Late 2016, Socialist Party (PS) deputy Vasilika Hysi prosed a draft law to decrease the number of civil servants that have to declare their income at the High Inspectorate of the Declaration and Control of Wealth and Conflict of Interest (ILDKPKI). This proposal was sent to Parliament together with the seven draft laws of the judicial reform package.
Currently, the ILDKPKI is mandated to control around six thousand wealth declarations each year. Based on the justification that the institution does not have the necessary capacity to check such a large amount of declarations and the advice of OPDAT and the EU Progress Report, the draft law proposes to exclude a large number of lower-level civil servants from the obligation to declare their wealth.
The draft law further proposes a two-year term to publish the declarations, a single mandate without the possibility of reelection of the Chief Inspector of the ILDKPKI, an online application system, and the declaration of all the goods that are registered under someone’s name. It also envisions an increase in punishment – nothing compared to the international recommendations – for false, missing, or incomplete declarations.
According to the proposal of the PS, only the heads of institutions will be subjected to controls, and it appears that those civil servants working at customs and the regional police chiefs will no longer be covered by the law. This will cut the number of civil servants that fall under the law in half, to about three thousand.
So rather than increasing the capacity of the ILDKPKI, the draft law envisions decreasing the number of civil servants that will be under scrutiny, and therefore increasing the possibility of corruption.
This is a worrying situation, especially because the ILDKPKI has an important role in the vetting process on which the judicial reform is based. If there is already not enough capacity to handle the current workload, it is unclear how the evaluation of all personal in the juridical branch of government can be completed successfully.