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11.19.2016

Scathing GRECO Report

GRECO (Group of States against Corruption)
Corruption prevention in respect of members of parliament, judges and prosecutors.
4th Evaluation Round. Compliance Report. Spain
Adopted by GRECO at its 72nd Plenary Meeting (Strasbourg, 27 June-1 July 2016)
Publication: 10 October 2016
Ref.:  GrecoRC4(2016)1
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EXTRACTS
... 1. The Compliance Report assesses the measures taken by the authorities of Spain to implement the recommendations issued in the Fourth Round Evaluation Report on Spain which was adopted at GRECO’s 62nd Plenary Meeting (2-6 December 2013) and made public on 15 January 2014, following authorisation by Spain (Greco Eval IV Rep (2013) 5E). GRECO’s Fourth Evaluation Round deals with “Corruption Prevention in respect of members of parliament, judges and prosecutors”.

.. 5. GRECO addressed 11 recommendations to Spain in its Evaluation Report. Compliance with these recommendations is dealt with below.

Corruption prevention in respect of members of parliament
... Recommendations i and iv.
11. GRECO recommended
· for each Chamber of Parliament, (i) that a code of conduct be developed and adopted with the participation of its members and be made easily accessible to the public (comprising guidance on e.g. prevention of conflicts of interest, gifts and other advantages, accessory activities and financial interests, disclosure requirements); (ii) that it be complemented by practical measures for its implementation, including through an institutionalised source of confidential counselling to provide parliamentarians with guidance and advice on ethical questions and possible conflicts of interest, as well as dedicated training activities (recommendation i);
· that appropriate measures be taken to ensure effective supervision and enforcement of the existing and yet-to-be established declaration requirements and other rules of conduct of members of Parliament (recommendation iv).
...14. GRECO concludes that recommendations i and iv have not been implemented.

Recommendation ii.
15. GRECO recommended the introduction of rules on how members of Parliament engage with lobbyists and other third parties who seek to influence the legislative process.
... 18. GRECO concludes that recommendation ii has not been implemented.

Recommendation iii.
19. GRECO recommended that current disclosure requirements applicable to the members of both Chambers of Parliament be reviewed in order to increase the categories and the level of detail to be reported.
... 25. GRECO concludes that recommendation iii has been partly implemented.

Corruption prevention in respect of judges
Recommendation v.
26. GRECO recommended carrying out an evaluation of the legislative framework governing the General Council of the Judiciary (CGPJ) and of its effects on the real and perceived independence of this body from any undue influence, with a view to remedying any shortcomings identified.
32. GRECO concludes that recommendation v has not been implemented.

Recommendation vi.
33. GRECO recommended that objective criteria and evaluation requirements be laid down in law for the appointment of the higher ranks of the judiciary, i.e. Presidents of Provincial Courts, High Courts of Justice, the National Court and Supreme Court judges, in order to ensure that these appointments do not cast any doubt on the independence, impartiality and transparency of this process.
... 36. GRECO concludes that recommendation vi has not been implemented.

Recommendation vii.
37. GRECO recommended that (i) a code of conduct for judges be adopted and made easily accessible to the public; and (ii) that it be complemented by dedicated advisory services on conflicts of interest and other integrity-related matters.
... 41. GRECO concludes that recommendation vii has been partly implemented.

Recommendation viii.
42. GRECO recommended extending the limitation period for disciplinary procedures.
... 45. GRECO concludes that recommendation viii has not been implemented.

Corruption prevention in respect of prosecutors
Recommendation ix.
46. GRECO recommended (i) reconsidering the method of selection and the term of tenure of the Prosecutor General; (ii) establishing clear requirements and procedures in law to increase transparency of communication between the Prosecutor General and the Government; (iii) exploring further ways to provide for greater autonomy in the management of the means of the prosecution services.
... 52. GRECO concludes that recommendation ix has been partly implemented.

Recommendation x.
53. GRECO recommended that (i) a code of conduct for prosecutors be adopted and made easily accessible to the public; and (ii) that it be complemented by dedicated guidance on conflicts of interest and other integrity-related matters.
56. GRECO concludes that recommendation x has been partly implemented.

Recommendation xi.
57. GRECO recommended developing a specific regulatory framework for disciplinary matters in the prosecution service, which is vested with appropriate guarantees of fairness and effectiveness and subject to independent and impartial review.
... 59. GRECO takes note of the steps being taken by the authorities to reinforce the disciplinary system of the prosecution service. Pending adoption of the anticipated rules, GRECO concludes that recommendation xi has been partly implemented.

III. CONCLUSIONS
60. In view of the foregoing, GRECO concludes that none of the eleven recommendations contained in the Fourth Round Evaluation Report has been implemented satisfactorily or dealt with in a satisfactory manner by Spain. Five recommendations have been partly implemented; six recommendations have not been implemented.

61. More specifically, recommendations iii, vii, ix, x and xi have been partly implemented; recommendations i, ii, iv, v, vi and viii have not been implemented.

... 65. In view of the above, GRECO concludes that the current very low level of compliance with the recommendations is “globally unsatisfactory” in the meaning of 13 Rule 31, paragraph 8.3 of the Rules of Procedure. GRECO therefore decides to apply Rule 32 concerning members found not to be in compliance with the recommendations contained in the mutual evaluation report, and asks the Head of delegation of Spain to provide a report on the progress in implementing the outstanding recommendations (i.e. all recommendations) as soon as possible; however – at the latest – by 31 July 2017.
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