Conference “Strategies for integrity in the public function”

On October 4, 2018, the Valencian Anti-Fraud Agency, in collaboration with the IVAP, carried out its first activity open to all public employees, which was attended by an immense public from different administrations.

The Conference was dedicated to “Strategies for integrity in public management.” After the opening of the Conference by the Director of the Agency, Mr. Joan Llinares, there were conferences on “Ethics and compliance: an ethical infrastructure for institutions“, given by the professor of business ethics at the Unviersitat Jaume I, Mr. Domingo Garcia-Marzá.

The second part of the session consisted of a panel discussion on “Good Practices for Public Integrity“.

Several experts in the field participated in it, and after them, a turn of words was opened among the attendees.

This Conference has been organized by the Directorate of Prevention, Training and Documentation of this Agency.

The Valencian Anti-Fraud Agency proposes to grant the status of protected witness to persons complaining of corruption in the Draft Law on Criminal Procedure

Valencia, March 11, 2021.- The Valencian Anti-Fraud Agency has presented a set of allegations in the hearing and public information process opened by the Ministry of Justice in the process of preparing the Draft Law on Criminal Procedure.
The amendments presented by the AVAF are aimed at the new Criminal Procedure Law taking into account the scope of the work that is being carried out with the necessary transposition into the Spanish legal system of the European Directive 2019/1937 on the protection of people who report violations of Union law better known as the whistleblowers directive.
Specifically, it is proposed that the validity of the anonymous complaint be included in the criminal procedure as an instrument to facilitate the knowledge of acts constituting fraud and corruption that may occur in the public sector, as it is clear from the experience of the Agency through its Complaints Box.
Another of the amendments refers to the expansion of the complaint channels from the internal channels that are proposed in the Draft Law, to the inclusion of the external complaint channels as established in the European Directive with the aim of adapting it. to the same.
With regard to the protection of whistleblowers and alerters of facts constituting fraud and corruption crimes, the Valencian Antifraud Agency proposes an extension of the assumptions included in the Draft Law so that not only those cases that pose a risk to “the life, integrity or freedom” of the reporting and alerting persons, but also the cases in which the retaliation as a consequence of having denounced or testified implies an attack on the professional or labor rights, economic or of any other kind.
Linked to the foregoing, it is also proposed that the possibility of granting the status of protected witness be included in those cases in which there is dependence or vulnerability within the work context with respect to the investigated persons or their environment, since it is precisely in this area in which reprisals take place as a result of the complaints filed.
Another of the proposals that is made is the extension of the figure of the repentant in the criminal organization field, as reflected in the current text of the Draft Bill, to cases of corruption and fraud, since in these it is difficult to occasions that the existence of a criminal organization for the commission of crimes can be demonstrated. The inclusion of the figure of the repentant would contribute to the prosecution of fraud and corruption in the public sector with information that is key so that crimes are uncovered and accountability is demanded.
Lastly, the Valencian Anti-Fraud Agency proposes the creation of a statute of protection for the complainant or whistleblower of corruption comparable to the statute of victim. This statute would establish protection measures for the complainant and whistleblower of corruption such as the concealment of their personal data in order to guarantee the confidentiality and protection of the identity of these people, especially during the criminal investigation phase.

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Amendments presented in the process of preparing the Draft Law on Criminal Procedure

The Valencian Anti-Fraud Agency presents 11 amendments to the new Law of Transparency and Good Governance of the Valencian Community

Valencia, March 4, 2021.- The Valencian Anti-Fraud Agency has presented a total of eleven amendments to the proposal of the Law of Transparency and Good Governance of the Valencian Community that is currently being debated in the Valencian Parliament.
The first four amendments, all of them referring to article 54, seek a more complete, detailed and coherent regulation with the current regulations of the principles that should govern the actions of the people at the service of the public administrations receiving the Law.
It is proposed to introduce the principles of exemplary, neutrality and good administration, as well as the necessary accountability not only before the internal control bodies but also before external control bodies, in order to achieve a complete supervision of public policies and their management. All of this would give rise to an integrity system that generates the trust of citizens in the functioning of the institutions of the Valencian Community.
It is also intended to extend the scope of operation of the principle of public participation to the processes of elaboration of the norms and not only in relation to the elaboration of public policies, which would facilitate a real and effective participation in public affairs of the group of the society.
Another of the amendments contemplates the possibility that, in the event of potentially constitutive fraud or corruption situations, it may be alerted by making use of the mailbox that this Valencian Anti-Fraud Agency has in operation for this purpose, to enable its adaptation to Directive 2019/1937 of the European Parliament and of the Council of October 23, 2019, regarding the protection of persons who report on Union law, in relation to the institutional regulations of this Agency.
Regarding the regime of incompatibilities, the necessary express reference to the conflict of interest between public and private interests is proposed, both during the exercise of the position, given the need for the former to prevail in decision-making processes, and after its cessation, in order to stop the well-known “revolving doors”.
The AVAF also proposes, in relation to the policies for accepting gifts, that each administration specify in their respective codes of ethics and conduct their limits, specifying, in terms of uses and customs, the maximum thresholds, as well as the main obligations. notification, return, registration and advertising of gifts.
In relation to the elaboration of these codes, the AVAF intends, in its amendment to article 55.1, to lay the foundations of the common ethical content for all public administrations that serves as a framework on which each of the administrations can subsequently adapt it to its special characteristics. and circumstances. Likewise, it is proposed that these codes apply both to people who occupy high positions and to the group of people who work in public administrations.
In its amendment to article 56, the Agency proposes to complete, with different elements and tools, the institutional integrity system of the Valencian Community to be promoted by the Consell, offering to advise on its design and implementation.
Among these elements and tools, the following stand out: the identification of risks contrary to public integrity and their contrast through a self-diagnosis to be carried out by each organization; or the inclusion of minimum contents of the prevention plans, urging their mandatory adaptation and approval by each entity (seeking administrative collaboration for the purpose of the provincial councils to assist local entities with less than 20,000 inhabitants).
All this, with the adequate provision of training actions in matters of public integrity and under the supervision of the ethical infrastructure by the different control bodies, such as the Agency.
Finally, the Agency proposes to complete article 63.2 with the main elements to be taken into account to promote in each administration the culture of planning and evaluation of public policies and their management.

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Resolution of February 25, 2021, of the Director of the Valencian Anti-Fraud Agency: Approval of the amendments to the Law of Transparency and Good Governance of the Valencian Community.