The Treasury and the Public Function has prepared a draft of bill to regulate revolving doors of the officials. The text, which came out public consultation before summer, has put the bodies of high officials on alert, especially because they have not been consulted. Neither in Fedeca, the association that groups together the bodies of high officials, nor the Treasury inspectors knew about the process.
Last May, the Government published a “prior public consultation on the draft of the law for the prevention of conflicts of interest of personnel at the service of the public sector. “ comes to reform the statute of the public employee 1984, which regulates incompatibilities.
Public Function -which after the ministerial remodeling passed to the Ministry of Finance- indicates that that statute has become outdated and that it must be adapted to make it “more demanding”. It also aims to “establish a system for the prevention and management of conflicts of interest that is not directed exclusively to the performance of a second activity.” And he adds that the appearance of new forms of work “requires a regulation that specifically contemplates them.”
Officials have limited compatibility but, for example, nobody controls what they do once they go on leave of absence. Senior officials do have regulation and often complain that senior officials – state attorneys, commercial technicians or tax inspectors – pass into the private sector from one day to the next without any control.
State attorneys on leave of absence, for example, they advise on international arbitrations for renewables that claim 5 billion from Spain. The problem for the Administration is that politicians who have two years of incompatibility they receive compensation in exchange. Officials don’t have it.
The sector assumed that this bill would not go ahead because it was very conflictive but sources from the Treasury point out that it is within their regulatory plan. Neither in Fedeca nor in civil servants’ associations such as those of the state attorneys or that of tax inspectors they had been informed and have requested a meeting to discuss the matter. For officials it is a capital issue and they do not understand that there have not been meetings to address the issue.
Joaquin Meseguer, General Director of Transparency and Good Government of Castilla y León, highlights that the rule is “as timely as it is difficult to achieve the necessary consensus.” “The 1984 law is out of date, is very restrictive in some points and then leaves others open. Often limits a lot to the lower levels of the civil servants but not to the highest, who are the most attractive profiles for the private company “.
Meseguer has participated in the consultation groups that the ministry has carried out with contributions. The contributions of the Junta de Castilla and León ask that the reform not be limited to “a retouching of specific issues” due to the “many limitations and interpretive problems generated by the aforementioned law”: “We believe that the need to approve a new regulation is evident and urgent; not now, but for decades now. ”
In addition to the leave of absence, in some bodies there is some compatibility. State attorneys, for example, have a figure in which they drop to level 24 -30 is the maximum- and salary in exchange for having the compatibility to work in a private company. Once they leave the ministry there is no control over your activities. The same happens with the lawyers of the Courts or the lawyers of the Council of State. In recent years, the State Attorney General stopped giving this compatibility but maintained it to those who already had it.
The commissioner Jose Manuel Villarejo exercised at the same time like police and as a private detective with permission of the Ministry of the Interior, to the surprise of the Group of States against Corruption (GRECO), whose recommendations the Treasury says it intends to comply with.
The Fernando Peña scandal
Most of the lawyers of the Council of State they work at the same time in law firms with no hours or office in the public body. The tax inspectors They do not have compatibility but many take leave of absence to work as tax advisers. Some have even starred in loud scandals. Fernando Pena, the mastermind of the Nummaria law firm, accused of tax fraud, is a tax inspector on leave of absence.
Ransés Pérez Boga, president of the Association of Tax Inspectors, stresses that they have never seen a compatibility as ethical. But he does believe that the rule is already quite restrictive even with the classes they can give. “Giving classes requires training and is good for the Administration.” Pérez Boga highlights that have not been informed of the processing of the law: “Public information procedures always send it to us and they haven’t sent it to us. We didn’t know it and they could have told us. We have something to say because we already have a very strict regime of incompatibilities but we don’t know anything beyond four o’clock. ideas that the pdf gives “.