PM examining plan to tackle graft in civil service

Prime Minister Antonis Samaras was on Monday examining a proposal to clamp down on corruption in the civil service that will be implemented by the ministries of Finance, Administrative Reform, Public Order and Justice.

The plan, dubbed Diafaneia (meaning “Transparency”) was drawn up by the general secretary for transparency and human rights, Giorgos Sourlas.

Sourlas says in his report accompanying the proposal that the areas where graft is most apparent are healthcare, supplies and procurements, tax offices, city planning and public administration.

The Diafaneia plan foresees the creation within the next two years of a special court tasked with corruption cases, a proposal that is also supported by a draft law submitted to Parliament by the Justice Ministry.

Sourlas also suggests the appointment of an oversight committee in every civil service department, as well as making more extensive use of already existing bodies such as financial prosecutors and money-laundering investigators.

Implementation of the Diafaneia plan will be supervised by a specially appointed coordinator who will answer directly to the prime minister, while a secretariat will coordinate the day-to-day dealings between ministries.

The Justice Ministry’s draft law – which augments Sourlas’s proposal – calls for a special body of two prosecutors to investigate fraud charges against politicians or state officials. The ministry has also suggested the creation of a crack team of judges and prosecutors to clear up a backlog of pending corruption cases.

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