Key areas of state graft stressed

Methods adopted to order supplies for state hospitals, lack of disciplinary measures against public servants and poor management by municipal authorities were identified as the public sector’s key problems in 2006, according to a report released yesterday. The annual report, put together by Leandros Rakintzis, the general inspector of public administration, found that the monitoring system used by the government to keep a check on its employees is insufficient. «The fight against corruption is long, difficult and encounters many obstacles, such as authorities not wanting to take action, the lack of technical know-how to stop corruption and the cover-up of corrupt management practices by political leaders, especially at municipalities,» said Rakintzis. An inspection of the medical supplies arrangement adopted for the health system uncovered a number of problems, including unjustified expenses and fake invoices being used as a means of overcharging the system. «There is an amazing waste of money and overpricing of goods that reaches 1,500 percent of its value,» said Rakintzis. The lack of disciplinary action taken against public servants was also seen as a big problem as this helps to cultivate ther attitude that government employees can get away with whatever they want. Lastly, Rakintzis pointed to poor management by municipal authorities which also weighs on the environment. In 2006, 198 disciplinary measures were taken against public servants after 3,432 checks were made by internal government inspectors. Some 381 cases were investigated by a prosecutor.

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