Transparency International Cyprus (TI-Cyprus), cognisant of the direct relationship between the financial crisis and corruption, and in its efforts to assist the newly elected government to develop a national strategic anti-corruption action plan in combating corruption, so as to increase economic growth, is suggesting a number of anti-corruption measures and actions to be taken.
In order for the government to have political stability and electoral accountability the general public will need to ‘trust’ those in authority, including elected politicians (President, Members of Parliament, Local Councillors) and high ranking appointed officials by the government (Ministers and Ministerial General Directors). Thus, those in authority and power will need to set the ‘tone at the top’ for a society where principles such as, meritocracy, integrity, competence, ethical behaviour, and impartiality of government institutions are practiced. The main barrier in fighting corruption in Cyprus is the nonexistence of: (a) a national strategic anti-corruption action plan and (b) an authority solely responsibility for investigating, prosecuting and preventing corruption. TI-Cyprus, therefore, suggests the implementation of a
National Strategic Anti-Corruption Action Plan in the first instance. Secondly, it suggestς the setting up of an Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC), and thirdly, the appointment of an Anti-Corruption Commissioner. The ICAC ought to have investigative authorities and be staffed with competent investigators in the field of corruption. The main responsibilities of the Commission ought to be to:
1. Formulate a set of guidelines;
2. Carry out an evaluation of the risk areas in order to establish priorities and situate the different levels of intervention;
3. Establish targets and set strategic guidelines;
4. Develop a timetable to achieve the set goals;
5. Outline timeframes for the phases of implementation;
6. Establish a system for monitoring, assessing progress and measuring results in terms of corruption; and
7. Investigate and have the resources to prosecute cases of corruption.