Application of the Anti-Corruption Act
For the first time, the Riigikogu, the Government of the Republic and the general public have at their disposal official material “An Overview of the Application of the Anti-Corruption Act in 1999”. The legislator now has feedback on how the law is interpreted and how its requirements are observed.
An overview prepared by the Riigikogu select committee on anti-corruption activities, published in this publication, demonstrates that the ministries have information about the application of the Act in their areas of government, and the city and rural municipality councils hold that information about their local government units. If two years ago, when answering questions in the Riigikogu, the Government of the Republic was unable to give generalised data, then in 1999 each of the ministers provided assistance in the process of uniform application of laws in their areas of government. According to the law, the local government councils have a task of arranging and supervising declarations of the economic interests of officials.
The overview of the select committee on the application of the Anti-Corruption Act was compiled by comparison of the obtained data both with the requirements of the Act and with each other. The general picture should reflect the reality or be close to it. The overview as a generalisation contains besides numerical data also problems that emerged in the application of the Act. Key issues that should be solved by the legislator could be treated even in more detail than has been done in this overview. Parliament must in the future also pay attention to restrictions on the employment and activities of officials. The Anti-Corruption Act stipulates clearly what an official must not do, but it does not extend to all the officials listed in the Act. A complicated issue is also the form of declarations of economic interests that needs to be amended.
Estonia is in a situation where the media covers the topic of corruption in connection with scandals. Domestic scientific publications are practically non-existent in this field. In the Estonian legal practice the actual effect of laws should be analysed more frequently. Feedback between the legislator and implementers of laws gives a possibility to make reasoned amendments in the laws. Analytical works promote the uniform understanding, affect legal awareness and legal culture. The overview presented in this publication contributes to cooperation between different institutions in order to guarantee a stronger effect of legal regulation. Corruption is a complicated, crafty and hidden phenomenon that is hard to get and keep under control. Therefore, it would be good if we could first accomplish the purpose of the Anti-Corruption Act, i.e. implementation of preventive measures against corruption.