After drawn-out debates before the House of Representatives, MPs on Thursday passed a law establishing an independent Authority against corruption as well as law regulating political lobbying.
A total of 42 members of Parliament voted in favour of the independent Authority against corruption with the three deputies of the Cyprus Greens-Citizens’ Cooperation abstaining.
The five-member authority will be responsible for taking all necessary initiatives and actions to secure the effectiveness and coherence/transparency of the civil service, the wider civil service and the private sector on issues concerning the prevention and combatting of acts of corruption along the lines of current views and recommendations of the Group of States Against Corruption (GRECO).
An amendment proposed by Socialist EDEK deputy Costis Efstathiou was also approved which requires the removal of provisions concerning a complaints’ register containing data of a personal nature.
Another amendment approved was proposed by DISY, AKEL and DIKO which calls for the authority not to undertake action if the police have already begun a criminal investigation into a matter and end its actions into the same matter – if it has already started – or not initiate an action if it has not by then. However, the authority may ask to be briefed by the Attorney-General on the matter.
Amendments proposed by the Cyprus Greens to add investigative powers to the Authority were rejected.
Regarding the law regulating political lobbying, 29 deputies voted in favour and the three ELAM deputies against. The law calls for the Republic of Cyprus to conform with GRECO’s recommendation regarding the prevention and combatting of corruption.
The approval of the two laws frees the first tranche of funds from the EU’s Recovery and Resilience Facility.