Parliament activity, November 17-21, 2003
27 November 2003
During the aforesaid period the Parliament adopted a series of legal acts of major importance. We will refer to some of them in greater detail below.
I. Law on Information and State Information Resources
ADEPT Comment: The law is aimed at establishing the ground rules for IT, national IT network, as well as clarifying legal relations arising upon using state information resources. The law does not refer to establishment and functioning of mass media, non-governmental IT, undocumented information processing. The law defines such notions as: database; personal data; electronic document; national domain,md; IT network; owner and user of IT, information systems and technologies; subject of law, etc.
Under the law the following are considered subject of law in the information field: documented information; information resources, including national domain,md; IT, software and hardware; IT networks, etc.
The law also provides for:
- obligations in ensuring IT security and protection of documented data;
- information resources of state importance;
- information technologies, systems and networks;
- licensing of activities;
- public authorities' responsibilities in establishing and using state information resources;
- Information Technologies Department - specialised central government body entrusted to implement Government IT policies and elaborate development strategy in the field. It shall be the owner of basic information resources. This last provision is likely to raise a number of difficulties as IT Department would become a monopolist on the IT market. It also garnered a rich harvest of criticism from private companies active in the field. Moreover, it might have repercussions on the data security and protection.
II. Law on the Modification and Completion of the Law on Political Parties
ADEPT Comment: The law revises a series of provisions imposing restrictions on the number of party members, as well as on party functioning.
Thereby, party bylaws may be registered provided the applicant party includes at least 150 members residing in at least half of the second level administrative-territorial units (currently the law provides for 600 members).
Another provision was excluded, obliging parties to reconfirm that they comply with the law requirements on the minimal number of party members, by yearly submitting to the Ministry of Justice by December 1, a list of its members. Also excluded was the provision enabling Ministry of Justice to suspend a party, if the latter failed to submit new data for inclusion in the Register of political parties and other socio-political organisations. In addition the law deprives Prosecution from the right to oversee parties' compliance with the law.
Several provisions were excluded on the grounds they were unconstitutional, in particular the ones entitling Supreme Court of Justice to establish, at the request of the Ministry of Justice, that a party has ceased its activity, and therefore rule its liquidation, in cases when:
- a party or socio-political organisation did not convene its Congress or conference during 4 years;
- a party or socio-political organisation did not reconfirm the number of members required by law, by submitting in due time the updated list of its members;
- upon reviewing the party members lists, it is found that the number of actual party members is lower than the number required by the law for registering bylaws, etc.
It is worth mentioning that the provisions excluded by this law, garnered a wide-scale criticism from political parties when they were adopted last year. Council of Europe also recommended to extend the deadline for submitting updated data on the number of party members, and later on even to exclude that provision, which was arbitrarily introduced by the ruling party and was backed up by certain parties in Parliament seeking to eliminate their competitors from the political arena.
III. Law on Modifying the Law on State Social Insurance Budget
ADEPT Comment: The Parliament ruled that lawyers shall pay the social insurance quota for year 2003 as provided for in the Law of May 15, 2003:
- 10% of the monthly income, which does not exceed three average monthly wages per economy;
- 20% of the monthly income, which exceeds three average monthly wages per economy.
It is worth mentioning that prior to the said amendments, lawyers had to pay around 700 Lei per month, therefore by the end of the year great many of them accrued 3,000 Lei in debt. As a result they incurred a number of penalties and sanctions.
For this reason and due to the state failure to pay back the arrears on the services rendered by ex-officio lawyers (to the persons state should provide with a defender), on November 17 lawyers went on strike and throughout the week did not show up when summoned by court. This has disrupted police and court proceedings.
According to the latest data, lawyers were pleased with the law cancelling the obligation to pay back the arrears in the time period between January 1 - May 15, 2003. Therefore, they resumed their activity on condition Government would pay them back the arrears worth 1 million Lei as soon as possible.
IV. Law on the Modification of the Law on Compulsory Health Insurance
ADEPT Comment: The law obliges legal entities to transfer to Hincesti budget the compulsory health insurance for their employees working in the branches and representations based in Hincesti rayon.
V. Draft law on guaranteeing bank deposits
ADEPT Comment: The draft passed by the Parliament in the first reading is designed to guarantee natural persons' deposits in authorised banks of Moldova, by establishing a fund wherein all the authorised banks shall transfer funds. Under the law, the following deposits shall not be guaranteed:
- deposits of bank governors;
- deposits of the bank shareholders (holding at least 5% of the bank capital);
- deposits of the spouses and first second level relatives of the persons listed under letters a) and b);
- deposits of the persons who received interests or other financial benefits from the same bank under preferential terms;
- proof of debts;
- deposits ruled by the court as being illegally incurred by the depositor.
The Fund shall be made up of compulsory annual fees: initial, special, and quaterly fees paid by the banks; loans; investment income and penalties on delayed payments.
The draft law provides for a very complex mechanism of establishing the deposit guarantee fund and its administration, including submitting audit reports.
Such a fund is deemed as very important due the high-risk investment activity of the domestic banks as well as due to the bank assets, which consist mainly of deposits.
The draft law is based on several general principles such as:
- All the authorised banks shall take part in the deposits guarantee scheme.
- Legal independence of the Fund for guaranteeing deposits.
- Establishing a certain guaranteed quota.
- Fund shall be made up from periodic contributions by commercial banks taking part in the guaranteeing scheme.
- State financial support to the deposits guarantee scheme.
- Fund's access to information required for its normal functioning.
- Guaranteeing natural person's deposits against inalienability, etc.