On Thursday, March 24, 2022, the Valencian Anti-Fraud Agency intervened in the conference organized by the General Directorate of the Public Sector that took place in the auditorium of the Administrative City 9 d’Octubre of València.
The day was followed by 70 people in person and more than 300 connected through the GVA channel.
AVAF’s interventions focused on the analysis of the legal framework in matters of public integrity by Irene Bravo, head of the Prevention Service, and the need to have general regulations for complaint mailboxes in public sector organizations, through the intervention of Gustavo Segura, Director of Analysis and Research of the Agency.
Irene Bravo detailed the obligations established for public administrations in Order HFP/1030/2021, of September 29, which configures the management system of the Recovery, Transformation and Resilience Plan, such as, for example, the declaration institutional, DACI, risk self-assessment, as well as the separation of management, control and payment functions.
In this sense, the AVAF advocates for the specific control of the management of public funds against any type of irregularity with the aim of protecting the public service mission of the public administration and for the development of fraud indicators and alerts, red flags, which act as a risk detection tool in organizations.
The benefits of integrity plans for the instrumental public sector were the subject of special attention, highlighting the need to detect the areas of activities and procedures likely to incur risks, and promote strategic planning practices, among others.
The content of the AVAF Guide was highlighted, aimed at building a public integrity system, reinforcing citizen trust, which goes beyond recommendations for proper management of European funds and is aimed at improving the integrity mechanisms of the Public Management.
Finally, Irene Bravo exposed some of the specific risks that can develop in the instrumental public sector in general and in terms of contracting, as well as in the management of human resources and subsidies.
In another order of things, the Director of Analysis and Investigation has focused his intervention on the complaint mailboxes and information systems, and has done so by comparing Directive 2019/1937 and the draft law approved by the Council of Ministers of the past March 4, 2022 by which the transposition of the same to the Spanish legal system begins.
The preliminary draft establishes the possibility of submitting anonymous communications, this being the highest level of protection that exists for the whistleblower/informant in terms of their identity (art. 7.3 APL).
The existence of a complaints mailbox is imperative for all public sector entities with their own legal personality. Among the issues of the bill, it is worth highlighting:
- The preference in the use of the internal or external complaints box will be marked by the whistleblower, with his decision when communicating a risk of irregularity.
- The administrative body or governing body of each entity and obligated body will be responsible for the implementation of the internal information system, after consultation with the legal representation of the workers (art.5 APL).
- The management of internal information systems may be carried out within the entity or body itself or by going to an external third party. (art.6 APL) All internal information channels will be integrated into the internal information system.
- The States may provide that several municipalities share internal complaint channels or be managed by joint municipal authorities, provided that these shared internal channels are differentiated and autonomous from the external complaint channels, requiring national regulatory development.
- The draft bill regulates that municipalities with less than 10,000 inhabitants may share internal information systems, investigations and procedures, both among themselves and with any other public administrations in the territory of their autonomous community. (art. 14 APL).
The conference aimed at the heads, managers and internal auditors of the organizations that make up the Valencian instrumental public sector, was inaugurated with the presence and interventions of the Minister of Finance and Economic Model, Vicent Soler, and were coordinated by Isabel Castelló, director General Public Sector and Heritage.
The session was closed by the director of the Agency, Joan Llinares, who thanked all the interventions in the morning and their importance in advancing prevention measures in such important matters as cybersecurity, labor regulations, the fight against corruption through public integrity and complaint mailboxes.