Parliament Activity Review May 27 - June 7, 2002
June 10, 2002
During the time covered by this commentary several important acts were developed and adopted. We would closely consider some of them.
Legislative acts adopted in the final reading
I. Law on Center for Fighting Economic Crime and Corruption
ADEPT comment: The draft law was examined over a month. It was one of the most contested and debated pieces of legislation the incumbent Parliament had examined. The status and prerogatives of the newly established structured were contested not only by the opposition, but also by some members of the majority faction, which so far used to be very supportive of the Government initiatives. Further, the draft was severely criticized by the human rights organizations, which accused the incumbent governing of intending to limit the citizens' civil rights, and to establish a total control over the economic units, etc. It is worth mentioning Christian Democrat N. Alexei's stance. The former Deputy Minister of Interior had a great contribution to the establishment of the Department on Fighting Organized Crime and Corruption in 1997 via a presidential decree. Back then N.Alexei was also accused by the press for his attempt to establish an anti-constitutional structure, fact confirmed later on by the ruling of the Constitutional Court. The Court ruled that only a law might award the right to investigation.
The law adopted recently by the Parliament establishes the following:
- The status of the Center for Fighting Economic Crime and Corruption (CFECC), as a central specialized body in fighting financial and economic frauds and corruption.
- Principles of CFECC activity: law; observing fundamental human rights and freedoms; opportunities, nonpartisanship; cooperation with local public administration and NGO etc.
- CFECC main responsibilities are to: operate in line with Constitution and current law; treat legal and natural entities in a dignified manner; brief Parliament, Presidency, and Government of the Republic of Moldova; engage in fighting and investigating crimes in economy and finances as well as corruption.
- CFECC main rights were adopted from legal acts regulating the activity of legal and fiscal control bodies. In particular, the great majority of rights provided in the Title V of the Fiscal Code were adopted.
The latter generated a lot of controversial discussion and criticism from business. Thus under the law, members of the Department will be entitled to hold a gun, which is to be used strictly in compliance with the established rules and procedures.
- CFECC will include a central body and its branches in the field.
- The Department shall be funded from the state budget. The department shall be also entitled to retain a certain quota of accrued penalties and sanctions.
- CFECC staff shall be hired according to some special provisions. In addition the staff shall be conferred special ranks.
- The law also provides for the social security, motivation, etc.
The Parliament should soon pass a law on the modification of the Code of Penal Procedure, so as to vest CFECC with the right to penal investigation. In addition, further amendments should be made to a series of laws regulating financial and fiscal control and investigation, etc.
We shall closely monitor the Center activity. Although it just has started its activity the Center already faces a rebuff and various organizational problems.
II. Law on modification of legal acts related to the judge status
ADEPT comment: Under the law the following amendments and completions are made:
- Procedure of estimating judicial experience, which entitles to run for the judge position;
- Failure by the Court Chair or his/her deputy to ensure the well-functioning of the court shall be interpreted as misconduct;
- Resignation of the Chair or his/her deputy upon the expiration of a 4-year mandate;
- Calculation of the pensions and indemnities, etc.
III. Law on modification and completion of the Law on the State Budget for Year 2002
ADEPT comment: Under the law, deliveries of goods and services from the economic units, that have no fiscal agreements with the Republic of Moldova, shall be subject to VAT tax at the customs, according to the same procedure as imported goods.
The modification restores a balance in the activity of economic units from both sides of Dniester river. Prior to the amendment, Transdnistrian economic units enjoyed a more privileged situation and did not pay the VAT tax.
IV. Law on modification of the Code on enforcement of penal sanctions
ADEPT comment: Under the law, if prisoners violated the detention regulation, their working days wouldn't be calculated while they serve their term. However, life-sentenced, extremely dangerous prisoners, and those who deliberately committed a crime shall not be entitled to a privileged compensation of labor while they serve their sentence.
V. Law on the enforcement of the Law on social guarantees to the Government members
ADEPT comment: Under the law the benefits granted to the former Government members shall be extended to former Chairs of the Union of Consumption Associations, who served up to 4 years before 1990.
During the period covered by the report the Parliament heard a report on the enforcement of the Law on Consumption Cooperative Societies, and passed a resolution on:
- Imperfect activity of the "Moldcoop" Central Union of Consumption Cooperative Societies, as well as poor enforcement of the law by the Government;
- Recommendations to make "Moldcoop" activity more efficient;
- Entrusting the Government to ensure efficient enforcement of the Law on Consumption Cooperative Societies;
- Recommendations to the Superior Magistracy Council to end the determent of the cases involving cooperative societies.
VI. Law on Adherence to the Convention on the protection of worlds' cultural and natural patrimony
ADEPT comment: The Convention:
- Defines the cultural and natural patrimony;
- Establishes the bodies entrusted to protect worlds' cultural and natural patrimony;
- Establishes the procedure of forming and using the protection fund;
- Determines conditions and ways of international cooperation and assistance.
VII. Resolution on distribution of investment capital allotted for 2002
ADEPT comment: The law establishes the procedure of distributing the investment capital allotted for 2002, i.e. 100 million Lei. Noteworthy, the decision has been adjourned for several times. Many experts claimed that the respective funds could have been used to pay back Republic of Moldova foreign debts. The fact that the Parliament decided to allocate the funds points to the confidence of the incumbent governing in resuming external credits and its capacity to pay back the debts due in 2002.
Legal acts adopted in the first (not-final) reading
I. Draft law on the bar
ADEPT comment: The draft law was much debated in Parliament, as well as among specialists in the field. Noteworthy, bar issue drawn public attention both prior to the new Law on Bar adopted in 1999, as well as afterwards when the Constitutional Court outlawed several of its provision and even sanctioned the Chair of the Bar Association for challenging the correctness of the court ruling.
Given the above said, we would give a due consideration to the issue and shall come back with a more comprehensive analysis, thus involving experts in the field and NGOs in discussions.
II. Law on Army Reserve
ADEPT comment: The law establishes the structure of the reserve army and its training, guarantees to the citizens in the reserve army.
III. Law on mobilization
ADEPT comment: The law regulates mobilization preparation procedure, rights and responsibilities of the local public administration bodies, as well as legal and natural bodies active in the field.