On the morning of November 7th, 2019, a delegation of eight representatives from the Serbian Anti-Corruption Agency (ACA) led by its director, Mr. Dragan Sikimić, met with the High Authority during their study visit in France. The delegation also met with the National Commission for Campaign Accounts and Political Financing, the Court of Auditors, the French Anti-Corruption Agency and Transparency International France.
The Serbian Anti-Corruption agency has functions similar to those of the French High Authority. The ACA notably collects assets and income declarations from elected officials at the beginning and at the end of their mandate, controls political party financing and publishes guidelines for the development of integrity strategies in the public and private sector.
After welcoming the delegation, President Jean-Louis Nadal presented the origins of the High Authority and its current missions. Ms. Marie Lintzer, international partnerships manager and Ms. Agathe Lefèvre, legal officer, then presented in more details the High Authority’s role in collecting and controlling declarations of assets and interests, preventing conflicts of interest, and controlling lobbyists. The delegation was particularly interested in learning more about the distinction between asset declarations and declarations of interests, which does not exist in the Serbian system.
In the afternoon, the High Authority also welcomed Ms. Vukosava Crnjanski Sabovic as part of the Future Leaders Invitation Program (PIPA) organized by the French Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs. Ms. Sabovic is one of the founders and director of the Serbian NGO CRTA, whose work focuses on the establishment of innovative mechanisms and tools for citizen engagement in advocating for an open, accountable and democratic government in Serbia, and has been engaged as an activist in Serbia for 20 years. Ms. Lintzer and Mr. Bernigaud, international studies officer, presented the High Authority’s missions and activities, with a focus on initiatives involving civil society in the diffusion of a culture of integrity.
Finally, the week ended with a second visit from a PIPA leader on November 8th, 2019, Ms. Faride Raful, lawyer and member of the Dominican Parliament. Being involved in the fight against corruption and in the reform of the public sector in her country, Ms. Raful was given a presentation of the High Authority’s missions by Mr. Bernigaud and Ms. Roux, legal officer, and was able to discuss the challenges faced by anti-corruption actors in the Dominican Republic.