Man and local police, the profile of the person protected by the Valencian Anti-Fraud Agency

València, September 24, 2020.– In its fight against fraud and corruption, the AVAF has a fundamental tool, the Statute for the Protection of persons who report corruption, a statute that has been granted to a total of 21 people.

The objective of this Statute is to avoid harassment, threats and intimidation, in short, reprisals, which on many occasions people who complain of corruption suffer both in the professional, family and personal spheres as a result of exposing irregular actions.

Since the Agency was put into operation 3 years ago, a total of 35 people have requested to benefit from the Protection Statute, of which 21 applications have been estimated, some of them rejected due to lack of requirements and another 11 are in the processing phase.

If we analyze the profile of the person protected by the AVAF we would be talking mostly of men since they are 67% of the people protected compared to 33% who are women.

Regarding the employment situation of these people, 71% are career civil servants and the majority belong to the local police group.

It is precisely against local public administrations where the largest number of complaints filed with the AVAF are concentrated. In 2019, the number of complaints against these administrations accounted for 61% of the total complaints filed.

In most cases, the protected persons had filed complaints against local administrations in the province of Alicante, mainly on matters related to public procurement and personnel management.

By monopolizing the local police group, the largest number of complaints are focused on issues such as remuneration and inappropriate overtime pay, performance of functions with misuse of power or irregularities in the selective processes both for access to public function and to the promotion.

The moment in which the person requests the protection of the AVAF is not as might be thought when the investigations are being carried out by the AVAF, but once the facts have been transferred to judicial instances, the existence of irregularities that may constitute crime. 95% of the requests for protection are made when the facts are in the investigation phase in courts and tribunals, with open criminal proceedings, which is why the complainants suffer the persecution of those who are being investigated or their environment, they are the retaliators.

The Valencian Anti-Fraud Agency is currently the only authority in Spain that offers protection to people who report fraud and corruption within public administrations.

The transposition into the Spanish legal system of the European Directive 2019/2017 known as the “Whistleblowers Directive” on the protection of people who report violations of European Union law is pending.

This directive came into force in December 2019 and its importance lies in the fact that thanks to it, protection and legal advice will be offered for the first time in our country to those people who report, among other crimes, fraud, corruption, tax evasion or damage to the environment. environment.

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The Valencian Antifraud Agency recommends to the Valencia City Council improvements in the participatory process “DecidimVLC”

Valencia, September 18, 2020.- The Valencian Anti-Fraud Agency has sent the Valencia City Council a recommendation that compiles a set of proposals and good practices to improve the citizen participation process known as “DecidimVLC”.

The recommendation, which is not binding, was motivated by an anonymous complaint through the complaint mailbox in which it was alerted of a possible fraud in the citizen participation procedure for the elaboration of the participatory budgets through which they are decided some investments for the city of Valencia.

Although the AVAF has not observed fraud or corruption in the situation described in the complaint, it has activated a procedure to detect and verify possible aspects susceptible to improvement or good practices, with full respect for local autonomy and without prejudging any irregular actions.

Once certain aspects of the project have been contrasted with the Valencia City Council, the Director of the AVAF formulates a set of recommendations with the purpose of improving transparency and citizen participation in the procedure for preparing the municipal budget (“DecidimVLC”).

The AVAF recommendation includes up to 10 prevention mechanisms that in practice involve implementing a culture of ethics and public integrity.

Among the proposed mechanisms are:

• The need to justify the discrepancies between the amount assigned to this process and the one that appears in the municipal budget.
• Provide a permanent link visible from the City Council website to maximize citizen participation.
• Intensify the publicity campaign about the process.
• Use spaces for face-to-face or telematic deliberation.
• Publish the results of the participatory process and the monitoring of its execution in an open and reusable format.
• Consider in the design and monitoring of the process the proportionality between the number of votes necessary for the selection of investment projects to be executed and the increase in the percentage of effective citizen participation.
• Properly plan the temporal extension of the feasibility analysis phase and increase pedagogical work.
• Include in the regulatory bases of the participatory process some mechanism (such as, for example, responsible declarations, with updating commitments) that allows the detection and subsequent control of the possible existence of conflicts of interest.
• Plan the process of citizen participation in municipal budgets in an integrated / coordinated manner with the planning of the rest of the organization’s areas.
• Enable for future participatory processes a specific channel for complaints or complaints from citizens when they detect any dysfunction in the process.

From the outset, the Valencia City Council has received and valued the recommendation made by the AVAF and has accepted to assess the incorporation of the bulk of the recommendations proposed in the successive participation processes.

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Fecha de publicación: 18/09/2020

The Junta de Castilla y León looks to the AVAF as a model for its future anti-corruption agency

València, September 15, 2020.- The Deputy Minister of Transparency and Quality of Services of the Junta de Castilla y León, Fernando Navarro, together with the General Director of Citizen Services and two inspectors of services, have met electronically with the Director of the AVAF, Joan Llinares, as well as the people who are in charge of legal affairs and analysis and investigation

The reason for the meeting was to continue with the collaboration that began a few months ago when the Castilian-Leon government began to work on the legislative initiative for the creation of a future anti-corruption agency. On that occasion, both the Deputy Counselor and the General Director visited the Agency in person.

The project is currently in the approval phase by the Board before taking it to parliament. For this reason, they wanted to know first-hand the operation of the analysis and investigation area, how the statute of protection of the complainants works and other aspects related to the personnel structure or the distribution of budget items.

For his part, Joan Llinares pointed out that “from the AVAF we are willing to collaborate with all those administrations that want to set up anti-fraud and corruption agencies and we do not hesitate to share our experience and knowledge with them.”

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