Board of Corruption proposed by government

THE PS government is hoping to push through parliament legislation for a new anti-corruption fighting organisation.

The Board for the Prevention of Corruption, Conselho de Prevenção da Corrupção, would be composed of three Inspector-Generals, Finance, Public Works and Local Administration, two High Commissioners from the Exchequer Audit Commission, Tribunal de Contas, a Public Ministry, Ministério Público, magistrate and a widely respected and recognised legal expert.

The proposed legislative bill was put before Assembleia da República parliamentary committees on Wednesday last week for discussion.

The European Commission and United Nations have, since 2003, been recommending that the fight against corruption needed to be carried out with the help of a specialised preventative body, which Portugal signed up to in 2007.

Equally, the European Council Group of States against Corruption, GRECO, has advised Portugal that it needs to tighten up its preventative measures, through a series of Codes of Conduct and regular analysis on corruption incidence and risk in all public sector areas.

It is a distillation of all these proposals that the government is now putting before parliament and through the PS parliamentary leader Alberto Martins.

“It would be an observatory body as well as an advisory commission that would benefit from being linked to the Audit Exchequer, TC, in what would be an audit and inspection authority,” he said.

“The great advantage of this being under the aegis of the Tribunal de Contas is that it would allow an exchange of information and collected data at a state level in areas that are most vulnerable to the phenomenon,” he added.

Portugal is considered to be one of the European Union countries with the most economic-financial corruption and fraud particularly with regards to the acquisition of goods and services, public works companies, concessions granted without fair and transparent public competitive tendering bids, and the issuing of dubious planning permission and state property licenses, acquisitions and sales.

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