Uncertainties, repetitions and gaps in the text of the bill for the creation of the Independent Authority against Corruption are ascertained by the Legal Committee of the Parliament.
The competent Parliamentary Committee continued today the article-by-article discussion of the bill for the establishment of an Anti-Corruption Authority, which is recalled that was submitted to the Parliament on March 15, 2019.
The bill was expected to be debated last November, however, but the Ministry of Justice and Public Order withdrew it, as it needed major changes.
During today's discussion, it was found, among other things, that there is involvement of institutions and bodies, which may create problems and distort or derail the Authority in its attempt to implement the purpose and responsibilities for which it will be established.
In his statements, the Chairman of the Legal Committee, George Georgiou, said that the discussion of the draft law will continue, will be persistent and persistent, to note that “despite the difficulties, which refer to the discussion of the bill with the dozens of petitions of the parties involved, we believe that through the well-intentioned and political decision of all of us that this bill should proceed “.
As he noted, the Legal Committee has already called on the Ministry of Justice to proceed with the precise delimitation of the responsibilities of the Anti-Corruption Authority, based on the observations of all the competent bodies, which had taken the floor during today's discussion.
He expressed the assessment that the Ministry of Justice “will listen to these remarks and suggestions, the dozens of memoranda, which have been submitted regarding the responsibilities of the Anti-Corruption Authority”, to note that “in the end we will achieve the goal, which is a political decision of all to proceed with the establishment of this bill as a law “.
In a journalist's remark that the provisions of the bill do not clarify what exactly the Authority will do, Mr. Georgiou said: “It is a draft law. We are called to discuss these provisions of the bill in the Legal Committee, listening to all the competent bodies and not only the Ministry, which submitted this bill to us, so that through a two-way discussion we can focus on the philosophy that we all embrace as political forces. with the establishment of an Authority “, which is” a flagship in the fight against corruption “.
Regarding the provisions of the bill, he said that “there are ambiguities, repetitions, there is involvement of other institutions and bodies, which may create problems and distort or derail the Authority in its attempt to implement the purpose and responsibilities for which it will be established. ».
Asked what ambiguities exist in the bill and why they were not corrected when the bill was returned by the Commission to the competent Ministry, Mr. Georgiou said that the Legal Committee has done its duty when it first identified some problems.
He noted that “he had indeed referred it, so that we can see and discuss a new revised bill”, adding that “memoranda with dozens of comments have been submitted.”
“This is our duty to discuss them and within the framework of the hierarchy of aims and objectives of this bill we will try to bring it to the Plenary precisely by implementing this goal,” he said.
He stated, finally, that a consultation is taking place, with the aim of presenting the bill before the Plenary before the end of the current term of the Parliament.
AKEL MP, Aristos Damianou, expressed his regret, because as he said it is found that “the unanimous concerns with objections, but also suggestions of all parties in the Legal Committee, regarding the bill for the Anti-Corruption Authority, have not been taken into account ».
He said that “we have left behind 2020 in which we gave 9 months, for improvement of the bill by the Government and we entered 2021 and unfortunately the Ministry of Justice follows the trampled one”.
“While everyone,” he added, “we recognize the need to effectively combat corruption in Cyprus while the Government has placed many prospects, hopes and expectations in the bill submitted to the Anti-Corruption Authority by all political parties in Parliament and not all “Almost all the competent bodies that passed the Parliament have been critical of the bill, which has contradictions, contradictions and gaps and does not meet the Authority they want to establish in the needs and demands of the Cypriot state but especially of society and citizens.”
He noted that the Auditor General, the Commissioner for Administration and Protection of Human Rights, the Commissioner for Legislation, the Superintendent of Internal Audit, the Pancyprian Bar Association and many other civil society organizations have expressed objections, concerns and concerns about the law. note that the Legal Committee has again asked the competent Ministry to reflect.
He expressed the belief that this bill as it is “does not meet the needs and requirements of society at all and they should think second and wiser”, adding that “if they do not do so then as Parliament and AKEL we will make our own decisions for to lead in the Plenary Session a bill that corresponds to what Cyprus needs and not a bill that has been made for the show and mainly for communication purposes only “.