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.