he AVAF and INAP strengthen their training collaboration with the 5th edition, the second in a single year, of “Prevention of corruption in public administrations”

#AVAFTraining

Valencia.- June 10, 2024

The Training Service of the Valencian Anti-Fraud Agency (AVAF) teaches for the first time two editions in the same year of the course “Prevention of corruption in public administrations” in collaboration with the National Institute of Public Administration (INAP)

Since October 2021, the Valencian Anti-Fraud Agency has developed and tutored this course that INAP includes among its training offer, within the continuous professional development program, in the online mode.

The very high demand for the training managed by the AVAF in recent editions, with 1,063 applications in this year 2024, led to the decision to increase the places offered in the two editions of the course held this year, from 60 to 70, in each one. . Which meant, for the first time, that the Training Service assumed the holding of two courses in a single semester.

Anselm Bodoque, head of the Training Service and acting director of the AVAF, as well as Pilar Moreno and Marita Oliver, training technicians of the Agency, form the teaching team of the AVAF course, creator and facilitator of this 15-hour course.

In this fifth edition, held between May 20 and June 10, 2024, work has been done through modules where students have reflected through debate forums and demonstrated the knowledge acquired through questionnaires. As a final task, they have provided a reflection on the risks and threats to integrity that may arise in the public institution in which they provide their services.

The active participation of the students, from the General State Administration, the regional and local administration and the state public sector, has materialized through weekly synchronous sessions. Through these meetings, international and national regulations regarding the fight against corruption have been clarified, as well as the work of the authorities in charge of fraud prevention, the IV Open Government Plan and Law 2/2023, of February 20, regulator of the protection of people who report regulatory infractions and the fight against corruption, among other matters.

 

The National Institute of Public Administration, an international benchmark in the training of personnel employed in the service of Spanish public administrations, and the Valencian Anti-Fraud Agency, are moving forward together in achieving a culture of public integrity in the Institutions of our country.

The Agency participates in the delivery of the Infoparticipa 2023 Awards of the Observatory of Governance, Transparency and CSR of the CEU UCH University

València, June 5, 2024.- The CEU Cardenal Herrera University (CEU UCH) presented the Infoparticipa Seals for transparency and participation in local public communication in the Valencian Community, corresponding to the year 2023.

The city councils of Onda, València, Elx, Gandia, Dénia, Santa Pola and Rafelbunyol and the three Provincial Councils of Alicante, Valencia and Castellón have complied during the last year with the indicators required for the granting of these transparency recognitions, applying the methodology of the Infoparticipa Map.

The rector of the CEU UCH University, Higinio Marín, the general director of Transparency and Participation of the Generalitat Valenciana, José Salvador Tárrega, and the acting director of the Valencian Antifrau Agency, Anselm Bodoque, presided over the ceremony and delivery of the Seals, in the Auditorium of the University.

The Infoparticipa Seals are awarded in the Valencian Community by the Observatory of Governance, Transparency and CSR of the CEU UCH, together with the ComSET Research Group (Sound, Strategic Communication and Transparency) of the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (UAB), following the methodology of the Infoparticipa Map. It integrates the results of the analysis of 52 indicators of transparency and participation on the websites of the 542 city councils and the three provincial councils of the Valencian Community, analysed by researchers from this Observatory of the CEU UCH, for the sixth consecutive year.

On behalf of the three provincial entities recognized in this edition, the Infopartipa 2023 Seals have been collected at the headquarters of the CEU UCH University, the provincial deputy for Transparency and Printing of the Provincial Council of Alicante, Cristina García Garri; the Deputy Delegate for Open Government and Institutional Integrity of the Provincial Council of Valencia, Amparo Folgado Tonga; and the Provincial Deputy for Participation, Transparency and Youth of the Provincial Council of Castellón, María Tormo Casañ.

On behalf of the municipalities distinguished with the Inforparticipa Seal, the awards were collected by Juan Carlos Caballero, Councillor for Transparency, Information and Defence of Citizenship of the Valencia City Council; Vicente Bou Montoliu, Deputy Mayor of the City Council of Onda; the mayor of Rafelbunyol, Fran López; the head of the Informatics and Communications Area of the City of Gandia; Iván Parreño; the mayor of Elx, Pablo Ruz; the mayor of Dénia, Vicent Grimalt; and the councillor of the City Council of Santa Pola, José Pedro Martínez González, responsible, among others, for the area of Transparency.

37 mentions to promote transparency

In this edition, the Observatory of Governance, Transparency and CSR of the CEU UCH has also awarded mentions to 37 municipalities in the Valencian Community with high compliance figures in the indicators analysed with the Infoparticipa Map methodology: more than 50% compliance in municipalities with more than 50,000 inhabitants; more than 40 per cent in municipalities with between 10,000 and 50,000 inhabitants; and more than 30% in municipalities with fewer than 10,000 inhabitants.

The municipalities recognised with this mention are those of Castellón de la Plana, Alcoi, Vila Joiosa, Gata de Gorgos, Callosa de Segura, Xirivella, Peñíscola, Aldaia, La Vall d’uixó, Alaquàs, Borriana, Benicarló, Ribarroja, La Pobla de Vallbona, Alfafar, Petrer, Crevillent, Mutxamel, Picassent, El Puig de Santa María, Muro d’Alcoi, L’Olleria, Alcalà de Xivert, Agullent, Alboraya, Almenara, Burjassot,  Catarroja, Algemesí, Ontinyent, Vinaròs, Godella, Moncada, Segorbe and Enguera.

Multi-disciplinary research team

In this sixth edition, with the collaboration of Marta Corcoy, from the UAB, the researchers from the areas of Communication, Political Science and Business of the CEU UCH Hugo Aznar, Elena Juaristi, Blanca Nicasio, María Pilar Paricio, Elvira Alonso, María Pilar García Alcover, María Puchalt, Teresa Bruno and María Isabel Brun, have participated in the Infoparticipa analysis, with the collaboration of Marta Corcoy, from the UAB.  together with Leyre Burguera, from the UNED, and Katia Esteve, from the University of Alicante, and with the collaboration of the researchers in training Mercedes Blanes and María Millano.

This analysis of transparency indicators on the websites of Valencian local entities, carried out annually by researchers from the CEU UCH University, is part of the R+D+i Project of the Ministry of Science, Innovation and Universities entitled “Ethics and Self-regulation of Social Communication: Content analysis of the 2nd Generation Codes of Ethics and preparation of Protocols and Guides for their implementation CETICOM-2G” (Ref. PID2021-124969NB-I00).

The abuse of urban planning as a source of local funding. In the key of public integrity

We present here our Communication “The abuse of urban planning as a source of local funding. In the key of public integrity“, which was selected and presented at the International Congress on Land Uses to make the city (Universitat de València), and which you have at your disposal on the AVAF website[1]. Here are the main keys:

 1.- The necessary link between urban planning and sustainability. We start here from the inseparable legal definition of territorial and urban development from the perspective of sustainability. After the time of the urban boom in our Region and the devastating effects of the subsequent financial crisis, which was particularly the real estate sector, regulations have been oriented towards the prevalence of the environmental paradigm.

2.-Other aspects of special consideration when regulating land uses in cities are directly related to public integrity or, rather, to their scarce application in the urban area and the risks that this entails.[2] In effect, a local public administration or instrumental public sector entity that, with competences or participation in the process of creating cities, looks the other way and postpones the fulfillment of obligations related to public integrity frameworks will be opening the doors to practice its public policies of housing or economic activities based on private interests, clashing squarely with the constitutional principles of good administration (objectivity, impartiality, effectiveness, efficiency, legality, among others).[3]

3.- Also in the field of urban planning (given its close link to public sector contracting) there has been abuse of the figure of jurisprudential construction and of an exceptional nature of unjust enrichment[4] as a justification for commissioning services outside the current legislation.

 4.- In the years of great expansions and urban developments, Urban Planning has generated significant income derived from the urban planning action of public entities, with the insufficient funds of other chapters of the budget being a fairly widespread justification. We analyse the taxes related to urban planning, as well as the Rates, Special Contributions, Urban Planning Agreements…

Notwithstanding these short-term justifications, we have encountered devastating consequences of the years of expansion of urban developments; these are accompanied by an increase in population and, with it, an increase in the obligations to provide public services such as: the maintenance of infrastructures; the construction of health, cultural, sports centers, etc.  environmental services, among other mandatory services provided for in local regulations.

 6.- In general, the economic activity generated by urban planning, when it derives from good leadership and good management, is positive. However, the lack of urban planning carries with it many risks that can lead to the waste of public money or the increase in social inequalities.

The legal-administrative system of land management and planning has led to the implementation of an uncontrolled urban planning that is contrary to integrity, which distorts the legal system itself. The lack of justification for the urban development action leads to a possible misuse of powers, apart from incurring responsibilities of various kinds. Urban planning is, in fact, one of the main areas of practice fraught with potential risks of corruption. Throughout the country, there is no shortage of cases of urban corruption and therefore of a model of urban growth that is excessive, unsustainable, irrational, and consequently contrary to public ethics.

7.- At the regional level, the creation of the Valencian Agency for the Prevention and Fight against Fraud and Corruption (AVAF) or the Valencian Agency for the Protection of the Territory (an autonomous body of the Generalitat for the exercise of regional powers in matters of protection of urban legality) are evidence of the social rejection of urban irregularities contrary to public integrity and, ultimately, to the general interest.

8.- Our communication emphasizes that the only possible path towards the creation of cities and the organization of their uses from a perspective of serving the general interests, is in the key of public integrity, which involves urban planning coordinated with economic planning, which will avoid the improper use of urban planning as a source of financing.  minimizing the waste of public money or the perversion of such legitimate purposes as the equitable distribution of benefits and burdens.

9.- In order to achieve sustainable territorial and urban development, we must avoid conduct contrary to integrity, internalizing throughout the public sector, all the rules already provided for in the legal system that design a system of public integrity. Thus, for the implementation of integrity, a prior self-assessment of the inherent risks in urban planning should be carried out.[5]The implementation of the Whistleblowing Channels is already a legal obligation for all public administrations, in accordance with Law 2/2023, of 20 February, regulating the protection of people who report regulatory and anti-corruption infringements.

10.- The promotion of both internal and external controls, throughout the decision-making process in the field of urban planning, will contribute to minimizing behaviors contrary to integrity, and thus allow urban developments in accordance with it. And this while being demanding the transparency of urban plans.

In short, the harmonious interpretation of the legal system and the implementation of a transparent public administration will depend on whether the chosen territorial model is rational, sustainable and ethical and ultimately finds the legitimacy of society as a whole, banishing practices contrary to the law, the law and public integrity.

We remain at your disposal for any questions or clarifications: prevención@antifraucv.es.

 Irene Bravo Rey                                                                  

Director of Prevention, Training and Documentation.

 Jorge Ciganda Teruel

General Prevention Technician.

[1] Congress Communication

[2] In this regard, see also the OECD Handbook on Public Integrity, OECD Publishing, Paris. https://doi.org/10.1787/8a2fac21-es.

[3] Article 103.1 of the Spanish Constitution of 1978 states: “The Public Administration serves the general interests objectively and acts in accordance with the principles of efficiency, hierarchy, decentralization, deconcentration and coordination, with full submission to the law and the law.”

[4] See AVAF General Recommendation: “The Path of Unjust Enrichment in the Public Sector: Use or Abuse?”, approved by Director’s Resolution No. 122/2020, of 11 May. https://www.antifraucv.es/wp-content/uploads/2021/12/Recomendacion_Enriquecimiento_Injusto-cast.pdf

[5] AVAF Guide: “The Public Integrity Plan: Roadmap and Enabling Annexes” https://www.antifraucv.es/wp-content/uploads/2023/09/18092023-Actualizacion-2023-Guia_avaf_plan_integridad_publica-1.pdf

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