« Prefect’s Law » final part
by Raluca Filip
(2014 translation of 2005 article. Unfortunately,
nothing is changed on the subject, meanwhile)
Unfortunately, as we observe, there is no correlation in the Romanian laws between the attributions and competencies in Public Administration. If one is taking a decision, in any way, for any type of de-concentration, one has to keep the general direction, so that constancy and clarity, consistency and unity in regulations to exist.
More concrete, other negative aspects linked to Prefect Law ( 340 / 12.07.2004 ), could be:
Art.1 Al.1 from Prefect Law ( 340 / 12.07.2004 ) is wrong from the start, if we take into consideration the premise that the Prefect and the Deputy Prefect will be high civil servants, beginning with 2006.
“The Prefect is the Government representative on local level”? To be the “representative” of the Government is implying, in inclusive way, the politics (attention, not the <>). The Prefect cannot be the Government representative AND non political in the same time. Proposals:
- The Prefect is the high civil servant who assures the accomplishment, at local level, of framework policies established by the Government
- The Prefect is the high civil servant who transposes, at local level, the general socio-economical directions of the Government and so on.
At art.4 are enumerated the principles which the Prefect’s activity is based on. They should be reformulated to give consistency to the message transmitted. For example:
The principles which stand at the base of Prefect’s activity are:
- Lawfulness and Objectivity;
- Efficiency and Efficacy;
- Adaptation and Flexibility;
- Global and unitary Vision;
- Transparency and Orientation towards citizen
Art. 35 al.2 from Prefect Law ( 340 / 12.07.2004 ):
“The Prefect can intimate to emitting institutions the deed which considers being unseasonable”? Illegal, groundless – OK – but unseasonable? How can anyone define, in judicial terms, an “unseasonable” deed? Compared to what exactly, to whom it must be unseasonable a deed so that one can intimate it to emitting institutions?
At the article 41 from Prefect Law ( 340 / 12.07.2004 ) – in definition of the “local and county public administration authorities”, it has been forgotten to mention among these, the county councils.
The other stipulations of Prefect Law ( 340 / 12.07.2004 ) are in concordance with the general policy of reform and modernization of Public Administration (central and local) and represents positive aspects:
Art. 15 (« mobility in function, availability for unseasonable naming») is subject for multiple contradictory discussions from validation of the law, to be applied beginning with 2006. However, this article of the law is well framed on the path for achieving the final objectives of the laws adopted in june-july 2004 ( 315, 339, 340 ):
- The objective of decentralization (at local level the citizens are capable of choosing the political people to represent their interests also on local level – local and county counselors including the president of the county council, the mayors) – decisional and financial autonomy
- The objective of de-concentration – descending of the « power » – of attributions and obligations from Center to the Territory
De-political action of these very important actors of the local scene of Administration, prefect and deputy prefect, it represents the mean through which a Government can show that it trusts the citizens whom it governs and who, at their turn, gave the Government their trust. Why? Because they already chose, locally, the political people to represent them. From the « little government» from the Territory, a technocrat, professional administration is expected. The high civil servant the prefect will be, must be capable, by his/her training and competence, to transpose locally the general directions drawn by the Government (through the attributions mentioned in the law, art. 24) – in collaboration with the other local authorities. In this way, the Government grants trust also to the civil servants (foremost of whom the prefect and the deputy prefect) who carry the mission of accomplishment its framework policies.
Also, Art.9 (inclusion in the category of high civil servants, conditions for filling the prefect or deputy prefect position), art.17 (dignity in function), art.22 (incompatibilities and conflicts of interests), art.24 (attributions of the prefect), art.30 (collaboration with associations and foundations of public utility), art.31 (evaluation of individual professional performances of the prefects), art. 34 (communication of orders to the de-concentrated services and proposals to improve their activity), serve very well the purpose of the law.
- Set up of an own fiscal legislation – the key element of an efficient local and regional autonomy – in this moment it is offered a reduced autonomy at regional level, censored through earmarking of finance funds.
- Clear option for the applied de-concentration type – option which must be maintained with consistency, by the law and by the practice.
- Total redistribution of administrative functions, based on the subsidiary principle, starting from the communes (villages) – those administrative levels closest by the citizens
- There is no mention and there is no correlation between administrative levels and specific competences (for example, in France, communes (villages) deal with security and urbanism issues, counties deal with social issues and regions deal with economical issues). Each level should have its competences – “competence blocks”, by domains.
- It is necessary to realize a new delimitation of State functions. Legislative and Executive to descend at regional level and Judicial to remain at state level.
- Stipulation of metropolitan areas / towns – it has to be done, most appropriate, in the regionalization settlement.
- Harmonization of regional development policies with Romania’s general development objectives and with EU’s development objectives, related to social and territorial economical cohesion. Following regional level objectives supposes harmonization of every county objectives or finding common interest projects.