Anti-corruption procedure, an e-mail to inform the Auditor

The rules have been published that, thanks to the institution of “whistleblowing” in force for the Holy See and the Vatican State, allow reporting anomalies in the use of financial or material resources, irregularities in tenders and acts of corruption, also to through a dedicated email inbox. Anonymous complaints will not be followed up

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On Wednesday, January 24, the procedure for sending reports to the Office of the Auditor General was published. The procedure will facilitate the dissemination of knowledge and the use of the “whistleblowing” institute, current in the legislation of the Holy See and the Vatican City State. This is one of the most effective instruments to fight corruption, provided for, among other things, by the United Nations Convention against Corruption, to which the Holy See acceded in 2016.

In fact, the Statute of the Office of the Auditor General and the Apostolic Constitution “Praedicate Evangelium” provide that the Auditor General is the recipient of reports on particular situations related to anomalies in the use or allocation of financial or material resources; irregularities in the granting of contracts or in the execution of transactions or disposals; acts of corruption or fraud. The procedure establishes that reports can be submitted in writing, using a specific mailbox [email protected], or by confidential letter addressed to the Auditor General. Oral reports are also possible, at the request of the person seeking to present the report: this can be done by meeting in person or by video conference with the Auditor General.

The Auditor General, for his part, safeguards the confidentiality, integrity, and security of the reports and guarantees that the identity of the person who makes a report (the so-called complainant) can only be revealed to the judicial authority when it alleges that it is necessary to effects of investigation or judicial activity.

The procedure clarifies that the prohibition on revealing the identity of the complainant refers not only to his name, but also to all the elements of the accusation, including the documentation attached to it, to the extent that its disclosure, even if indirect, may allow the identification of the complainant. Furthermore, it is specified that the communication in good faith of anomalous activities to the Auditor General does not give rise to any liability for violation of official secrecy or any other links to disclosure dictated by legal, administrative or contractual provisions.

The published procedure then clarifies how reports can refer to misconduct that represents a threat or harm to the common good. On the other hand, complaints must not refer to complaints of a personal nature of the complainant, nor to claims that fall within the discipline of the employment relationship or relations with the hierarchical superior or colleagues, for which they must be referred to the discipline and current procedures. Next, the legislation reiterates that anonymous complaints are not processed.

“The issuance of the procedure will give an even greater boost to the complaints already received by the Auditor General in previous years, facilitating, especially through the electronic channel, the sending of them,” commented the Auditor General, Alessandro Cassinis Righini, adding “that the procedure also clarifies the scope of admissible and excluded complaints, as well as the fact that those who legitimately maintain economic relations with the Holy See and the Vatican City State are also included among the legitimized subjects.” The organic nature of the economic reforms thus appears increasingly clear, based on the recently modified regulations on public contracts, which already attributes a supervisory role to the Office of the Auditor General, together with other organizations of the Holy See and the State precisely by virtue of its role as anti-corruption authority.