At today's session of the Council of the Agency for the Prevention of Corruption, the APC’s Work Plan for 2022 was presented.
The plan includes 13 key objectives formulated in accordance with the normative framework governing the work of the Agency, which elaborates the activities of the Agency planned for 2022, expected outcomes of these activities, result indicators and time frame for implementation of activities, participants and responsible persons.
In terms of content, in addition to regular activities carried out by the competent departments in order to achieve these goals, this year's Plan incorporates obligations arising from the APC’s Strategic Plan 2022-2024, the recommendations of the Working Group for collecting data on violations and sanctions (most of which are contained in Strategic Plan), as well as what we have identified as necessary based on the analysis of the results of the Report on the work of the APC in 2021.
This year's Plan is more substantial - all goals have new activities (a total of 40 new activities) or additionally concretized and expanded result indicators (almost 90 new / changed indicators), in order to better measure the achieved results.
In addition to regular activities in the field of verification of income and assets, and in order to improve the efficiency of the work and implementation of anti-corruption mechanisms, it is planned to initiate amendments to the Ministry of Justice, Human and Minority Rights regarding changes to the Form of Reports on Income and Assets, as well as the Rulebook on the content and manner of keeping the register of income and assets of public officials.
Taking into account the Strategic Plan of the APC 2022 - 2024, as well as the recommendations of the Working Group for Misdemeanors, the Agency will intensify activities supporting the subjects to the Law who are obliged to submit Reports, in order to learn more about legal obligations and remove potential ambiguities, especially in the context of the reporting process.
Bearing in mind that in 2022 local elections are planned to be held in most local self-governments, the capacities of the Agency will be largely focused on performing tasks from that part of its competencies. In this context, in the area of control over the financing of political entities and election campaigns, activities related to informing the public and subjects to the Law will be intensified.
In the field of acting on whistleblower reports and whistleblower protection, in addition to regular activities, the Agency will prepare a detailed analysis of the need and manner of harmonization of the Law on Prevention of Corruption with the EU Whistleblower Protection Directive 2019/1937, in order to further improve the legal framework, more adequate whistleblower protection and preconditions for a more effective fight against corruption.
In the part dealing with the corruption proofing of legislation, the Plan envisages the improvement of the Methodology for assessing the susceptibility of legal regulations to corruption, especially in the part related to determining the list of risks, all with the aim of easier and more objective identification of future regulations that would be the subject of the Agency's analysis.
In accordance with the recommendation of the Working Group for Misdemeanors, the Agency will initiate meetings with the presidents of misdemeanor courts in 2022, in order to point out the effects of imposing sentences below the legal minimum and uneven sentencing policy, as well as the need to impose higher fines for perpetrators. who have previously been convicted in the same case, and the imposition of the maximum sentence for persons who do so frequently.
In the field of international cooperation, the Agency will, in addition to activities arising from its membership in international organizations and active participation in the process of Montenegro's accession to the EU, in 2022, strengthen cooperation with international organizations and initiatives, but also institutions, i.e. agencies dealing with the prevention and fight against corruption.
The need to significantly increase activities in 2022 to raise the level of public awareness about the harmfulness of corruption and public awareness of the competencies, work and results of the Agency, through the intensification of information campaigns, was recognized. Also, educational activities for various target groups will be intensified and a continuous presence in the media will be provided, in order to inform the general and professional public about the results achieved in the anti-corruption field. In this context, the Agency's cooperation with other bodies, non-governmental and private sectors, as well as the media will continue.
In 2022, the Agency will be committed to continuously strengthening its institutional, human and technical potentials, which are a prerequisite for efficient and effective performance of tasks within the scope of its competencies.
In the context of strengthening the technical capacities of the APC, it is planned to design a new information system, in order to overcome the identified shortcomings and improve the functionality of information and technical support for performing daily work activities within the Agency.
At the proposal of one member of the Council, it was decided to adjourn the session and to resume work on March 1, 2022 at 9 o'clock.