Com­mit­tee to rec­om­mend cull of Greece’s in­de­pen­dent watch­dogs

Kathimerini English - - Focus -

A pro­posal drawn up by the Law Pre­par­ing Com­mit­tee on the in­sti­tu­tional frame­work for in­de­pen­dent reg­u­la­tors should be com­pleted by the end of the month.

The com­mit­tee, re­ac­ti­vated ahead of the coun­try’s third bailout re­view, is ex­pected to pro­pose to Ad­min­is­tra­tive Re­form Min­is­ter Olga Gerovasili that sig­nif­i­cant changes be made to the in­sti­tu­tional frame­work with the aim of im­prov­ing the ef­fi­ciency of the au­thor­i­ties. All signs point to a con­sid­er­able re­duc­tion in the num­ber of watch­dogs, from 27 to­day to be­tween 12 and 15.

This re­duc­tion has been rec­om­mended by the coun­try’s creditors, who re­al­ize that while the num­ber of reg­u­la­tors has grown this in­crease has not been ac­com­pa­nied by the pro­mo­tion of trans­parency and ef­fi­ciency. In­deed, Greece’s lenders have re­peat­edly ex­pressed con­cern at ad­min­is­tra­tive mech­a­nisms that are an­swer­able to state of­fices such as the gov­ern­ment and its min­is­ters.

The plan will pro­vide for the preser­va­tion of the five con­sti­tu­tional in­de­pen­dent au­thor­i­ties (the Na­tional Broad­cast­ing Coun­cil, the Hel­lenic Author­ity for Com­mu­ni­ca­tion Se­cu­rity and Pri­vacy, the Om­buds­man, the Supreme Coun­cil for Civil Per­son­nel Se­lec­tion and the Hel­lenic Data Pro­tec­tion Author­ity), the four mar­ket reg­u­la­tory bod­ies and the four fi­nan­cial inde- pen­dent au­thor­i­ties. The fu­ture of all other watch­dogs is un­known.

It is also cer­tain that many au­thor­i­ties set up to reg­u­late trans­port (rail­way, mar­itime, air etc) will merge into one or be in­cor­po­rated into an ex­ist­ing in­de­pen­dent author­ity.

The sec­ond is­sue the com­mit­tee will ad­dress is fi­nanc­ing. It is ex- pected to pro­pose that the fund­ing of au­thor­i­ties come from a sin­gle fund mon­i­tored by Par­lia­ment or the Fi­nance Min­istry, thus re­duc­ing their de­pen­dence on min­is­te­rial or gov­ern­ment power. The ideal sce­nario would see them fi­nanced from the Par­lia­ment’s bud­get, but many min­is­ters have re­acted against such a propo­si­tion.

The plan will pre­serve the five con­sti­tu­tional in­de­pen­dent au­thor­i­ties (in­clud­ing the Supreme Coun­cil for Civil Per­son­nel Se­lec­tion – ASEP), the four mar­ket reg­u­la­tory bod­ies and the four fi­nan­cial au­thor­i­ties.

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