The project aimed to raise the capacity and create conditions for active involvement of civil society structures and public officials at local and regional level in the fight against corruption, as part of the general efforts to reform the public institutions in order to achieve higher efficiency, transparency and accountability. The basic goals of the project were: 1. to enhance the competencies and practical skills of civil society organizations and local and regional administrations in counteracting and preventing corruption by devising and applying concrete policies and practices of civil control and monitoring; 2. to raise the capacity of civil society structures and local and regional administrations for drafting of concrete strategies and project proposals for good governance; 3. to improve partnership skills between civil society organizations and Bulgaria’s public administration.
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.”
The project focused on watchdog activities of local anti-corruption activists; email conference for experience exchange was set up and workshops and seminars organized, focusing on real cases and practical know-how. An anti-corruption advice center for individual citizens was implemented, including the support of a lawyer.
The project aimed at encouraging the establishment of a network of civil society organizations, offering an institutional support to NGOs in the city of Blagoevgrad for improvement of the anti-corruption climate at the local level. The major activity lines include thematic training seminars; developing an Index for measuring the Transparency of the local anti-corruption environment and designing a strategy for its improvement.
The basic objective of the project was to reach the positive changes in quality of life in Sarajevo Canton by increased involvement of citizens, and by organized and articulated action of the civil society organizations in process of authorities monitoring, analyzing their previous work as well as advocacy actions for alternative measures in seven areas of public policy. These areas are: transparent spending of budget funds, health care, education, employment and professional retraining, care for old and ill, management of contributions and restricted funds and information services at local level. Particular importance of this project realization was the fact that not only monitoring and criticism of the authority were performed in Sarajevo Canton, but alternative measures for public policy have been offered and defined possible directions of future actions by governments that would led to positive changes in quality of life in Sarajevo Canton. The project was realized in cooperation with the Center for Policy Research and Development.
The project implemented by SAR together with PSD Croatia and COHU Kosovo aimed to strengthen the ability of partner organizations to implement anti-corruption advocacy projects. The program monitored the entire process, from policy-making to research to advocacy.
- Report on conflicts of interest, distributed electronically to all stakeholders
- Hold an international conference in May 2008, with the participation of all partners, to present the status quo on conflicts of interest, the mechanisms that can be used to disclose them and civil society involvement in projects that would increase civil servants’ responsibility
- Advocacy activities regarding the campaing entitled “Yes for Parliament with Clean Hands”, implemented by BURA before the parliamentary elections. The campaign was shaped after the Coalition for a Clean Parliament
- Activities for consolidating the BURA NGO network, coordinated by PSD – meetings, public events, discussions
- Report regarding conflicts of interest, the efficiency of statal instruments against corruption (including research on two conflicts of interest programs and assets statements), distributed electronically to all the stakeholders
- International conference in April 2008. The participants list included SAR, COHU and MJAFT. The conference aimed to to present the status quo on conflicts of interest, the mechanisms that can be used to disclose them and civil society involvement in projects that would increase civil servants’ responsibility
Implemented from January 1, 2008 to December 15, 2008
The anti-corruption counselling center was established. A publication (cookbook) “How to face a corruption”” was one of the project outputs as well as the special internet section and the anti-corruption library. A workshop for the NNO representatives was organised durign the first year of the project implementation. The number of clients (individuals, companies, public authorities) and cases assited by the Center (available at Center’s Activity Report of 2006 and 2008) amounts to several hundreds every year. Lawyers employed by the TIC assist the individuals at the court if necessary and the TIC also organises public debates in the municipailities where particular case takes place with good results and impacts on transparency of the local governments´processes. The project is ongoing. There has been different funding every year. The anti-corruption number 199, operated by TIC (outsourcing), is funded by the Ministry of Interior. Some of the clients of the anticorruption line 199 are consequently assisted by the Center.”
The goal of this project was to support the establishment of basic preconditions for participatory cooperation between regional authorities, municipalities and civil society groups in the planning and implementation of the social and economic reform process in Marneuli and Gardabani districts. Target groups: Local councilors, NGO, the general public.
The project aimed at improving public trust in the administration at local and regional levels by increasing transparency and monitoring capacity of the administration. The project sought to promote the practices of good governance through the partnership between the civil society organizations and the municipal administration. Some of its main activities included: 1. survey assessing the transparency of the local and regional administrations; 2. public opinion survey for the identification of the main deficiencies of the targeted administrations; 3. realization of educational seminars and round tables; 4. development and publication of analysis with recommendations on the topic: “mutual trust – a barometer for good governance””; 5. activities for information and publicity.”
A system of NGOs certification tailored to the Czech environment was to be developed, drawing on examples from Germany, the Netherlands and Norway. Workshops were organised and a feasibility study conducted, showing different models of certification.
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.”
The overarching goal of the project was to promote transparency in the electoral process in Southeastern Europe and the accountability of elected officials. The specific objective was to assist civil society in Southeastern Europe in building effective anti-corruption coalitions based on the models, skills, and experience of the Romanian Coalition for a Clean Parliament (RCCP). The main activities of the project were to organize a regional conference to share experience on and discuss the effective solutions to fight political corruption, to set up a regional network of NGOs willing to engage in developing activities to fight political corruption, and to assist partner organizations in developing their own clean parliament coalitions.
SAR organized the regional conference on the creation of the East European Integrity Network (EEIN) during October 12-15, 2006. The conference attracted the participation of NGO representatives from Albania, Bulgaria, Croatia, Georgia, Macedonia, Moldova, Montenegro, Romania, Serbia, and Ukraine, as well as representatives of the World Bank, Group of States against Corruption (GRECO), European Parliament, Stability Pact.
During October 2007 – May 2008, Transparency International Georgia implemented the project Promoting Civil Society Monitoring of Secondary Healthcare Reform with funding from the Eurasia Partnership Foundation. The proposal was designed to follow on the heels of the government’s initiation of hospital sector privatization and had two main objectives: promote the effectiveness of the healthcare system in Georgia and improve the capacity of civil society to monitor the reform of secondary healthcare in Georgia.
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.
This project proposal aimed at addressing the issue of the fight against corruption by the civil society after accession, with a particular focus on conflicts of interests and incompatibilities.
Conflicts of interest and incompatibilities lie at the heart of corruption as the latter is based on the infringement of the public interests and of the requirements of public office for goals regarding private interests and private positions.
Members of 9 local county councils and 32 presidents of local county councils were scrutinized for conflicts of interests and incompatibilities. At the end of the project, a report was created underlining the local administration corruption cases. The project had an advocacy component aimed at correcting the loopholes in the legislation or in the enforcement of the law.
The purpose of the project was to monitor officials from a number of county councils and the presidents of all county councils in relation to incompatibilities and conflicts of interests. A total of 315 county council members from 9 counties were monitored on the two aspects, out of which 31 did not meet the integrity criteria. The situation of county council presidents was also assessed, and in 15 out of the 42 cases the integrity criteria were not met.
This project was continued before the first direct election of county council presidents, when 150 candidates were verified using the criteria designed for the Coalition for Clean Government project (namely, on corruption, conflicts of interests, political migration and collaboration with the secret police before 1989). Out of these, 54 were included on a “black list” for not meeting the integrity requirements imposed. In 9 of the counties, candidates appearing on the list of the Coalition lost the elections, even though they were considered favorites in the polls made public during the campaign. These 9 counties were Bihor, Bistrita-Nasaud, Botosani, Cluj, Galati, Giurgiu, Mehedinti, Timis si Tulcea.
The project aimed at enabling Georgian parliamentarians to make informed decisions about draft laws by providing them with the advice of lower level specialists and by actively involving civil society in the legislative process and also at improving the transparency of information given by the parliament, thus better informing citizens about the work carried out by the parliament.
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.
Alegeri locale şi generale
On the occasion of the legislative and presidential elections in November and December 2004, Romanian civil society organized itself for the first time into a broad coalition for integrity in politics: the Coalition for a Clean Parliament (CCP). Frustrated by the government’s lack of effectiveness in fighting large-scale corruption, civil society took matters into its own hands.
The CCP first determined the criteria that would make a candidate unfit for a clean parliament. These criteria were: 1) having repeatedly shifted from one political party to another in search of personal profit; 2) having been accused of corruption on the basis of published and verifiable evidence; 3) having been exposed as an agent of the Securitate (Ceauşescu’s former secret service); 4) being the owner of a private firm with important tax arrears to the state budget; 5) being unable to account for the discrepancy between one’s officially stated assets and one’s income; 6) turning a profit from conflicts of interest involving one’s public position. The second step was to discuss these criteria with the leadership of the political parties represented in the Parliament. The most important ones—the Social Democratic Party/Humanist Party of Romania coalition (PSD/PUR), the Justice and Truth Alliance (DA), and the Hungarian Democratic Union of Romania (UDMR)—agreed with the criteria and the process that we had designed, and they publicly announced their support for the CCP’s campaign.
Our third step was to gather information about the candidates of these parties. We collected material published in the press over the years and researched the websites of various public authorities in charge of financial and commercial matters. Then we double-checked our information. Our fourth step was to draw up lists of those candidates who met one or more of the agreed-upon criteria for being unfit to hold a seat in the future Parliament. The resulting “black lists”” were then sent to the political parties, with the request that they re-examine each case and decide whether to withdraw the candidate in question.
The CCP also offered to analyze any cases where individual candidates contested its findings. Step five consisted of the withdrawal by the political parties of significant numbers of their initial candidates. Some of the candidates appealed to the CCP, which approved or rejected their appeals and adjusted its lists accordingly. Our last step was to release the final CCP black lists in the form of nearly two million flyers, distributed in most of the 41 counties of Romania.
- Agentia de Monitorizare a Presei – Academia Catavencu
- Fundatia Freedom House
- Centrul pentru Jurnalism Independent
- Fundatia Dialog Social
- Asociatia Pro Democratia
- Alianta Civica
- Asociatia pentru Apararea Drepturilor Omului in Romania – Comitetul Helsinki
- Asociatia Revolutionarilor fara Privilegii
- Liga Romana de Presa
- Asociatia Studentilor la Facultatea de Stiinte Politice”
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.
Among the goals of the project:
1. To improve domestic monitoring mechanisms – analysis of relevant legislation in force and activities of the Chamber of Control; by organizing round-tables for relevant stakeholders; elaborating recommendations and drafts as to introduce them into relevant legislation;
2. To improve transparency and accountability during grant related relationships – analysis of relevant legislation “Law on the Grants””; by elaborating and lobbying recommendations and drafts as to introduce them into relevant legislation;
3. To contribute to effective CSOs monitoring of priority areas being identified within the framework of the Coalition – through the identification of relevant donors providing financial assistance; the perfectionining of legal system amd national monitoring mechanisms; assistance to IDPs; rehabilitation of national infrastructure.”
Concept: fighting large-scale corruption by preventing the lack of information about the candidates for Members of Parliament; agreeing on criteria that make a candidate unfit for a clean Parliament with the leaders of the political parties; developing black-lists of the parties’ candidates in order to cleanse the candidate lists; making these lists public (website, flyers, press).
In the autumn of 2006 10 organizations decided to form the Coalition for a Clean Parliament – European elections. At the beginning of the year the formation of the coalition and the criteria used in the monitoring of the candidates were announced. The Coalition contacted all major political parties and negotiated the access to the preliminary list of candidates before the official announcement. The Coalition organized the network of journalists that collected and assembled the data. The preliminary findings have been discussed with all parties. Given the changes of the electoral system and the evolutions of the political scene in recent years, the organizations forming the Coalition for Clean Parliament have decided to resume the monitoring of the political representatives using a new methodology. Therefore, the coalition deemed that it was not sufficient for a candidate to merely meet a set of integrity requirements, but that dignitaries should also seek to serve public interest and respect the rule of law. Before the parliamentary elections of 2008, the Coalition designed a set of instruments that were better suited to capture this perspective:
– a Pact for the Rule of Law – politicians were presented with a document with several key points they should commit to respect during office;
– monitoring political migration, defined as changing formal party allegiance (more than twice);
– monitoring of the manner in which those in office between 2004 and 2008 had voted on a series of issues and laws considered by the Coalition as particularly important for the rule of law.
The results of these monitoring activities were published on the “Clean Romania” website, which was thus transformed into a resource site for anticorruption advocacy.
The project aimed to increase transparency and integrity in public budget design and implementation, and to encourage participation of local civil society in community issues.
TI Romania delivered training to local civil society organizations, evaluated community priorities in regard to the local budget, evaluated the relationship between the local civilian and business communities and the administration, wrote the good practices guide and organized round tables with all stakeholders to debate on the negative and positive aspects of the situation and incorporated observations and suggestions for improving the way in which the administration-citizens relationship functions.
- Training instruments for civil society organizations;
- Guide to monitoring public budget implementation;
- Evaluations of transparency and integrity focusing on public acquisitions and mechanisms to grant authorizations/licenses for business activities;
- Good practices guide containing recommendations on how to address deficiencies noted during the project.
The project was primarily aimed at strengthening citizens, local civil society organizations (CSO), neighborhood councils, national minorities’ councils and local officials, at improving the communication between them through education on the principles of good governance and rule of law, as well as on the possibilities of involving in the decision-making processes on local level.
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)
The project aimed to increase transparency and integrity in public budget design and implementation and foster participation of local civil society in community issues. TI Romania implemented trainings for local civil society organizations, evaluated local community priorities regarding the local budget, evaluated the relationship between the civil society, the local businesspeople and the administration, and finally drew up the good practices guide and organized a round table with all stakeholders, to debate on positive and negative aspects and incorporate observations and recommendations for a better relationship between the local public administration and citizens.