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Closing of the “Fighting Public Procurement Criminality. An operational approach” project

With 17 partners, “Fighting Public Procurement Criminality. An operational approach” was the most complex project that Freedom House Romania has managed so far. The project was concluded on Friday, March 27th 2015, with the closing conference and the release of a guide on public procurement both in print and in digital version.

During the 15 seminars of the project, a total of 396 magistrates and judicial police officers were formed. The closing conference also marked the release of the “Guide for practitioners in public procurement”, which was elaborated within the scope of the project, together with its digitalized version, developed with the help of Learn Forward, available at ghidachizitii.lfwd.io.  

The e-book format allows the guide to be constantly updated with the latest changes in legislative and judicial practice. The guide will be further developed within another project - „Legislaţie, economie, competiţie şi administraţie”  - Law, Economy, Competition and Administration, which will approach the topic of public procurement fraud with an emphasis on prevention. The target group of magistrates will be supplemented by civil servants that work within the investment and procurement departments of county councils, municipalities, as well as of other contracting authorities.

The closing conference enjoyed the delivery of speeches by representatives of partner institutions:
- Cristina GUSETH – Director, Freedom House Romania
- Bogdan GABOR – Vice-President of the Superior Council of Magistracy
- Nistor CĂLIN – Deputy Chief Prosecutor of The National Anticorruption Directorate
- Bogdan LICU – First Deputy of the General Prosecutor of Romania
- Cătălin IONIȚĂPolice Chief Commissioner, Director of the Direction for Investigating the Economic Criminality, the General Inspectorate of Romanian Police
- Elena GALAN - General Director, Inspection of Integrity, National Integrity Agency
- Alin ANTOCHI – Secretary of state, Ministry of Justice.

Ligia POPESCU, lawyer, partner at Wolf Theiss, held a presentation on the business environment’s perspective on the main risks in public procurement procedures.

The second part of the conference began with the intervention of Ms. Chantal CUTAJAR, who is the Deputy Mayor of Strasbourg responsible with public procurement mayor’s office, Professor at Strasbourg University and a reputed international expert in money laundering and investigation of fraud.

A debate on the incorporation of the new EU legislation on public procurement in the Romanian framework followed. Bogdan Paul DOBRIN, president of the National Authority for Regulating and Monitoring Public Procurement, Silviu POPA – member of the Board of the National Council for Solving Complaints and Dominic DUMITRU, General Director of the Unit for Coordination and Verification of Public Procurement, all three being representatives of the most relevant institutions within the working group for the implementation of the new directives, offered the institutional perspective.

Lawyers that conduct their activity in companies where procurement procedures take place joined tthe debate and brought to the table the perspective of the business environment in what the legislative changes are concerned.

The debate resulted in the conclusion that Romanian authorities will include four distinctive laws on classic procurement, concessions, utilities and remedie. The drafts of these four laws are to be formally subjected to the public debate, starting June 2015.

The closing conference was organized with the support of Wolters Kluwer Romania, which is part of the reputed multinational group Wolters Kluwer.

The project was 90% financed through the European Commission program “Prevention of and Fight against Crime” with a total grant of 474.620 euro, to which the financial support of the Embassy of the Netherlands and Great Britain in Romania was added. The remaining 10% was covered by Freedom House Romania, Expert Forum, EurActiv, Superior Council of Magistracy, Ministry of Justice and Public Ministry.

The conference marked the conclusion of the two-year project during which there were trained: 138 Romanian judges, 6 judges from the Republic of Moldova, 58 prosecutors of tribunals and courts of appeal, 41 prosecutors, judicial police officers and experts of the National Anticorruption Directorate, 153 police officers of the General Inspectorate of the Romanian Police. Also, other stakeholders such as representatives of the Romanian authorities, European Commission, business and diplomatic environment, experts in procurement, lawyers and journalists were an active part of the events.

More information is available at:http://www.freedomhouse.ro/ISEC/en/index.php/about/the-project