Corruption has become “a risky business” in Romania, the outgoing minister of Justice, Catalin Predoiu said yesterday in a press conference, quoted by Mediafax. According to the Predoiu, without integrity in the professions dedicated to Justice, all the efforts made by the judicial system and the business environment are flawed.The heads of these professions – bars, associations of notaries public, branches of the National Union of Reorganisation and Liquidation Practitioners – must know how to implement disciplinary policies that will eliminate those who have no place in the respective professions, and “belong to other zones.”Predoiu also warned that Romania must solve the problem represented by the low wages of high officials, not just that of pensions and salaries, because incorrect salaries in the public administration invite to corruption. Those who have jobs with high responsibilities, which authorise expenses from public money, must be correctly paid.Even the most powerful entrepreneur, with the widest network of connections and unlimited resources, will be affected if the economy – as a whole – is undermined by practices against competition, by corruption and lack of integrity. “Unfortunately, these years, life has demonstrated that corruption still exists in the Romanian society and economy, and maybe this is one of the reasons why Romania still has neither a strong category of small and medium-sized enterprises, nor a middle class,” Predoiu stated.He gave Germany as example of well-structured middle class, because German economy relies not only on big industrial companies, “but especially on a very strong and dynamic middle class, generated by the middle business.”Predoiu also referred to monopoly situations when capital market operators pay incredible prices for services, taxes to the National Securities Commission (CNVM) that are incomparably higher than those charged in other states. In his opinion, the legal framework of this sector must be urgently revised, while in other sectors like energy and bankruptcy one must make efforts to enforce a modern and transparent legislation.“I would give the example of energy, where efforts must be made to modernise the legal framework. Or the sector of bankruptcy, where an integrated legislation has been created in time, which is coherent but preponderantly oriented towards the interest of the profession, serving the interest of liquidators and apparently of creditors,” Predoiu added.He emphasised that one must not develop a bankruptcy practice only for the interest of the profession, and the legislation must be re-oriented to serve debtors and creditors, and the consumers that want these procedures to end fast – an idea that is also present in other professions.As for European funds, all the ministers that had something to do with their absorption wanted to accelerate the process, but this was impossible because somewhere along the chain, the process is stopped by something that is not necessarily related to corruption, but rather to negligence and disinterest, Predoiu added.
Traila: Over 30,000 contract-awarding files checked
The president of the National Authority for Regulating and Monitoring Public Procurement (ANRMAP), Cristina Traila said that the institution verified – since autumn 2011 – the documents pertaining to more than 30,000 contracts awarded by public authorities, in an attempt to get rid of the economic operators that abusively use their rights, and the number of appeals against the results of auctions has dropped by half. She mentioned the elimination of restrictive criteria – those selection and qualifying criteria that favor a certain economic operator. According to the ANRMAP president, this was one of the measures provided by the plan adopted with the representatives of the European Commission, and these elements appear in the auditing report of the Commission.