Romania has embarked on multiple reforms to bolster the stability and resilience of its public governance framework, including the strengthening of its integrity and anti-corruption system through several National Anti-corruption Strategies (NAS). Despite these efforts and the growing number of anti-corruption investigations, corruption is still perceived to be one of the major obstacles to obtaining quality public services in Romania. While the detection, investigation and sanctioning of corruption cases has increased, more in-depth preventive and strategic actions are needed to address systemic and structural weaknesses. Identifying high-impact integrity interventions in specific sectors will help ensure that national integrity policies have a greater impact within the public administration and in society more broadly.

This report considers the integrity measures included in the NAS 2021-2025 in three at-risk sectors: health, education and state-owned enterprises (SOEs). It provides recommendations for mainstreaming central-level policies into concrete actions at sector level and to improve the implementation of the NAS 2021-2025 as well as future strategies. The report looks at the strategy’s achievements to date as well as the challenges that remain, including addressing structural issues such as political engagement, the role and placement of ethics offices and the design and review of integrity plans. The assessment is based on the standards set out in the 2017 OECD Recommendation on Public Integrity and the OECD Public Integrity Indicators.

While the NAS 2021-2025 is a milestone in building a comprehensive integrity system, Romania could take further action, including to strengthen the implementation of the ethics management model, improve co-ordination and ownership of integrity policies, and establish a clear strategy to apply many of its central policies at sector level. Key stakeholders within the integrity system, like the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) and the National Integrity Agency (ANI), could also increase the use of practical tools and recommendations for mainstreaming integrity policies through the whole of society.

The report was reviewed by the OECD Working Party of Senior Public Integrity Officials (SPIO) on 17 May 2023. It was approved by the Public Governance Committee on 16 June 2023 and prepared for publication by the Secretariat.

The action was funded by the EEA / Norway Grants and implemented by the OECD.

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