At today's session, the Council of the Agency for the Prevention of Corruption discussed the Report on the Work of the APC for the first quarter of 2021. It was stated that in the reporting period all activities envisaged by the APC’s Work Plan for 2021 were implemented.
In the field of preventing conflicts of interest and respecting restrictions in the performance of public functions, 52 Opinions on the existence of conflicts of interest and restrictions in the performance of public functions were given, after which four resignations to public functions were submitted. Additionally, one resignation was submitted for membership in the governing body of the legal entity in the ownership of the municipality.
As of March 31, a total of 7,232 reports on income and assets had been submitted, of which 77.5% related to public officials, 21.3% to civil servants, 0.76% to notaries, and 0.43% to public executors.
In the reporting period, a total of 173 reports were checked. An additional check, concerning 20 officials selected in accordance with the vulnerability of the subject / function to corruption, will be initiated in the second quarter, while in connection with the additional check that started in 2020, in the first quarter of 2021, proceedings were initiated against 19 public officials and all are in progress.
A total of 30 gifts were reported by eight authorities. Five authorities reported a total of 23 sponsorships, and 83 authorities a total of 1,291 donations.
Considering that local elections were held in 2021 in the municipalities of Nikšić and Herceg Novi, one of the priorities in the work of the APC in the first quarter was the control of the election campaign.
The control of 2,099 submitted reports of subjects to the Law on Financing of Political Entities and Election Campaigns on regular work and during the election campaign in the municipalities of Nikšić and Herceg Novi was performed. In order to submit the report on time, as well as in the case of observed technical irregularities, the Agency sent 79 warnings to the state authorities and political entities, after which the irregularities were eliminated.
81 controls of compliance with prohibitions and restrictions during the election campaign were performed. In all cases where violations of the Law have been established, the Agency has initiated or will initiate misdemeanor proceedings.
In the reporting period, there were 40 whistleblower reports, of which 12.5% (5) were submitted anonymously, while five proceedings were initiated on reports in which the existence of a threat to the public interest was established.
In the reporting period, the Agency initiated one ex officio procedure, which is ongoing. From the previous period, there were three more ex officio proceedings, of which two established the existence of the threat to the public interest, one was forwarded to the Special State Prosecutor's Office, while one is ongoing.
During the first quarter of 2021, a request for the protection of whistleblowers was submitted and the procedure is ongoing. In the reporting period, the Agency conducted and completed one procedure on the request for protection of whistleblowers from the previous period. In that case, Agency issued an Opinion in which it found that damage had been caused to the whistleblower.
By March 31, the Agency had submitted 63 reports on the implementation of the integrity plan in 2020.
Approvals for lobbying activities for one natural person and one legal entity have been renewed.
In the reporting period, the Agency issued an Opinion on the Draft Law on Amendments to the Law on the State Prosecutor's Office, as well as an Opinion on the Draft Law on the Prosecutor's Office for Organized Crime and Corruption.
During the first three months of this year, 26 administrative proceedings were initiated against public officials. A total of 37 proceedings were completed (including cases from the previous period), and violations of the Law were found in 86.5% of proceedings.
Due to violations of anti-corruption laws within its competence, the Agency initiated 197 misdemeanor proceedings in the first quarter of 2021, of which 180 were completed (including proceedings on requests from previous years and executed orders). Sanctions were imposed in 89% of cases. The total amount of fines, including realized warrants, is € 32,215.
The number of misdemeanor warrants issued by the Agency in the first quarter of 2021 is significantly higher compared to the entire 2018, 2019 and 2020.