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The Senatorsâ Spending of Public Money Will Be Exempted From Public Scrutiny, th
OBSERVER - July 7 2004The provisions limiting the access to information on the expenditure of public money by the Senate stay the same as proposed a few weeks ago, by Constantin Sava, the Senate secretary-general. Thus the Senate made it official: its spending of public money will be out of reach for public scrutiny.
CAMELIA IONESCUA few parliamentarians of the opposition parties promised back then that they will support amendments to the initial draft of the memorandum, but the document was posted with no changes on the Senateâs web-page (www.senat.ro).
According to this new regulation will not be open for public scrutiny both the attendance of senators to plenary sessions and meetings of the specialized committees and the details on how the Senateâs budget was spent.
The only figures available for the public eye will be the aggregate ones published in the Official Journal.
Also secret will be the acquisitions made from sources other then the budgetary ones, the annual plan for acquisitions and the contracts for services commissioned by the Senate.
Also excepted from public scrutiny will stay the money spent by senators on trips inside the country or abroad, and on running their senatorial offices in their constituencies.
Secret also will be the number of cars bought and used by the Senate and the amount of gasoline used for riding them. In a previous version of this document, also secret were deemed to be the ingredients and the recipes used by the Senateâs chef, but this interdiction is no longer present on the Internet.
When this memo was posted on the Internet one week ahead of the current parliamentary session ending, it stirred a public uproar and the Center for Judicial Resources (CJR is an NGO) asked the Senate details on how public money was spent by this elected body.
The Permanent Bureau of the Senate decided to procrastinate and provide the CJR with an answer in September, when the vacation of the senators will end. This decision infringes upon the provisions of the
Law for free access to public information, which provides that public entities should provide answers to questions from the public within 30 days.
Translation: ANCA PADURARU