The Institute for Development and Social Initiatives (IDIS) “Viitorul”, in partnership with the Institute for Economic and Social Reforms in Slovakia (INEKO), has presented the ranking of the most independent public institutions in the Republic of Moldova during the online conference on November 27.
In order to determine the independence ranking, (IDIS) “Viitorul” and INEKO have evaluated 20 public institutions (ANRE, TRM, ANI, BNM, CNA, CNAS, CNAM, Constitutional Court of the Republic of Moldova, People's Advocate, Public Services Agency, Audiovisual Council of the Republic of Moldova, Competition Council, Superior Council of Magistracy, National Commission for Financial Market, Court of Accounts, General Police Inspectorate, Financial Inspection, General Prosecutor's Office, State Fiscal Service and Customs Service).
The public institutions were assessed on the basis of 4 criteria of independence: the appointment of the governing body and the members of the Administration Council; the discharge of the appointed managers; the sovereignty and the constitutional basis; the income of the appointed managers and employees.
According to the Evaluation Report, the National Agency for Energy Regulation (ANRE) is on the 6th place, with a total score of 69 points (out of 100 points), followed by National Commission for Financial Market, Superior Council of Magistracy, Audiovisual Council and the Court of Accounts.
The Director of ANRE, Mrs. Violina Șpac, pointed out that the Evaluation Report provides some contradictions and issues regarding ANRE however. According to some findings of the Report “a conceptual problem for ANRE – is the lack of an express ground that would allow the control body to discharge the member of the management body which does not exercise his functions properly or violates the legal provisions.” This finding/conclusion contradicts the art. 10 para. (12) of the Law on energy no. 174/21.09.2017, which provides 5 reasons to discharge the Director of the Administration Council - 2 of which are punitive/disciplinary, and in particular: (!) Sentence for intentional crimes and/or sentence to deprivation of liberty by the final and irrevocable decision of the court; (!!) the act issued by the National Integrity Authority that has determined that the issue/adoption of the administrative or legal act in violation of the legal provisions (related to the conflict of interests or is incompatible) – remains definitive/conclusive.
The legal grounds to discharge a director - set a certain balance that ensures the independence of the institution from political factors as well as the accountability of directors when exercising their duties.
With regards to setting additional ground to discharge/revoke a director of ANRE due to improper exercise of duties, ANRE would like to point out that this would create the premises for a subjective assessment by the members of the Parliament, which contradicts the EU legislation for the energy sector and the recommendations of the Energy Community Secretariat, and undermines the independence of the regulatory authority. Or, such proposals contradict one of the main goals of the research which is to generate recommendations to increase the independence of public institutions.
Mrs. Violina Șpac and the representatives of other public institutions said that they are available to provide additional information and send an official feedback to authors of the Evaluation Report in order to improve the final conclusions.
The event took place under the initiative "Support for democracy, independence and transparency of key public institutions in the Republic of Moldova", implemented by IDIS "Viitorul" in partnership with INEKO, and financed by Official Development Assistance of the Slovak Republic (SlovakAid).