommendations of the project.

Corruption in local public administration – premises of prevention and combating

The project aimed to accomplish a research in three pilot-counties, on the conditions which favour corruption at the local level, as well as to offer assistance to local public institutions to use the research in defining local and institutional anti-corruption strategies. The research was carried out in Harghita, Sibiu and Olt counties, and some activities were also carried out in Bucharest.Transparency International Romania was the main organization implementing this project, in partnership with the County Councils in the three project counties: Harghita, Sibiu and Olt.

Improving Bulgarian local government integrity

The project builds on a similar project being implemented in Romania and is designed to address the issue of local government integrity in ten Bulgarian big and mid-size municipalities. The overriding goal of the project was to formulate and implement local integrity policies designed to institutionalize civic participation in drafting and instituting procedural and administrative safeguards against misuse of position and institutional corruption in the local administration; ensure that both society and local government are stakeholders of the policies. The overall aim of the project was to develop transparency and integrity of local government in Bulgaria, as a pre-requisite for the development of a truly democratic society, which is able to face and solve problems that might otherwise endanger justice, communication and transparent management of local administration.

Anti-corruption measures in Riga City Council – community participation in reducing corruption

Main aim: promote anti-corruption measures in the Riga municipality and provide for public participation. Delna attended the Riga City Council meeting of the Commission Against Corruption, prepared a draft municipal code of ethics, suggested reorganization plan for the Urban Development Department. The project also carried out a broader study of the corruption structural risks in the three departments of the Riga City Council – City Development Department, Welfare Department and the Property Department. A survey on civil servant’s views on anti-corruption measures was carried out. Before 2008 elections a public debate was organized were candidates were invited to present their plans to reduce corruption in Riga.

Transparent District (pilot)

The project was a pilot for the larger project Transparent Poland (’Przejrzysta Polska’). The goal of this first stage was to elaborate, in cooperation with 16 local governments, a model of tasks, which these governments were to implement in order to attain project objectives. The model was later to be scaled up in the following stage, i.e. the massive action. The project set forth six rules, which should be present in the functioning of public offices and officials at the local level. Those were: transparency, citizens participation, no toleration for corruption, professionalism, predictability and accountability. Within the program the participating governments had to fulfill certain solutions/tasks which were related to each of these six rules, e.g. elaboration an ethical code of conduct for public officials and members of local councils, creating a road map of local initiatives, elaborating materials that in an accessible way explain the role and creation of budgets and community’s strategy etc.

Effectiveness and efficiency in the Romanian school system: a survey (2007-2008)

The project aimed at analyzing the potential of decentralization in the Romanian educational system, providing the basic resources for a comparative study in multiple countries under the coordination of Brookings Institute. The project laid down a three-step analysis.

Step one was to implement a structured questionnaire concerning the budgets of 30 schools and to examine whether there is a connection between the allotted figures and the performance level of each school or the needs of that particular community. Step two consists in the qualitative analysis explaining certain disparities (if there would have been the case) with regard to available resources of different schools or per each student. Finally, conclusions and policy proposals were included in a report and a series of local debates related to this subject was organized.

Lights and Shadows in the Romanian Schools

A resource tracking survey on a sample of 30 Romanian schools reveals interesting trends. Always paraded as a national priority, but poorly researched and understood, the Romanian public education system continues to under-perform and leak resources. Budgets have steadily increased over the last years, but the signs of improvement are still to be seen. This report aims to shed a glimmer of light on the sector. Project sponsored by the Transparency and Accountability Project (TAP), a joint global initiative of Brookings and the Results for Development Institute, Washington DC.

Strengthening the public confidence in the judiciary by means of promoting an ethics code of the judicial administration officials

The project aimed at introducing mechanisms for internal control over the dissemination of corrupt practices and increasing the authority of the Judiciary. A content-analysis of the publications in the local press was made, focus-groups discussions were organized and civil reception-rooms were opened. The Project experts analyzed the national as well as the international legal system and recommended amendments in the Bulgarian legislation in tune with the international standards. As a final outcome a project for a Code of Conduct for the Judicial Administration Officials was developed and tested along with a training methodology for its popularization and practical introduction.

Improving the policy making capacity of the Bulgarian Judicial system

The goal of the project was to examine the practices of data-collection, reporting, and analysis of performance data in the Bulgarian judicial system. Since by that moment there was no systemic analysis of the operation of the judiciary as a whole, the idea behind the project was to introduce a list of key indicators which will track its performance, and will both make its functioning more transparent to the public, and provide a more precise policy-making instrument to the Supreme Judicial Council.

I have the right to know! – a survey of access to information in Latvia

The grantee investigated how FOI law was applied in practice, by making requests for information to around 200 state and municipal organizations. The results of the survey were compiled in a report which was made available to the press and discussed at a number of public forums. The survey was carried out by ten students under the supervision of a project manager.

Transparent Poland I – Massive Action

The project ‘Przejrzysta Polska’ (PP) is the largest program of this kind in Poland. It is state-wide and has been running since 2003 until today (although initially planned to last only 2 years). It has been organized by a coalition of widely recognizable polish NGOs, one of the biggest polish daily papers, international donors and recognizable individuals, e.g. the former ombudsman.

Moreover it had a large coverage in the media; some printed media as well as main channels of public TV and public radio took a patronage over the project. Thanks to its large scope and the backing from popular and widely known organizations and individuals, the project obtained a large support from local self-governments across the country.

The actors involved as well as project organizers have been changing over time, but the Foundation in Support of Local Democracy was always main part of it (here I would like to thank Ms. Katarzyna Żelichowska, for her invaluable support and patience to my questions regarding this program as well as other undertakings carried out by the Foundation).

The project’s goal was to improve quality of public life and local governance as well as to invigorate civil society. The PP aimed at those districts (local-governments), which were willing to cooperate with NGOs and citizens to improve local governance and wipe out from public life corruption and other pathologies. It also envisaged activating not only public official, but also local NGOs and citizens. Realization of scheduled tasks was to on the one hand enhance local governments’ resistance to corruption and unethical behavior, and on the other hand to ease access to public information to regular citizens as well as to make it easier for citizens to get their things accomplished in local offices.

The project set forth six rules, which should be present in the functioning of public offices and officials at the local level. Those were: transparency, citizens participation, no toleration for corruption, professionalism, predictability and accountability. Within the program the participating governments had to fulfill certain solutions/tasks which were related to each of these six rules, e.g. elaboration an ethical code of conduct for public officials and members of local councils, creating a road map of local initiatives, elaborating materials that in an accessible way explain the role and creation of budgets and community’s strategy etc.

On the basis of a model elaborated during the first stage of the project (Transparent District), this massive action took place. During the second stage (Transparent Poland – Massive Action) invitations were sent out to all local governments in Poland, of which 800 took part in the undertaking in 2005. Over 400 finished it and they were granted with certificates of the project. All the local governments were to attain objectives in each of the six program areas in order to accomplish the project. They had 12 months to do so.

Anti-corruption education and civic action against corruption in the Sofia University

The project aimed to encourage the dialogue between teachers, student’s organizations and students and engage potential participants in the process in the fight against corruption. Some of the project’s main activities include: 1. introduction of anti-corruption education courses for students in their second and third year of study at the Sofia university – around 150 students from various pedagogical departments; 2. elaboration of anti-corruption educational programs and courses in anti-corruption behavior and corruption fighting in the universities (15 teaching weeks); 3. establishment of an university ombudsman; 4. sociological survey among students and university professors and analytical reports preparation; 5. Round table about the anti-corruption education.