The Independent Analytic Centre ”Expert-Grup”, the Association for Participatory Democracy ”ADEPT”, and the Legal Resource Centre in Moldova, with the support of the USAID, have initiated the monitoring process of the Priority Reform Action Roadmap implementation in the second semester. The aim of this exercise is to offer the public an independent opinion about the process of the reforms’ implementation by the Government and the Parliament and also increase the level of governance accountability.
The monitoring exercise will take place between October 2017 and January 2018, and will cover all 8 directions specified in the Roadmap. The results will be published online through an interactive application, which will be updated every 2 weeks. The application will present the independent opinion of the experts in each action assumed by the Government and the Parliament, in a clear and accessible format. Additionally, 2 evaluation reports will be drafted (intermediary and final) and presented during the round-tables planned for November 2017 and January 2018.
The interactive application can be accessed on the following link: https://goo.gl/p2HVwu
The main conclusions of the first monitoring exercise are as follows:
Only 10% of the Roadmap was implemented mid-October, 2017. This reveals that the implementation of the Priority Reform Agenda is at an early stage, given that most of the actions (80%) have the deadlines set for October-December 2017.
The implementation of the roadmap started in a systematic and plenary way. Out of 51 actions, only 4 were not intimated, most of them are in the process of implementation at different stages. However, some of the actions specified in the roadmap are overdue according to the National Action Plan for the Implementation of the Association Agreement 2017-2019, those include actions such as PNADO, the adoption of the legislation Preventing and Fighting Money Laundering and Financing of Terrorism, the adoption by the Government of the Action Plan on Interethnic Relations Consolidation Strategy etc.
First delays have been identified. For the period July – September 2017, 10 actions were planned, and until mid-October 2017, 7 of them were not finalized.
The majority of the initiated actions have the status ”in progress without concerns” (32 actions). Nevertheless, there is a number of actions that didn’t comply with the principle of the decisional transparency or have proved to have deficiencies of content, being qualified as “in progress with concerns” (10 actions).
Among the most important achievements, the following can be highlighted:
- Adoption of the law on banking activity which should transpose licences, regulations and banking supervision of Basel III Standards into national legislation. This would strengthen regulatory and prudential framework encouraging the potential investors in this sector.
- Reforming the Labour Code. Among the main changes to the Labour Code are the reduction of unpaid additional child care leave from 6 to 4 years, the right of the employer to dismiss the employee even after a single serious work infringement, and to dismiss the persons who have reached the age of retirement, but with the possibility to be re-employed for a specified period. The length reduction of the unpaid additional child care leave was necessary due to the decrease of the female participation in the labour market within the last few years and the subsequent loss of professional qualifications. The possibility to dismiss an employee after one serious work infringement will stimulate discipline and work ethic. As for the right of the employers to dismiss senior citizens, it will result in more opportunities for employing young people, but at the same time it will provide opportunities for retired people with high experience and high qualifications to continue their professional activity.
- Reduction in the number of licences and permissive acts. Legislative proposal for amending and supplementing some legislative acts on regulation by authorisation of the entrepreneurial activity were adopted in the final reading of the plenary sitting of September 21, 2017. Changes have been made to reduce the existing burden on the business environment, and streamline the effort and expenditures into the regulatory process through permissive acts, including licenses. This document stipulates elimination of 140 permissive acts (including 18 licences) of which the abolition of 90 permissive acts will have a direct impact on the business environment. Therefore, as a result of the elimination of permissive acts the private sector will annually save 43.6 mln lei and the public sector will save 18.4 mln lei.
- Implementation of the institutional reform in the field of state control of the entrepreneurial activity. As a result of the amendments to the Law Nr.131 from 08 July 2012 on the state control over entrepreneurial activity, the duplication of the controls on the bases of the same risk criteria were eliminated and the number of the regulatory bodies of the entrepreneurial activity decreased from 58 to 18. However, in order to achieve this desideratum it is mandatory to incorporate this legislation into additional legislative proposals.
- Updating the legal framework for state-owned and municipal enterprises. A single normative framework for regulations of those entities, streamlining management and the related activities, and the reorganization and liquidation framework is desired. Additionally, the transparency provisions are insufficient, and it is pertinent to include references to supplement the regulatory framework that would encourage external entities to report their performances in a standardized format.
However, we express the following concerns:
- Low level of transparency in the decision-making process for public administration reform and the predominant targeting of institutional reorganisations. At this point in time, it consists of reorganizing the structure of the central public administration authorities and reducing the number of employees, which has not taken place under an inclusive consultative process. Meanwhile, the analysis underlying the substantiation of the Government structure, which should be in line with national priorities, is not made public. Although it is a necessary reform, the reform of the government structure will not have the expected results without ensuring the implementation of other components of the public administration reform: ensuring the meritocratic engagement and promotion in the public institutions, the revision of the salary scales, the performance-based payroll, depolarization of the decision-making process and focusing the work of ministries on the development of inclusive evidence-based policies.
- Modification of the legal framework for the protection of personal data. Projects initiated by the National Center for Personal Data Protection provide a framework for the anonymization of all court decisions published on the court portal, contrary to a recent decision of the Superior Council of Magistracy and contrary to the official position of the Supreme Court of Justice based on the practice of the European Court of Human Rights. Wide consultation of these draft laws is recommended, with the involvement of the Ministry of Justice as the authority responsible for drafting legislation in the area of justice and human rights, as well as the evaluation of legislative proposals initiated by the Venice Commission before sending them to the Government for adoption.
- Delaying the adoption of the Civil Society Development Strategy 2017-2020. The draft strategy was developed and consulted in 2016-2017. The draft document and all the recommendations on the content were collected by an independent consultant who facilitated the public consultation process and project design. The completed project was supposed to be registered in Parliament at the beginning of the spring session. Delaying the adoption of the Strategy will make it difficult to assess its implementation for 2017.