What should be done to make the Law on Prevention of Corruption change things for the better?

TS, having in mind the numerous lacks of the Draft Law on Prevention of Corruption of August 2018, welcomes Ministry of Justice's announcement to open a public discussion of the new draft of that law and the approach of the Minister for European Integration that "quality is more important than speed". However, considering that until now published drafts did not contain solutions for all important problems identified in practice, EU reports and plans of the Republic of Serbia, the delay in the reform can also be interpreted as insufficient readiness to solve these problems.

Changesof the Law on the Anti-Corruption Agency were originally planned for 2014 and drafting of the new law began in March 2015. The Ministry of Justice published the first draft law in October 2016, and the second, significantly worse, under the new name (Law on Prevention of Corruption) in August 2018. Although public discussions of these drafts were organized, comprehensive reports on the consideration of the received proposals were not published.

TS suggestedthat the crime of giving false information on property should be precise and that the prosecutionshould be facilitated by abandonment of the “unproven intention". We made suggestions for preventing abuse of public function through inventing promotional activities, which serves to functionaries to increase theirpresence in media during the election campaign period. This is especially important in the context of frequent announcements of new elections and practices in the conduct of "functionary campaigns".

Also, TS considers that it is veryimportant that the Ministry accepts our proposal that the law completely prohibits the cumulation of public functions instead of the current regime of giving approval,that officials should be obliged to report gifts of great value, even when they seem to have not been given in conjunction with a public function, as well as cash in the amount bigger than of 10,000 euros. Business of companies owned by officials with concessionaires, recipients of subsidies and companies that perform business in Serbia based on an interstate agreement should also be controlled.

The supplement according to which the risk analysis of corruption would be obligatory in the preparation of all regulations, would be important in prevention of corruption. Regarding the members of the Board and the Director of the Agency, the eligibility requirement should be disconnection with political subjects on any ground, and not just on the ground of membership in the party (for example, that they were not candidates in the last elections, financiers, members of election commissions, although formally were not party members). Finally, the Agency should have more efficient access to the documents which are necessary for its work, and the tasks of this body should be precise, so that the results of its work can be objectively considered.