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News Flash - 7 February 2007

The Group of States against Corruption (GRECO) publishes report on Andorra

The Council of Europeís Group of States against Corruption (GRECO) has published today its Joint First and Second Round Evaluation Report on Andorra. The report is made public with the agreement of the Andorran authorities.

The 1993 Constitution marked an important stage in the development of Andorra's system of government and its legal, organisational and institutional arrangements. For a country of this size, it is well equipped, institutionally, to tackle corruption.

The nature and scale of corruption in Andorra has not so far been investigated, nor have there been any recorded convictions for corruption. Notwithstanding, risks of and vulnerability to corruption exist in certain areas. The judicial system and investigative powers do not suffer from major drawbacks, with the exception of the following: an occasional lack of means, certain issues connected to the magistratesí career system and the impossibility to apply confiscation measures to assets other than those which are the direct result of a crime. The new companies legislation scheduled for 2006-2007 and the impending opening of the authorised capital to foreign investors should bring improvements to certain areas (use of nominees, various and sometimes inconsistent provisions on professional and banking confidentiality and secrecy, unclear role of business professions such as gestorias and economistas, existence of companies with no real activity offering asset management services etc.). Administrative control mechanisms and the statute of public officials have undergone considerable modernisation in recent years. Some improvements are still expected in certain areas (role of the Court of Audit, homogeneity of rules applicable to public officials, ethical rules to be generalised, protective measures for officials reporting suspicions of corruption etc.). The extent and scope of immunities in Andorra, which apply for instance to national elected officials, do not adversely affect the possibility of taking criminal action against them.

GRECO has formulated 18 recommendations, in total, in some of the above-mentioned areas. Measures taken by Andorra to implement these recommendations will be addressed by GRECO in the context of a specific compliance procedure in the second half of 2008.

Link to report