Factbox: Hungary's commitments to the EU on cutting corruption risks

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban speaks during the autumn session of parliament in Budapest, Hungary, September 26, 2022. REUTERS/Bernadett Szabo

BUDAPEST, Sept 26 (Reuters) - Hungary's government has submitted anti-corruption legislation to parliament, trying to stave off a suspension of European Union funds at a time when its economy faces a likely recession next year.

Following are 17 commitments Hungary has made to the European Commission to cut corruption risks in EU-funded projects. Parliament starts discussing bills on Monday.

These commitments are, based on the Commission report:

1. To establish an Integrity Authority to reinforce the prevention, detection and correction of fraud, conflicts of interest and corruption. The Authority and members of its board must be fully independent. It will have extensive powers such as: instructing contracting authorities to suspend a procurement procedure, requesting probes. Launch by Nov. 19, 2022. (SUBMITTED)

2. To set up an Anti-Corruption Task Force by Dec. 1, 2022 which will propose measures aimed at improving corruption prevention and detection, and draft an annual report analysing the risks. The chair of the Integrity Authority will be the chair of the Task Force. Relevant non-governmental actors that are independent from the government and political parties, active in the field of anticorruption, will make up 50% of the Task Force's members, the chair excluded. Draft bill to be submitted by 30 Sept. 2022. (SUBMITTED)

3. To adopt by 30 Sept. 2022 anti-fraud and anti-corruption strategies defining the tasks of entities involved in the implementation of EU funds in relation to the prevention, detection and correction of fraud. Adopt a National Anti-Corruption Strategy and Action Plan by 30 June 2023. Submit draft legislation (to be effective as of 1 Nov.) extending personal scope of the asset declaration system.

4. To adopt legislation to ensure that public procurement rules apply to public interest asset management foundations. (SUBMITTED)

5. To amend the Code of Criminal Procedure to establish a procedure concerning criminal offences related to the exercise of public authority or the management of public property. The procedure would allow judicial review of the decision of the prosecution or investigating authority to dismiss a crime report or close an investigation without an indictment. An investigating judge will have the authority to order the commencement or continuation of proceedings. Adopt draft by 31 Oct. 2022. (SUBMITTED)

6. Strengthening audit and control mechanisms for implementation of Union funds: to develop provisions, to be included in relevant Government Decrees on the implementation of EU support, to strengthen rules to prevent conflict of interest and corruption. Set up Directorate of Internal Audit and Integrity in the Prime Minister's Office by 30 Sept 2022 and amend relevant decrees by 30 Sept 2022. (SUBMITTED)

7. Reduction of single-bids in procurement procedures involving EU funds: reduce by 31 Dec. 2022 the share of public procurement tenders financed from EU funds and closed in 2022 with single bids below 15%.

8. Reduction of single-bids in procurement procedures involving national funds: reduce gradually by end-2024 the share of public procurement tenders financed from the national budget and closed in a calendar year with single bids below 15%.

9. Single-bid reporting tool: to develop by 30 Sept. 2022 a new monitoring and reporting tool for measuring the share of procurement procedures resulting in single bids, financed from national resources or from EU support or from both.

10. Electronic Public Procurement System (EPS): create and publish regularly updated database available to the public free of charge which contains information on all contract award notices of public procurement procedures. By 30 Sept. 2022.

11. Performance measurement framework: to develop, by 30 Sept 2022, a performance measurement framework to assess the efficiency and cost effectiveness of public procurements. Should operate by 30 Nov 2022 and involve independent non-governmental organisations and experts. Adopt decision by 30 Sept. 2022.

12. Action plan to increase level of competition in procurement procedures by 31 March 2023

13. Free-of-charge training for micro, small and medium-sized enterprises in public procurement: by 31 March 2024.

14. Support scheme for participation in public procurement by micro, small and medium-sized enterprises

15. Extended use of the Commission’s risk-scoring tool: to apply rules for systematic use of the single data-mining and risk-scoring tool called Arachne in the implementation of EU support. Apply relevant rules by 30 Sept. 2022.

16. Strengthening cooperation with OLAF: submit draft bill which shall be adopted by 30 Sept. 2022 designating the National Tax and Customs Administration to assist OLAF (European anti-fraud office) when carrying out on-the-spot checks in Hungary and when an economic operator refuses to cooperate. Separate bill to introduce a dissuasive financial sanction. (SUBMITTED)

17. Enhanced transparency of public spending: submit to parliament and pass bill by 31 October 2022 setting out an obligation for all public bodies to publish set of information on the use of public funds into a central register.

Reporting by Krisztina Than; Editing by Toby Chopra

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