REPORT: The Field of Food Safety Affected by Corruption – Only 23% of the National Agency for Food Safety Inspectors Passed the Integrity Test
The field of food security is affected by several risks of corruption such as the risk of active and passive corruption, abuse of power, misrepresentation of improper influences and conflict of interest, forgery in public documents, states the assessment of institutional integrity by National Anticorruption Center at the National Agency for Food Safety, between April and October.
These typical risks of corruption, according to the National Anticorruption Center, directly affect the activity of the institution and the image of the entity.
The authors of the evaluation found that more and more National Agency for Food Safety inspectors were involved in integrity incidents between 2019 – nine months of 2021. This fact is demonstrated by the large number of criminal cases initiated by the Anticorruption Center in this period, but also the results of integrity tests applied in the evaluation process.
The conclusion of the Chișinău Court, Center headquarters on July 26, reflects that only 23% of the National Agency for Food Safety employees tested, received the rating “positive” in the professional integrity test. At the same time, the evaluation report shows that the amounts of money received by the inspectors who admitted manifestations of corruption vary between 10 and 100 euros.
At the same time, according to National Anticorruption Center, the integrity tests indicate that the National Agency for Food Safety inspectors do not carry out the controls, issue permissive acts without the commercial spaces being properly organized, enter distorted information in the control report, do not document irregularities, obtain money for issuing permissive documents. The evaluation also established that the risks of corruption are determined by several factors such as incomplete and ambiguous regulatory framework, poor planning of controls, insufficient motivation to initiate unannounced control. At the same time, the quality control monitoring system is inefficient, and a mechanism for monitoring the management of non-compliant food products is practically missing.
In order to remove the risks of corruption found at the National Agency for Food Safety, the integrity institution formulated and presented a series of recommendations, the leader of the institution being obliged to adopt an integrity plan, the realization of which will be subsequently monitored by the National Anticorruption Center.
Institutional integrity assessment is a mechanism provided by law, through which the National Anticorruption Center identifies institutional factors and vulnerabilities that favor or may favor corruption and develops recommendations that would exclude their effects.