The Strategy of the Fight against Corruption: medical doctors, politicians, public procurements under the magnifying glass

Date: May 28, 2013




Source : Blic


More stringent control of public procurements, the property of politicians and parties, the relationship between pharmaceutical companies and medical doctors, transparent media financing – are the basic goals of the Draft National Strategy for the Fight against Corruption.

...Public debate will be held about the 17-page document which should soon be published and which is awaited for the past two and a half years. Among the basic goals are regulating conflict of interest and control of property and income of public officials, mechanisms for determining purposefulness of public procurements and monitoring and execution of contracts, clearly defined criteria for the relationship between pharmaceutical companies and medical practice in terms of recommending medications and gifts by pharmaceutical companies to medical doctors, amended legal framework for the election of school principals as well as transparent ownership and financing of media and their editorial policy.

Sanctions are envisaged for the failure to implement the National Strategy.

- The Agency for the Fight against Corruption will remain a regulatory institution which will conduct monitoring and be ceded the jurisdiction to investigate false claims made by state officials regarding their property as well as disproportion between their income and property. As soon as the public is familiarized with the Draft, the Action Plan will begin to be drafted which is expected to specify measures and activities to implement the Strategy as well as deadlines and bodies in charge of carrying out implementing activities – Zlatko Minić, a member of the Board of the Agency for the Fight against Corruption, told Blic.

- A failure to fulfill obligations defined by the Action Plan will constitute violation of the law and the Agency will be able to propose dismissal of the official in question. The most important thing is that there is quality mechanism for establishing a system of accountability – Minić emphasized.

The Draft Strategy has defined nine areas of greatest risk, namely: political corruption which pertains to parties and conflict of interest of officials; public finances where internal and external audit meet; public procurements; as well as sections such as privatization, judiciary, police, construction and planning, healthcare, education and sport and media.

- There is a special realm of prevention of corruption, in which we have delineated the objectives, starting from how the state should stimulate the civil sector to contribute to the fight against corruption to adoption of a law protecting whistleblowers. The Draft Strategy has a good system of monitoring and accountability; it has identified areas of special risk and problems which exist in those areas in a very good way. On the basis of those problems, the objectives have been defined in a succinct and attainable way, are able to be met by implementing the Action Plan, there are no platitudes which make it impossible to tell whether concrete objectives and concrete measures and activities have been met and carried out– Zlatko Minić stressed.