The General Prosecutor's Office, the National Bank of Moldova and the Ombudsman are the intuitions with the highest potential of independence in Moldova. At the opposite pole are the General Inspectorate of Police, the Financial Inspection, the Customs Service and the Public Services Agency. The ranking of the most independent public institutions in the Republic of Moldova was presented on November 27, at a conference organized by the Institute for Development and Social Initiatives (IDIS) "Viitorul" and INEKO Slovakia.
"Moldovan state institutions are in the process of consolidation and do not yet have the potential for independence and strength to afford to have full confidence in our society. With the support of the Slovak methodology, we managed to analyze for the first time the independence potential of public institutions and to integrate the conclusions in a large study. We very much hope that through the current report we will make a clear contribution to the development of the independence of the institutions of the Republic of Moldova", said Liubomir Chiriac, the executive director of IDIS "Viitorul ".
In his turn, the director of INEKO, Peter Golias, mentioned: “Seeing in Slovakia captured public institutions that were not working properly, we decided to analyze in detail their constitution and their independence from the Government. Thus, already for the third consecutive year we elaborate the ranking of the most independent institutions and offer them recommendations to improve their independence and professionalism. We also try to translate the methodology of this evaluation in the Republic of Moldova. We want to have responsible institutions to the public and we want the citizens to know what they do and what is the result of the activity of these public institutions”.
In order to calculate the independence ranking, 20 public institutions with regulatory, control, service and judicial functions were evaluated (ANRE, TRM, ANI, BNM, CNA, CNAS, CNAM, Constitutional Court, Ombudsman, Public Services Agency, Audiovisual Council, Competition Council, Superior Council of Magistracy, National Financial Market Commission, Court of Accounts, General Inspectorate of Police, Financial Inspection, General Prosecutor's Office, State Fiscal Service, Customs Service). Public institutions were assessed on the basis of four criteria of independence: the appointment of the governing body and the members of the Board of Directors; dismissal of the appointed persons; sovereignty and constitutional basis; income of appointed persons and employees. The maximum score for an institution is 100 points. Thus, the General Prosecutor's Office ranks first with a score of 77%, followed by the National Bank of Moldova with 75%, the People's Advocate with 71%, the Constitutional Court and the National Integrity Authority with 70%. On the other hand, the Public Services Agency occupies the last place in the ranking with 24%. At the same time, five more public institutions at the bottom of the ranking did not accumulate more than 1/2 of the maximum number of points. These are the Customs Service (36%), the Financial Inspection (36%), the General Police Inspectorate (40%), the National Social Insurance House (42%) and the State Fiscal Service (44%).
According to the report assessing the independence potential of public institutions in the Republic of Moldova, the overall average independence of public institutions is 57%. The results of the evaluation are largely due to the sufficiently good regulatory framework, which regulates the organization and functioning of public institutions in the Republic of Moldova.
The analysis identifies in seven public institutions cases of appointment in the governing bodies of members who were politically active two years before being appointed (ANRE, NBM, Constitutional Court, NHIC, Audiovisual Council, Competition Council, Court of Accounts). At the same time, in this respect, only the Public Services Agency did not bring to the public's CVs of the members of the management body, and the SCM and TRM failed to publish some of the members' CVs. At the same time, in 11 institutions evaluated, the persons appointed to the management bodies can exercise this function for an unlimited number of terms and years. This carries several risks such as close links with policy and decision makers, possible abuses and the lack of accountability of the institution. Regarding the dismissal of the appointed persons, for six public institutions are not indicated exhaustive and detailed grounds for dismissal of the governing bodies, or the reasons for their dismissal are missing. These are the SCM, the NHIC, the CNAS, the Public Services Agency, TRM and the Financial Inspection. In addition, for three public institutions (ANRE, the Competition Council and the Court of Accounts) there are no express grounds that would allow the dismissal (dismissal) of the management in case of non-exercise of functions or violation of legal provisions.
Regarding institutional sovereignty, only five evaluated institutions have a legal basis in the Constitution of the Republic of Moldova (People's Advocate, Constitutional Court, Superior Council of Magistracy, Court of Accounts, General Prosecutor's Office). The existence of constitutional rules provides an additional guarantee of independence for public institutions. And ten of the 20 evaluated authorities do not have the authority to decide on their internal organization (Public Services Agency, National Integrity Authority, National Social Insurance House, National Medical Insurance Company, Audiovisual Council, Competition Council, General Inspectorate of the Police, the Financial Inspection, the State Fiscal Service and the Customs Service).
The analysis of the monthly incomes of the members of the management bodies shows us that they exceed at least twice the amount of the average monthly salary per economy, but also highlights the significant gap in the salary management policy of different public institutions, some management positions being remunerated double, triple or even ten times higher than other institutions. There are also obvious discrepancies between the average monthly gross salaries of high-ranking managers and the management of public institutions. Thus, the largest pay gaps are found at the company "Teleradio - Moldova" where the average gross salary of the senior manager is only 34% of the salary of the institution's management, the National Financial Market Commission (35%) and the National Agency for Energy Regulation (43%).
For most public institutions, the remuneration of employees is demotivating. In seven public institutions, the average gross monthly salary of employees is comparable to the amount of the average monthly salary in the economy. The lowest average gross monthly salaries (ranging from 6 to 7 thousand lei) have the employees of the Company "Teleradio - Moldova", the Superior Council of Magistracy and the Constitutional Court. On the other hand, the highest salaries (11 - 16 thousand lei) are received by employees of the National Bank of Moldova, the National Medical Insurance Company, the State Tax Service, the Financial Inspection, the National Financial Market Commission, the Audiovisual Council and National Integrity Authority.
"An inadequate degree of independence can lead to the loss of the possibility of democratically elected forces to intervene in the directions of activity of the institutions, which would significantly reduce the possibilities for reparation in the event of their failure. It is important to strike a balance between independence and political influence, by establishing ways to distribute political influence among several actors and to limit it with express and clear rules, so that the risk of abuse by a small group of politicians is minimum”, considers Viorel Pârvan, the author of the report on the independence of public institutions.
In this context, Viorel Pîrvan recommends to the monitored public institutions a series of measures that would ensure their independence and efficiency. Among them we can mention the observance of the legislation on access to information, the involvement of several public authorities in the appointment and removal of the management of a public institution, the use of public hearings in the selection process for management positions, a balanced and motivating salary policy, etc.
The initiative "Supporting democracy, independence and transparency of key public institutions in Moldova" is implemented by the Institute for Development and Social Initiatives (IDIS) "Viitorul", in partnership with the Institute for Economic and Social Reforms in Slovakia (INEKO) and is financially supported by the Official Development Assistance Program of the Slovak Republic (SlovakAid). The initiative aims to inform the public about the development of democracy and the independence of key state institutions, as well as to improve the transparency and financial stability of local public authorities and state-owned enterprises in the Republic of Moldova.
For details, contact Ana – Maria Veverita: firstname.lastname@example.org or at phone number (0 22) 221844