Parliament Activity Review July 15-19, 2002
July 22, 2002
In the time period covered by the report the most interesting debates were generated not by the legislative acts, but rather by reports on the enforcement of previously passed legal acts. The opposition may only applaud when the Government and other relevant bodies are criticized, however, the majority faction too is not willing to tolerate the inefficiency and inactivity of the relevant state bodies and decision makers.
Presented bellow are some of the most important legal acts examined by the Parliament in the relevant time period:
Legal acts adopted in the final reading
I). Law on Declaring and Overseeing the Patrimony of state officials, judges, prosecutors, public officers and other decision-makers.
ADEPT Comment: The adoption of this law has been awaited for a long time as it is considered to be an important tool in fighting corruption and ensuring the accountability and transparency of public officers. The law provides for:
- 1. Provisions of the law: - obligation to declare and procedure of overseeing the patrimony of public officers.
- Subjects of the law: President of the Republic of Moldova, deputies, Government members, judges, prosecutors, members of the Court of Accounts, National Bank Board of Directors, members of the Securities Market National Commission, of the Central Electoral Commission, heads of the local government, Deputy Ministers, Chiefs of Departments, Chief of Customs and their deputies, Chiefs of Agencies and other institutions of the central government, Directors of the state enterprises, etc.
- Objects to declare: income hold at the time of filling the declaration, real and personal estate, pledges, including those of his/her family members; stocks owned both in the Republic of Moldova and abroad, etc.
- Bodies entrusted to collect the declarations:
- Central Control Commission (from high-rank officials - President, Government, deputies, judges of the Constitutional Court, General Prosecutor and his/her deputies, Ombudsman, members of the Court of Accounts and National Security Market Commission, etc)
- Department Control Commission - from the rest of the subjects.
- The law also provides for: secret information; transparency of declaration (releasing to press the declarations filled by the high-rank officials), liability of the subjects to the law (including ousting). However, it is not clear how can the President or deputy be ousted as long as there are no provisions in the Constitution, regarding failure or falsely filling of declarations.
- Several experts voiced their skepticism with regard to the efficiency of the law on the grounds that its provisions are rather declarative. Nonetheless, the efficiency of the law would greatly depend on those who enforce it.
II). Law on the Bar.
ADEPT Comment: We have previously examined the law. Given the fact that new amendments have been operated we shall come back with a more detailed analysis upon its publication.
III). Law on the Military Reserves.
ADEPT Comment: Under the provisions of the law reserves is defined as citizens in reserve. Reserves are to be mobilized upon calamities, technical accidents and catastrophes. Reserves shall include citizens who completed military service, who graduated military courses, who completed alternative military service, as well as citizens up to 32 years of age eligible for the military service, but who refrained from it. Territorial-administrative bodies shall keep a record of the said persons.
The law also provides for: reserve structure and age limit; reserve training, reserve mobilization at the workplace; reserve medical examination; and reserve social security.
Although the law includes some innovatory provisions, the enforcement of the law would incur great expenses to the state budget. The state could barely cover the needs of the regular army not to speak about reserve. The good thing is that Moldova's neutrality envisages only defense training, and according to the military strategy defense requires far less human and material resources than offensive.
IV). Law on Preparation for Defense.
ADEPT Comment: The law provides for the procedure of exercising the Constitutional obligation of defending the country:
1. Definition of the military service. It is binding for all men, citizens of the Republic of Moldova (women may serve in military based on a contract).
2. Definition of the alternative service. The alternative service shall be regulated by a Government Resolution. Consequently, upon the enforcement of this law the Law on Alternative Services shall be abrogated, whereas alternative service shall be regulated based on the Government Resolution.
Alternative service has been largely debated in the society, as many young people evaded military service for various reasons. However, the efforts undertaken by the Government to regulate this issue have failed so far as the Law on the Alternative Service allows anyone to evade from the service provided he transfers monthly a quota of his salary to the state budget. Nonetheless, the essence of the alternative service has been for the recruiter to do voluntary, public and low paid works, which otherwise nobody is willing to do.
3. Military record of the citizens (recruited and in reserve) shall be kept by specialized bodies (military and recruitment centers).
4. Military service has been reduced from 18 to 12 months.
5. Military service based on a contract, type of contract and period thereof.
6. Military service conducted at the Military Departments of the universities and institutes. Noteworthy, such Departments were closed 10 years ago. Universities are not obliged to open such Departments, but rather decide whether there is a need for such a department in their institution.
As already mentioned above, the enforcement of the law would be difficult due to the lack of finances. This is especially true with regard to military service based on a contract.
V). Law on completing the Penal Code.
ADEPT Comment: A new article has been added to the Penal Code providing sanctions (penalties or sentence up to 15 years) for abusively taking possession of churches.
VI). Resolution on human resources policy in the public service.
ADEPT Comment: The Government passed the policy so as to insure the reformation, democratization and de-bureaucratization of the public service. The policy is aimed to establish a framework for developing new laws regulating public service. The policy includes several new provisions, such as:
1. Screening and recruiting of staff shall be conducted based on a contest, with some minor exceptions.
2. Clear guarantees for continuity in the public service, so as to avoid change of staff upon the change of leadership, or that of state policy in the field.
3. New motivation methods.
VII). Laws on the ratification of international treaties.
ADEPT Comment: The Parliament ratified:
- Convention on defending human rights and dignity with regard to biological or medical appliance and additional protocol prohibiting human cloning.
- CIS Agreement on cooperation in publishing and book distribution.
- Agreement on cooperation of CIS states regarding media outlets.
- Resolution of the CIS Economic Council on joint scientific research upon calamities or technical catastrophes.
- CIS Agreement on establishing Interstate Currency Committee, CIS Agreement on investment cooperation, and CIS Convention on protecting investors' rights.
- International Convention on preventing terrorism financing; International Convention on fighting bomb terrorism and International Convention against hostage taking.
- Agreement on debt restructuring between the Republic of Moldova and "KFW" German Bank. The agreement provides for the restructuring a 13 million Euro debt for a 15 years period.
Legal acts examined and adopted in the first (not final) reading
I). Draft law on the modification and completion of the Law on Joint Stock Ventures.
ADEPT Comment: The relevant law excludes binding audit of the economic and financial activity of the joint stock ventures.
II). Proiectul legii cu privire la suspendarea activității Zonei Antreprenoriatului Liber "Expo-Business-Chișinău".
ADEPT Comment: The draft preserves certain guarantees to the enterprises operating in the Free Zone in the next 10 years, in line with regulations to be established by the Government.