#04 IMPROVE THE ACTION OF THE ANTI-CORRUPTION AGENCY
The Code of Good Practice obliges public authorities to respect neutrality, which refers to the campaign and financing of parties and candidates (VC I.3.1.a.iv) and requires legal sanctions in cases of violation of the obligation of neutrality (I.3.1.c). In order for these standards to be met, it is necessary to undertake the following:
a. The agency should use statutory powers ex officio in order to protect the public interest
It is necessary to modify the Anti-Corruption Agency practices in order to harmonise its actions with legal authorisations and the best international practices. Bearing in mind that, pursuant to relevant regulations, the Agency has a possibility to initiate proceedings in case of violation of the Law even ex officio, it is indispensable that it applies its authorities in practice. Namely, during the electoral cycle, the Agency appoints observers who are focused on electoral campaign monitoring and it is therefore essential that in case of violation of the Law, the Agency initiates proceedings and imposes measures immediately and not after the completion of the electoral process. Moreover, it convenes to periodically publish findings and reports for the observed period of the electoral campaign.
b. Ensure timely acting of the Agency upon complaints
Amendments to the Anti-Corruption Agency Act (Law on Prevention of Corruption) and the Law on Financing Political Activities introduced short five-year deadlines for making decisions on complaints submitted due to violations of the law during the election campaign. In order for the control of the election campaign to be effective, it is necessary that the Agency interprets and acts in practice in accordance with the intention of this legal provision.
c. Publish all decisions of the Anti-Corruption Agency on the web-site
In order to achieve better transparency in the work of the Anti-Corruption Agency, it is necessary to publish all decisions on the Agency’s website. In that sense, it is necessary to amend the Law on Prevention of Corruption by introducing the obligation for the Agency to publish its decisions on the web-site within 24 hours during the election campaign when deciding on an objection related to the implementation of that Law in the election campaign. An identical obligation is already prescribed by the relevant provisions of the Law on Financing Political Activities.