The 2024 budget for anti-corruption efforts is €2.102 million, with €1.2 million dedicated to examining a large number of complaints. The authority plans to investigate 107 complaints, hiring external and international experts for specialized cases.
What is the 2024 budget for anti-corruption efforts and how will it be utilized?
In 2024, the anti-corruption authority’s budget is €2.102 million, with €1.2 million for examining numerous complaints. Significant funding increases include €1.018 million for services and investigations, and €484,609 for official salaries. The authority plans to investigate 107 complaints, employing external and international experts to aid in specialized cases.
Increased Funding for Combatting Corruption
In a move that signals the government’s heightened commitment to tackle corruption, the budget allocated to the anti-corruption authority for the year 2024 reflects a significant increase. A substantial portion of the €2.102 million budget, approximately €1.2 million, is earmarked for the examination of a slew of complaints that the authority has on its docket.
Specialized Investigations on the Horizon
The anti-corruption authority is not shying away from complex cases; it’s gearing up to delve into them vigorously. For instance, the controversial ‘golden passports‘ scheme is currently under scrutiny, sparked by allegations lodged by Auditor-general Odysseas Michaelides and concerning former president Nicos Anastasiades. The authority’s approach is to engage contractors and private sector professionals, cherry-picked through personal interviews, to assist in these inquiries.
There’s also an open door for international expertise, as the authority remains open to calling in specialists from abroad to lend their knowledge to the investigations at hand.
A Closer Look at the Numbers
When breaking down the total budget, it’s noted that €1.194 million is allocated strictly for the procurement of services and the appointment of investigators. This figure is a stark contrast to the €175,500 designated for similar purposes in 2023. The dramatic uptick in funds, tallying around €1,018,500, is attributed directly to the kick-off of investigations based on complaints submitted to the authority.
Salaries also account for a significant slice of the budget pie. Transparency commissioner Haris Poyiadji and four other officials are slated to receive €484,609, which constitutes roughly 23% of the entire budget.
Complaints and Investigations: The Workload
The authority has its work cut out for itself with 107 complaints queued for investigation—79 with names attached and 28 anonymous. Adding to this, two ex officio investigations are set to commence.
It’s worth mentioning that the authority’s role is investigative in nature. It can summon and question witnesses, but their testimony won’t hold sway in a court of law. The findings of the anti-corruption authority, once solidified, are forwarded to the attorney-general. After his assessment, a potential second criminal investigation may unfold, utilizing police forces informed by the authority’s conclusions.
The inner workings of the authority reveal a streamlined process. First, claims are thoroughly researched, a stage where witnesses may be invited to provide testimonies. These preliminary findings, although not admissible in court, lay the groundwork for subsequent legal actions. The attorney-general, upon reviewing the authority’s conclusions, has the option to initiate a secondary investigative phase involving police resources.
By increasing the budget and bolstering resources, the anti-corruption authority is poised to take a more aggressive stance against corruption. With a strategic allocation of funds and a clear operational strategy, the authority is ready to tackle the challenges of the coming year head-on.
- The 2024 budget for anti-corruption efforts is €2.102 million, with €1.2 million dedicated to examining a large number of complaints.
- The authority plans to investigate 107 complaints, hiring external and international experts for specialized cases.
- The increased funding reflects the government’s commitment to combat corruption.
- The authority will focus on specialized investigations, including the controversial ‘golden passports’ scheme.
- The budget breakdown includes €1.194 million for services and investigators, and €484,609 for official salaries.