Has Adriana Saftoiu broken the loyalty commitment she signed when she joined the Presidential Administration staff? What about the law on state secret information? Could anything be held against her ethically speaking?
Traian Basescu has attacked his former adviser, Adriana Saftoiu, after the publication of excerpts from her ‘Cotroceni Chronicle’ volume. The ex-president made the speculation that Saftoiu had said those things just to make publicity for her book. ‘It’s probably a period when she has no other sources of income’, Basescu said on B1 TV. Any advisor, when he/she is hired at Cotroceni, signs a loyalty commitment which has an indeterminate validity’, Traian Basescu said.
The loyalty commitment is legally bind under OUG 1/2001 changing Law 47/1994 on the Presidential Administration. The ‘Ring’ newspaper has disclosed the fact that the commitment presidency employees must sign binds them to a kind of conduct at the level of the dignity of the institution both in their work relations and in society and family, for the duration of their post. Sources from the Civil Servants Agency have said that violent behaviour and scandals are banned.
The document signed by the president’s advisers obliges them ‘to keep professional secret and respect the confidentiality of activities within the Presidential Administration’, ‘to refrain from any activity contrary to the Presidential Administration’.
A calumny action would be lost by Basescu
Lawyer Lucian Bolcas has told DCNews that the provisions of the Commitment only apply to the period when the person is a presidential adviser, that it is not made for an indeterminate period as Traian Basescu claims. ‘It could be interpreted – actually, this is noted in the text of the commitment – that it applies to the period of the exercise of the position’, Lucian Bolcas says. Obviously, the criminal liability involved by the Law on State Secret Information does not apply just to the period of the employment, however it does not apply to the book written by Adriana Saftoiu. Based on what has been published, the book tells about personal relationships, moral aspects, there is no work or state secret disclosed. From a literary point of view – for this is a literary piece – those are Adriana Saftoiu’s impressions. No certainties or certain facts are presented, what we see there are impressions and opinions. Traian Basescu would not even win a calumny court action’, lawyer Lucian Bolcas said.
Life stories do not fall under state or work secrets category
Dumitru Coarna, the leader of the National Trade Union of Policemen, believes the reports in Adriana Saftoiu’s book do not fall under the category of work or state secrets. ‘There are confidentiality clauses – Mr. Corna confirms – in the employment agreement. The job description of a civil servant specifies the things that are secret information. Advisors have the president’s level of classification. However, from what I have read in the press, nothing of what Adriana Saftoiu wrote is secret information. Those are life stories, there are no secret activities’, Dumitru Coarna said.
Publication of memories: too soon or too late?
The ethics specialists contacted by DCNews avoided saying anything on the case before reading the book. In principle, the experts say that, in the absence of an Ethical Code made known to the employees when they are hired, and of institutional structures in charge of analysing the cases, there can be no ethical sanctions. Without institutional benchmarks, there may be various opinion and positions driven by the sympathy or antipathy for the concerned characters.
If the recounted behaviours in such a volume are immoral or pose a threat to the operation of the institution, the possible recommendation is that they should be immediately disclosed. The person who finds out about institutional abnormalities must report them to the bodies that oversee the activity of the institution. In the case of the presidency, the Parliament could have been alerted.