The experts of the group of the Council of Europe member states against corruption (GRECO) visited Lithuania during January 26 30.
The objective of the Council of Europe institution GRECO (Group of States against corruption) is to enhance the capacity of its members to fight corruption by monitoring how their fulfil their undertakings in this field, by identifying deficiencies in the national anti-corruption mechanisms and developing necessary legal, institutional and practical reforms.
Lithuania became the GRECO member on December 3, 1999 and is one of the 46 states members of this organisation – the institution comprises 45 European States and the United States of America.
Following the defined procedure the GRECO assesses all the states members of the organisation. First, the country under valuation fills in the comprehensive questionnaire, later the GRECO experts and a representative of its secretariat visit the country under valuation and ask questions on the basis of the written replies to a questionnaire. Following said procedures the experts prepare a report on the situation in the country under evaluation and work out recommendations for realisation of which 18 months period is given.
The evaluation is aimed at finding out how the GRECO member states follow the Guiding Principles to Combat Corruption adopted by the Committee of Ministers of the European Council on November 6, 1997 as well as how the conventions on fighting corruption adopted following the Program of Action against Corruption are implemented.
The third evaluation round in Lithuania began in 2008 after the competent authorities of the Republic of Lithuania presented their answers to the questions in the GRECO questionnaire. The themes for evaluation were: 1. The incriminations provided for in the Criminal Law Convention on Corruption and 2. The transparency of political party funding.
During the visit at the end of January the GRECO expert group met the representatives of the Special Investigation Service (STT), Ministry of Justice, General Prosecutor’s office, Vilnius County Prosecutor’s office, Supreme Court, Vilnius Circuit Court No.2, Institute of Law, Bar Association, Chief Administrative Court, Central Electoral Commission, State Control, State Tax Inspection, Registry Department of the Ministry of Justice, political parties, non-governmental organisations and the media. The representatives of institutions and organisations were asked additional questions based on the already-filled-in- questionnaires.
The report drafted by the GRECO experts is scheduled to be considered during the plenary meeting of GRECO to take place during June 29 to July 3, 2009 to be attended by all GRECO member states, that would provide their comments on above report.
Official GRECO website