Application of anti-corruption policies at the Prefecture of Bucharest - 'Together we shall succeed!
The Prefecture of Bucharest

The Problem

In accordance with the current legislation and following the directives and recommendations of the European Union to accelerate the fight against corruption in Romanian public administration, the Prefecture of Bucharest, under the direction of the Anti-Corruption General Directorate within the Ministry of Administration and Interior, was determined to improve its reputation regarding institutional and staff integrity. The need for the adoption of preventive measures is even greater as, being one of the structures of the Ministry of Administration and Interior, people expect us to set an example of integrity, honour and professionalism.
Risks and opportunities for corruption are present in the work of any public institution - as proved by the existence of complaints concerning the unethical behaviour of some employees, even though most of our staff are upstanding employees and true professionals.
Moreover, staff awareness and information about the risks of corruption is necessary because many risk situations can be avoided by good knowledge of procedures, the relevant legislation and the type of response expected and necessary in a risk situation. An important element in the fight against corruption is the existence of protection measures for whistleblowers, measures and procedures that are known by all our staff.

Solution and Key Benefits

 What is the initiative about? (the solution)
Following the implementation of the Programme for prevention and control of corruption among staff, which resulted in annual action plans for the period 2006-2010, we have obtained the following results: - improved image and prestige of the institution (by reducing the number of complaints of corruption attributed to our own staff as well as to the personnel of the two community public services – passports and driving licences) – specific tools for managers (action plans, annual activity reports, risk registers) which helped them to monitor risk factors, reduce the risk of corruption and become more aware of the risks of staff corruption - a better correlation of preventive measures - reduced risk of entry / retention in the system of corrupt personnel / prone to corruption and in general an improvement in risk management at institutional level – increased transparency of the corruption-preventing activities (press releases, internal reports made to management, the anticorruption Programme went public on the website) - 18 meetings with employees (newly employed persons with either executive or management functions – establishment of the internal affairs record, which highlights both disciplinary cases and employees who have demonstrated professionalism in situations of risk – involvement of ethics advisers in staff training on the codes of conduct of public servants / contractual staff / police – establishment of a Commission for the analysis of the risk factors that may generate / promote corruption - participation, since 2006, at approx. 18 seminars and events focusing on integrity and corruption, dissemination of information regarding government and NGOs anti-corruption campaigns such as "Do not bribe!", - five rounds of questionnaires / surveys.

Actors and Stakeholders

 Who proposed the solution, who implemented it and who were the stakeholders?
The Anti-Corruption General Directorate within the Ministry of Administration and Interior advised all subordinated structures to take measures for the implementation of the Ministry’s Anticorruption strategy, approved by the Ministry of Administration and Interior Order no. 1150/19.01.2006 In this context, the Prefecture of Bucharest has developed its first anticorruption programme in 2006, which included the following intervention areas: detection and risk management, supervision and management, recruitment, verification and security of personnel, education, training and communication, openness and transparency. The Programme objectives are implemented at our institution via Action Plans, developed / updated annually since 2006 to the present. The stakeholders are: senior civil servants, civil servants and other employees of the institution, the staff with special status in the two Community public services (driving licenses and passports), officers of the Anti-Corruption General Directorate and the Directorate for the Relations with the Prefecture Institutions, representatives of nongovernmental organizations that have collaborated with us, experts and academics from the Police Academy in Bucharest, the Ministry of Administration and Interior and the citizens of Bucharest.

(a) Strategies

 Describe how and when the initiative was implemented by answering these questions
 a.      What were the strategies used to implement the initiative? In no more than 500 words, provide a summary of the main objectives and strategies of the initiative, how they were established and by whom.
Under the "Strategy of the Ministry of Administration and Interior for the prevention and control of corruption among its personnel”, the Programme adopted by our institution focused on the following main areas of intervention: Risk detection and management; Supervision and management; Recruitment, verification and security of personnel; Education, training and communication; Openness and transparency. The Programme’s objectives were: - to create and implement working tools able to identify the risks of corruption among our staff – to increase resistance to corruption of all our structures – to improve the monitoring of risk factors - to ensure recruitment and selection of staff are based exclusively on competence and equality of opportunity, but also in accordance with established rules of behaviour for our field of activity - to increase staff awareness of anti-corruption and whistleblowing policies – to develop an internal communication plan for the Ministry’s anti-corruption messages – to involve representatives of civil society in the implementation of anti-corruption measures

(b) Implementation

 b.      What were the key development and implementation steps and the chronology? No more than 500 words
Duration: 2006 – up to present. Activities: - Creation of the Commission for the analysis of risk factors that generate or facilitate corruption among personnel, chaired by the sub-prefect coordinating the community public services for driving licences and passports - Dissemination of information and strategic documents aimed at preventing corruption - Identification of vulnerabilities and structures with high risk - A study on the vulnerabilities of the institution – Acquision of monitoring equipment for the premises and all units working with the public, so as to ensure transparency of activities - Transmission of information to the decentralized public services – Evaluation of specific indicators of attention and alarm used in risk factor monitoring – Making a diagnosis of tour organisational culture and structure to help design improvement measures- Ensuring compliance with human resources management procedures - Involvement of ethics advisers in staff training on the codes of conduct of public servants / contractual staff / police – Supplementary checking of staff to be employed in jobs with high risk of corruption, - Implementation of the internal affairs record - Training courses for our personnel in anti-corruption and discipline management – Organization of regular briefings / meetings / seminars within the staff to prepare them for the fight against corruption – Promotion of the project through our website and bulletin board – Evaluation of the driving licence exam officers by our partner the Anticorrupton Directorate – Adoption of a “mystery shopper” scheme and unannounced controls at the two community public services – Adoption of tailored anticorruption measures for the driving licences service (eg.: printing the programmer and the Annexes in the morning of each examination day and handing them in sealed envelopes directly to the examiners at the place of the examination, on field verification of the work of the examiners) – Work processes improvement (review of internal working procedures to eliminate unnecessary provisions, updating the internal procedures and harmonization with legislative changes) - Participation of Directorate representatives in the recruitment committees of public services; - Designing of integrity and fidelity tests for the front desk staff – Informing the public on how to report acts of corruption committed by our staff (the Anticorruption Green Line, display of specific material, introduction of an official register of suggestions, complaints and complaints posted in a visible and accessible place) – Conducting public opinion surveys on the quality of services and staff resistance to corruption in our institution.

(c) Overcoming Obstacles

 c.      What were the main obstacles encountered? How were they overcome? No more than 500 words
- Budgetary restrictions did not allow the purchase of all the necessary surveillance equipment;
- Different locations of our structures (Headquarters plus different locations for the Community public services, none under our control, as we do not own any of the buildings)
- Simultaneous participation of staff at different presentations / workshops / meetings, that led to difficulting in ensuring necessary front desk personnel.
The solutions to these difficulties were: - Active involvement of the prefect and sub-prefect in carrying out specific activities;
- Constant communication with all our structures and with the representatives of the two Directorates so as to analyze risk factors and adopt specific anticorruption measures;
- Identification and involvement of our partners (the Police Academy, Interpol, the National Agency of Civil Servants, Transparency International Romania, the Association for the Implementation of Democracy - ROMANIA AID)
- Relocation of the driving licences service to a new facility, equipped at European standards;
- Scheduling of participants in training sessions / seminars so as to avoid interruptions in our activity;
- Ensuring regular training of all employees (in both management and executive positions) and newcomers immediately after employment.

(d) Use of Resources

 d.      What resources were used for the initiative and what were its key benefits? In no more than 500 words, specify what were the financial, technical and human resources’ costs associated with this initiative. Describe how resources were mobilized
Human Resources:
- 5 members of the Commission for the analysis of risk factors
- 3 ethics and integrity councilors
- 8 employees of the Community public services
- 9 representatives of our partners
- All staff of the institution as participants in training and consultation

Materials: maps, brochures, leaflets, studies for meetings, films presented by our partners that depict cases of corruption, conference room, projector, laptop, supplies.

Sustainability and Transferability

  Is the initiative sustainable and transferable?
This project started from scratch, from the basic objectives, developing along with our achievements and acquired experience and, of course, taking into account the objectives set for the coming years.
Decentralized public services coordinated by the other 40 Prefects in the country can easily replicate this approach in the fight against corruption.

Lessons Learned

 What are the impact of your initiative and the lessons learned?
- Integrated approach to corruption risk management
- The introduction of the internal affairs record
- Involvement of partner institutions and academia in the implementation of anticorruption measures.
- the project was awarded 2nd prize at the national competition organized by the National Agency of Civil Servants

Lessons learned
- The importance of cooperation with specialized bodies and with the other stakeholders in the implementation of anti-corruption policies
- The importance of ensuring an integrated approach to anti-corruption policies
- The need to ensure staff training on ethics and integrity and to verify personnel ethical behavior
- The importance of citizen consultation in the attempt to improve institution public image and eliminate corruption

Contact Information

Institution Name:   The Prefecture of Bucharest
Institution Type:   Government Agency  
Contact Person:   Mihaela Vasilescu
Title:   Counsellor  
Telephone/ Fax:   +4021.311.23.41
Institution's / Project's Website:   +4021.312.37.41
Address:   47 Regina Elisabeta Blv., sector 5
Postal Code:  
City:   Bucharest
Country:   Romania

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