Justice Minister calls for eliminating corruption, points to the danger that ‘wangling’ represents.
Justice Minister Catalin Predoiu has asked penitentiary system employees for “full integrity,” stressing the need to clean up corruption and wangling from the system by themselves so that “others” will not have to do it for them. “To be upright 100 per cent is not something that costs, you don’t need budget funds for this, and it is, at the same time, a non-negotiable requirement. I’m asking you for full integrity,” Predoiu stated yesterday at the meeting in which the National Penitentiary Administration (ANP) presented its 2011 review, Mediafax informs. Although he praised ANP’s efforts to combat internal corruption, the Justice Minister also drew attention to the danger that “wangling” represents. “Wangling is a form of corruption too and I warn you that sooner or later the hiring done on the basis of wangling will turn against you because of incompetence,” Predoiu stated. In this context, he talked about the fact that in 2011 penitentiary employees discovered over 10,000 mobile phones and drugs on inmates. “It is inadmissible to have among us people that allow inmates to easily coordinate their businesses from jail. In our turn, we will look for solutions to introduce jamming equipment, but you have to optimize controls and to eliminate from the system those that fraternize with criminals, albeit solely when it comes to smuggling in mobile phones. Let alone drugs,” the Minister pointed out.According to Catalin Predoiu, the 30,000 penitentiary inmates generated total revenues of EUR 6 M in 2011 through their work, which means that each inmate generated EUR 200 per year. “It’s too little, I’m asking you to do what you can as managers to hike that figure,” the Minister said. In this context, Predoiu warned ANP’s leadership about the way in which it uses the “rich” real-estate patrimony in its administration, asking for an audit of real-estate assets and for ideas on efficiently managing it, also pointing out the opportunity of public-private partnerships. The Minister also underlined the importance of using European funds. “This is money that cost nothing, so I invite you to tap into them, to come up with projects and to use this resource,” the Justice Minister added. In the closing of his speech, Predoiu invited the penitentiary managers that were presented at the meeting to exchange experiences in order to learn from each other and to thus spread the good practices seen in some penitentiaries that “managed to do a lot with the same small amount of money.”