Assets of Officials Will Also Be Checked Abroad

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The Moldovan authorities will benefit from a simplified procedure to verify the authenticity of information included in the declarations of assets and personal interests of public officials. The international agreement on data exchange was signed in Chisinau on Monday, 23 October, by Justice Minister Veronica Mihailov-Moraru and the president of the Regional Anti-Corruption Initiative (RAI), Laura Stefan. According to the justice minister, the treaty will be an effective mechanism that will allow the Moldovan authorities to check more thoroughly the authenticity of data and declarations on the assets of our national officials. Mihailova-Moraru specified that although the subjects of declaration are obliged to provide detailed information about the assets they own, in most cases they fail to do so, especially with regard to assets outside the country. “Although the legislation, including the Moldovan legislation, has for many years stipulated the obligation to declare movable and immovable assets, both in the country and abroad, as well as bank accounts, we still observe many situations when the subjects of declaration do not do this. That is why the treaty we signed today is in fact a mechanism for regional co-operation and will serve as a tool for public institutions to request and simultaneously transfer data on personal assets between signatory states, which is a guarantee to simplify existing procedures and reduce the time, effort and resources of public authorities for a clearly defined purpose. (...) I am convinced that through this tool, the national data verification procedure will be strengthened, this instrument will favour the strengthening of the institutional capacity of the Republic of Moldova,” the Justice Minister said. RAI President Laura Stefan said such actions also play a role in changing citizens’ perceptions. “As you well know, the assets of our public officials do not stop at the border, they move freely and face far fewer barriers than the institutions that monitor asset and interest declarations. I think it’s in the interest of each of us and our states to make sure that this control is real so that the citizens of our countries can see that things are really happening the way they should be happening,” said Laura Stefan. The treaty must be ratified by parliament to enter into force. The Regional Anti-Corruption Initiative was adopted in Sarajevo in February 2000 as an anti-corruption action of the Stability Pact (SPAI) with the aim of correcting the phenomenon of corruption, one of the most difficult problems in the development of South-Eastern European countries. The first such treaty was signed in March 2001 between Montenegro, Northern Macedonia and Serbia. The Initiative currently comprises nine Member States in the region: Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Macedonia, Montenegro, Moldova, Romania and Serbia, as well as an observer, the UN Mission in Kosovo, providing a common framework for co-ordinating all countries in the region, streamlining efforts and ensuring continuous dialogue with the anti-corruption partner community.