The Anticorruption Prosecutor’s Office needs to be strengthened, get more resources and total independence, in order to have a clear mandate to fight grand corruption, experts seem to agree.
According to experts, a breakthrough for Office could occur if it is enabled to conduct investigations independently of other agencies. The Anticorruption Prosecutor’s Office must have its own investigators, prosecutors and other specialists, rather than staff posted from the National Anticorruption Center.
“If we make the Anticorruption Prosecutor’s Office a genuinely independent agency, it can become just like Romania’s DNA. We want the Anticorruption Prosecutor’s Office to have not only prosecutors, but also criminal investigation officers, not officers posted from the CNA, when the CNA says it also needs staff. We want to break the vicious cycle of dependency when it comes to important things related to the investigation of grand corruption. In fighting grand corruption, powers and resources must be proportionate and directed to the Anticorruption Prosecutor’s Office. Only then can we talk about results. Today we want results, but we don’t give them powers”, said the expert Ion Guzun during a talk show on Vocea Bessarabiei.
Laura Ștefan, of the Bucharest-based Expert Forum think tank, added that in order to effectively grand corruption, the subject-matter jurisdiction of the Anticorruption Prosecutor’s Office needs to be clearly delimited from that of the National Anticorruption Center.
“We propose that the Anticorruption Prosecutor’s Office be consolidated according to the Romanian DNA model and deal with grand corruption, while the rest of corruption should remain in the CNA’s scope. We’re talking about bureaucratic and systemic corruption, and the CNA should work with the territorial prosecutors’ offices. We want everyone to be responsible for a well-defined mandate, that there are no more overlaps of powers and interdependencies, because at the moment the CNA is dependent on the Anticorruption Prosecutor’s Office and vice versa. We need to make a clear delimitation. When we don’t have a clear division of powers, we don’t know who is responsible for doing or not doing the job”, said Laura Ștefan.
Also, in order to make the Anticorruption Prosecutor’s Office more efficient, the experts propose strengthening the territorial prosecutor’s offices, so that when the Anticorruption Prosecutor’s Office needs new people, it can recruit trained specialists from the provinces.