Management of petitioning system leaves to be desired, monitoring report

The legal framework concerning the petitioning system at the central public authorities that was reviewed in 2018 is complex and difficult to understand. The instruction on secretariat work concerning petitions is outdated and deficient. The management of the petitioning system leaves to be desired given particularly the lack or non-updating of internal documents concerning work with petitions, says a monitoring report compiled by Transparency International-Moldova.

In a news conference at IPN, TI-Moldova expert Ianina Spinei said the monitoring covered 12 central public authorities, including for subordinate entities with an increased risk of corruption. The monitoring process was conducted during July – September 2020, 2018-2019 being the reference period. As part of the process, they asked for official information about the functioning of the petitioning system from the monitored authorities and the State Chancellery. There were analyzed the data from websites concerning the submission of petitions and audiences, used the mystery client technique and compared the information obtained from different sources. Depending on the findings, the authorities were given scores ranging from 0 to 4.

Better results were obtained by the Ministry of Justice (3.2), the Customs Service (3.1), the Ministry of the Interior and the Border Police (by 2.9). Poorer results were achieved by the Ministry of Agriculture, Regional Development and Environment (1.7) and the Ministry of Education, Culture and Research (1.3).

The monitors ascertained that the reports on the examination of petitions and audiences are not published. Also, the personnel empowered to record and examine petitions were insufficiently trained.

Even if the entities were to have internal regulations for keeping a record of petitions and having meetings with persons, only 2/3 of the entities said they have such regulations, but most of these weren’t updated. Some of the institutions said they abide by the provisions of the Administrative Code in this regard. It wasn’t clear if they have or do not have internal regulations.

According to the monitored entities, in 2018-2019 they recorded about 53,000 petitions. The re-lodged petitions represented 0.6% of the petitions registered in the period, while the anonymous petitions – 0.7%. The number of re-lodged petitions was higher at the Ministry Education, Culture and Research (3.6% of all recorded petitions) and at the Border Police (5.3%). Even if the entities enable to submit petitions online, only 4.4% of the received petitions were lodged this way.

The event was organized in the framework of the project “Monitoring Anticorruption Policies in Central Public Authorities” that is supported by the National Endowment for Democracy.

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