The law provides criminal and civil penalties for corruption, conflicts of interest, and illegal lobbying by officials. The government did not implement the law effectively, and officials sometimes engaged in corrupt practices with impunity. According to World Bank indicators, corruption was a problem. Although the criminal justice system increased its efforts to detect, investigate, prosecute, and adjudicate high-level corruption cases, the law lacked proper enforcement mechanisms and resources, according to the Commission for the Prevention of Corruption (CPC).
Corruption: On January 8, the CPC accused then Prime Minister Janez Jansa and the mayor of Ljubljana, Zoran Jankovic, of financial wrongdoing and failure to disclose financial assets. The charges contributed to a series of political events that started with antigovernment demonstrations in Maribor in November 2012 and continued following the Maribor mayor’s resignation in December. The corruption accusations catalyzed the collapse of Jansa’s government in March. In the aftermath, Jankovic stepped down as head of his political party. After many months, prosecutors have not filed charges against either Jansa or Jankovic in connection with the CPC report.
The trial of five officials, including former Prime Minister Jansa, charged with corruption in connection with a 2006 Defense Ministry contract to purchase military equipment from the Finnish company Patria, ended with the conviction of the former prime minister and three codefendants. The court sentenced Jansa to two years in prison and fined him 30,000 euros ($40,500). The case was pending appeal at year’s end.
During the year the first cases on criminal and civil forfeiture of proceeds from crime in relation to corruption and economic crime cases were brought to court.
The National Investigation Bureau, the Specialized Prosecution Service, and the CPC have responsibilities for combating corruption. The CPC played an active role in educating the public and civil servants about corruption. It is independent of both the executive and the legislative branches. The body claimed to have neither adequate staff nor sufficient funds to fulfill its mandate and assess all cases of suspected corruption. On November 29, the three-member presidency of the CPC resigned.
The CPC’s workload continued to increase. By the end of the year, the CPC received 1,237 new reports and claims of corruption, an increase of 15 percent from 2012 and a 20 percent increase from 2011. By the end of the year, the CPC received approximately 900 requests for a legal opinion or guidance regarding possible corruption, integrity, lobbying, and conflict of interest. By the beginning of November, the CPC completed proceedings of 1,237 reports of suspicions of corrupt practices and other violations of the law and undertook appropriate measures, such as filing charges; issuing civil and administrative fines, principled opinions, or findings in concrete cases; and requests for annulment of business transactions, warnings, or recommendations. Such action resulted in 105 civil and administrative penalties against local and state functionaries.
Concerns about implementation of anticorruption legislation led the largest opposition party, the Slovenian Democratic Party, to request the Constitutional Court to examine the constitutionality of the law.
During the year the CPC also focused on the transparent funding of political parties.
Whistleblower Protection: According to Integriteta (Transparency International Slovenia), legislation in this field was adequate, but implementation lagged, and some whistleblowers received inadequate protection. A high level of protection, Integriteta asserted, required the coordination of institutions such as the CPC, inspectors, courts, and law enforcement. According to Integriteta, whistleblowing was not yet a common cultural practice.
Financial Disclosure: Only the highest-level officials in the government, parliament, and judiciary, or approximately 5,000 of the country’s 80,000 public employees, are subject to financial disclosure laws. The CPC monitors financial disclosures of government officials and reports them. The CPC can issue advisory opinions regarding prosecution.
Public Access to Information: The law provides free public access to all government information, and the government provided such access to both citizens and noncitizens, including foreign media. The government may deny public access only to classified information, personal data protected by privacy laws, and other narrowly defined exceptions. The CPC operated a web service, SUPERVIZOR, which made public finances more transparent.
During the year the Office of the Government Information Commissioner received 313 complaints of nonresponsiveness of government institutions and 246 complaints that public institutions did not provide information as required by law. Authorities had 20 days to respond to such requests.