Experts of SAR have contributed to the „Beyond the tipping point: Anti-corruption works. Governance works better” report as part of the U.S.-Romania Initiative Working Group of The Center for European Policy Analysis (CEPA). CEPA is the only U.S. think-tank dedicated to the study of Central and Eastern Europe, with the goal of consolidating security and democracy in the area, as well as to promote measures for strengthening its economy, geopolitical stability, and political freedom.
The report is grounded on the idea that poor governance, not corruption, is Romania’s greatest problem, as it encourages corruption, which, in turn, decreases the quality of governance, creating a vicious cycle. As such, punitive measures for combatting corruption are welcome but far from sufficient for achieving a clean, functional and efficient system. These must be complemented by prevention mechanisms to ensure integrity and efficiency in public institutions.
Such mechanisms include erecting an anti-corruption infrastructure through transparency in public institutions and spreading integrity practices. The role of punitive institutions such as the National Anti-corruption Directorate should, therefore, decline as prevention measures consolidate institutionally.
One of the main problems highlighted in the report is a lack of reform in the recruitment and training of human resources in the public sector, especially at local level. The fact that a change in leadership often leads to changes in key administrative positions makes the direction and functioning of public institutions unpredictable. Also, public policies are often adopted without rigorous impact studies, based on convictions and estimates not grounded in precise calculations or measurements.
Regarding public procurement, the CEPA report highlights the legislative framework’s complexity, the lack of open data that is usable for research, as well as frequent legislative changes as factors that contribute to corruption and administrative inefficiency. Instances pf legislative or administrative void are often regarded as cases of corruption, yet these can be easily resolved administratively, through measures such as monitoring of public spending.
For more information regarding the country report, see: http://www.cepa.org/sites/default/files/Governance%20.pdf