The Sindicatura de Comptes and the Agència de Prevenció i Lluita contra el Frau i la Corrupció sign a collaboration protocol to improve the achievement of their common goals

Valencia, April 27 2020.– The Catalan Ombudsman, Vicent Cucarella, and the director of the Valencian Antifrau Agency, Joan Antoni Llinares, have signed a functional collaboration protocol to improve compliance with the objectives of common interest of both institutions. Thus, within the regulatory framework of application, they may act jointly in those cases in which, through mutual collaboration, they can increase the incidence of their respective activities in the prevention of fraud and corruption.

In this sense, it must be said that the two institutions exercise different but complementary functions that can be coordinated for this purpose. The Comptes Sindicatura is a statutory institution that exercises the supervisory function of the financial activity of the Valencian public sector, while the Valencian Antifrau Agency is entrusted with the functions of prevention and fight against fraud and corruption, through investigation and other actions other than inspection. However, this delimitation of competence is not an obstacle for each of the institutions to contribute to the better fulfillment of the functions attributed to the other.

Procedure of action

As for the action procedure that is established, a coordination committee has been created that will meet during the third four-month period of each year, in order to submit to the two institutions a joint proposal of certain actions to be carried out during the financial year. Next to improve fraud and corruption prevention.

By means of this protocol, the Comptes Syndicate may send to the Antifrau Agency the complaints it receives in which possible legal breaches are revealed, in order for it to carry out the appropriate investigations, all without prejudice to the audit function. of the Receivership and of the reports that, as a result of it, must be sent to the Court of Auditors and its Office of the Prosecutor. In addition, if the supervisory body is aware of the existence of people who denounce or report facts or behaviors that may constitute fraud or corruption and suffer reprisals as a result, it will notify the Agència Valenciana Antifrau of this circumstance so that this grants them, where appropriate, the protection that by law corresponds to them.

Satisfaction on both sides

The representatives of both institutions have been satisfied with this new path that they are undertaking together. As the Síndic Major de Comptes, Vicent Cucarella, has indicated, “this protocol shows an adequate collaboration between both institutions, already provided for in the respective laws and regulations, which benefits the public sector and the public.” For his part, the director of the Antifrau Agency, Joan Antoni Llinares, has pointed out in this regard: “The risks of corruption increase in times of crisis. Collaboration between institutions and control bodies is more essential than ever for the optimal management of situations as extraordinary as the ones we are experiencing. The fight against the Covid-19 pandemic can also be an opportunity to make a qualitative leap in integrity and good governance policies.”

In addition to the fraud and corruption prevention functions, this collaboration protocol will also serve to share knowledge and experiences in this area, to promote institutional integrity and transparency, as well as to share work methodologies. In this sense, the text also contemplates that training activities, internal and external, or any others that allow achieving objectives of common interest can be carried out jointly.

Official Press Release.


The Valencian Antifraud Agency presents its 2019 Activity Report

The Valencian Anti-Fraud Agency presented yesterday, March 30, 2020, in the registry of the Valencian Courts, within the legally established period, the Annual Report of its activity corresponding to the 2019 financial year.

At a particularly difficult time for society as a whole, in which all attention is focused on maintaining the health of the population as a whole, it becomes even more important, if possible, not to lower our guard in monitoring those attitudes , facts and conducts that transgress the border of the law and public ethics and originate fraud and corruption. In this spirit, this Report is presented without any loss of energy and effort that the Agency puts into its daily work. In recent weeks, thanks to the implementation of telematic procedures, the Agency continues to develop its functions and purposes, and in compliance with them, it has prepared and presented the Report for the year 2019 to the Valencian Parliament.

In this document, the director of the Agency, Joan Antoni Llinares, gives an account of the actions carried out during the past year in the scope of its functions. The presentation of the Report is prior to the appearance of the director before the Commission of Economy, Budgets and Finance of the Corts, which may be carried out once the regular period of sessions resumes.

The Report includes, among other matters, an important task of classifying the complaints filed with the Agency, according to their subjective scope, communication channel, territory of concern, material scope, type and gender. A stabilization can be seen in the number of complaints filed (168 in 2019, compared to 181 in 2018 and 35 in 2017), and the verification of the massive use of the complaints mailbox (76% of the total of those made), as an anonymous tool and sure that the Agency makes available to all civil servants and citizens. Regarding their material scope, this focuses on human resources management and public contracting, with 40% and 25% of total complaints, respectively, which represents two-thirds of all complaints made.

During 2019, ten requests were processed to grant the status of a complainant, having granted said status on five occasions. The requests come mainly from civil servants of the Local Administration, but also from the Administration of the Generalitat, linked public sector and public law corporations. So far, the Agency has granted protection status to twenty people, with respect to whom it has followed up ensuring that they do not suffer reprisals as a result of the complaints filed, since in 2019 acts of harassment and harassment have been common. labor, appearances in courts and tribunals in defense of the general interest, negative economic repercussions that cause the necessary defense of their rights or forced changes of jobs.

The Agency has also made a significant effort in 2019 in terms of prevention and training, both internal and external, developing training materials that have been taken to the students of Valencian universities with two of which, the University of Valencia and the Cardenal University Herrera CEU, agreements have already been signed. Collaboration with the IVAP for the training of civil servants has continued. Likewise, circulars have been issued with recommendations addressed to elected officials in matters of public ethics, compliance with the law and prevention of corruption.

Three important milestones mark 2019, which are the approval of the Operating Regulations and internal regime of the Agency, the constitution of the Participation Council, an advisory and consultation body of the Valencian Anti-Fraud Agency and the approval of the Directive (EU) 2019 / 1937 of the European Parliament and of the Council, for the protection of persons who report infringements of Union law (whistleblowers).

From the Report, the conclusions and final reflections stand out. In them, they talk about the bankruptcy of objectivity and impartiality in the exercise of public functions, the need to carry out adequate institutional planning, the maintenance of integrity throughout the public procurement cycle and various strategies aimed at companies. public, the adequate management of human resources in the administrations and public sector, measures for the compensation of damages and losses caused to the common good, the transparency in the expenses and subsidies to the political parties, and finally the imperative need of transposition in Spain of the aforementioned Directive (EU) 2019/1937 for the protection of whistleblowers.

Complete report is available here

Press note is available here

For more information you can reach or by phone 962 787 450

València, 31 de marzo de 2020

Fecha de publicación: 31/03/2020

Reflections of the Valencian Antifraud Agency before the state of alarm declared by the COVID-19 pandemic

In exercise of the legally attributed functions, of advising and formulating proposals and recommendations in matters of integrity, public ethics and prevention of corruption, the Director of the Valencian Anti-Fraud Agency has issued a resolution, dated March 27, which incorporates a set of reflections on the emergency measures adopted to date, given the state of alarm declared by the COVID-19 pandemic and its management.

Every crisis, no matter how devastating it may be (such as the one that, unfortunately, we are experiencing with the expansion of the international pandemic known as COVID-19 “coronavirus”) provides opportunities for action and learning that help prevent its recurrence or minimize its consequences. However, it is also very likely that corrupt behaviors to obtain profits from this situation will increase. Therefore, it is essential to maintain the appropriate procedures and methods that allow its detection and control.

Public money must reach the people and entities that really need it soon and this requires a rapid and transparent management of the procedures that should not be an obstacle so that we also take all the measures at our disposal to minimize incidents that may cause risks. of corruption.

In this regard, it is recalled that the Council of Europe has declared that essential protections of the rule of law, parliamentary oversight, independent judicial control and effective domestic remedies, must be maintained even during a state of emergency.

In the face of exceptional measures that put high amounts of public funds at stake, as well as the necessary management with the maximum speed and transparency, an efficient control must be added (especially internal, within each Administration). Consequently, it is appreciated that the previous controls should have been maintained and the reasons for decisions already taken regarding the replacement of the intervening function by permanent financial control is not understood.

The recommendation states that, in the situation of a state of alarm, the measures to be adopted must be those that are indispensable and must be applied in a proportionate manner. It is a priority that emergency powers are exercised only for the purposes for which they were granted. Likewise, political decisions and the ways of carrying them out must be transparent and visible to all citizens, in order to be accountable for this management.

Specifically, the reflections on this recommendation focus on exceptional measures of an economic nature issued until March 27 and, very especially, to those whose management corresponds mainly to local entities. With them, the aim is to provide suggestions to the Community’s public servants that allow their management with maximum efficiency and, in turn, legal certainty. Thus, in accordance with the regulatory framework and the interpretive instructions formulated, the recommendation incorporates a set of proposals on the processing of grants, issues related to public procurement and on the importance of the current context of defining essential services, with a reminder end of adopting also precautions against the risk of cyberattacks.

The recommendation highlights that the professionalism and good work of the public servants of the whole public sector of the Valencian Community, is now of vital importance and responsibility. It is essential that we actively participate, in a creative and innovative way, in the difficult decision-making processes and in the subsequent management of these measures, for the real and effective achievement of the intended objectives with the approved regulations, actively helping to manage the policies public measures and the necessary measures to mitigate the health, social and economic crisis but, it is insisted, without renouncing the due controls, deterrents from irregularities constituting fraud and / or corruption.

Finally, it is considered that, now more than ever, all Public Administrations must rise to the occasion, communicating, coordinating among ourselves to be able to give agile responses to the needs of our Community, helping each other generously, sharing our knowledge. and reciprocal experiences on the way we apply and control measures to contain and mitigate the perverse effects of COVID-19.

In this sense, it is indicated that consultations, suggestions or experiences that are carried out in public entities can be formulated and it is recalled that the Agency has fully operational the complaints box, for those who observe irregularities contrary to the general interest.

Valencia, March 30 of 2020.