Anti-Corruption on vacation: There is no one to open a case into Innovation grants funds

The administration and the two members remaining in the anti-corruption commission are on vacation. The door of the building where the commission is located is open, but there is no one inside, only the employee providing information and registering who entered the institution. She informed us that the employees are on vacation, but the Commission does not work even when it is not on vacation, because there have been only two members in the past five months.

We failed to reach Roseta Trajan, Secretary General of the Anti-Corruption Commission, to respond if the State Commission for the Prevention of Corruption could open a case for awarding funds from the Fund for Innovation to public officials.

After the resignations of the five members of the anti-corruption commission, that is, from March 19, when their resignations were accepted, the Commission has not held any sessions. According to Trajan’s latest statements in the media, the secretariat of the commission administers completes the everyday professional and technical work, but does not hold sessions, does not decide on cases, does not establish a conflict of interests and does not solve the requests submitted by the institutions for opinions.
Although former anti-corruption officials recognize a conflict of interest and corruption in granting funds, Deputy Prime Minister Koco Angjusev is still confident that there is no conflict of interest in this case and no circumvention of the law.
“We stopped awarding funds behind closed doors and in classified contracts. They are now included in the law and only law-abiding companies have the right to apply. The companies in which I am the owner, as I have already explained several times, have withdrawn from the contest, not because of conflicts of interest, but because of the sensitivity of the public,” Angjusev said.

Although former anti-corruption officials see a conflict of interest and corruption in granting grants, Deputy Prime Minister Koco Angjusev remains in his opinion that in this case there is no conflict of interest and no circumvention of the law.

“If they are a problem, they will not apply, but we need to look at what is good for the overall economy, and these figures show that the overall economy is moving forward. The economy has recognized the measures that the investment cycle is starting, and I am deeply convinced that after a successful referendum and moving our process towards Euro-Atlantic integrations it will only be more intense and more significant. We all need to understand in which direction Macedonia is heading and we need to catch that train and provide a more certain future,” Angjusev said.

It is the European Union, to which Angjusev and the Government aspire, to set the fight against high corruption as a condition for getting a date for beginning of Macedonia’s negotiations with the European Union.

The former anti-corruption activist Dragan Malinovski, who participates in the working group for amendments to the Law on Corruption, did answer our phone calls.

According to his latest forecasts, amendments to the laws should be completed by late summer and then new members of the anti-corruption commission should be elected.

The idea of ​​the working group is to merge the two laws, the Law on Prevention of Corruption and the Law on Conflict of Interest. The Anti-Corruption Commission has a preventive role in the fight against corruption, but in the past years, and while functioning with all its members, it has not opened any case against senior officials. (FFS)