20 June, 2016, Vilnius
The last meeting with experts from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) on a fact finding-mission saw several Lithuanian state institutions focusing on final speaking points on public sector integrity. The meetings held in the context of country’s ongoing accession process to the organization were held in the headquarters of the Chief Official Ethics Commission of Lithuania (COEC). The meetings were attended by representatives from the Special Investigation Service (SIS), the Prosecutor’s Office, the Lithuanian Post, the Lithuanian Railways and the Ministry of Health (MH).
OECD experts took interest, among other subjects, in the measures taken to promote transparency in the private sector as well as to advocate the implementation of it among the general public.
“We hold roughly 100 anti-corruption awareness seminars throughout Lithuania every year. During the course of these seminars we focus on various preventative measures, share the methods of managing risks and discuss the scale of damage that the prevalence of dishonest practices can inflict. Moreover, we are currently taking a step forward and launching an initiative to promote integrity in the private sector. We are developing a manual that will include recommendations on preserving corruption free environment, establishing excellent reputation and reducing risks. This process is joined by the representatives of the private sector themselves who are sharing their best practices and pointing out the main problems they usually face. Their input is enormous. The work on the development of the manual is still in process, however, we plan on finishing it by December this year”, Jurgita Razmyte, the representative of Public Relations Department of the SIS, said.
The OECD experts also inquired about the current situation in whistleblower protection. While the bill is still in line for Parliament’s approval, the representatives from the SIS brought up their plans to produce a set of recommendations on the issue. They said some 40 investigations were initiated last year following the revelations by whistleblowers.
In the meeting, a close attention was paid to transparency in healthcare as well. Gedeminas Aleksonis, the chancellor of the HM and Juozas Vytautas Sveikauskas, the Head of Anti-Corruption Department of the HM, expressed their content with younger patients who place great importance on transparency in healthcare. “The youth knows very well that paying contributions to compulsory health insurance means that one is guaranteed to have access to healthcare free of charge. Such way of thinking is an effective mean for preventing corruption“, J. V. Sveikauskas said.
He continued to explain how several new e-Health services, made easily accessible to patients through the Internet, contribute their share to cultivating transparency within the healthcare system of Lithuania. “One of the latest contributions to e-Health services is the e-Recipe. We hope that by 2018 we will see a permanent transfer to paperless medical prescriptions. Now patients can log on to the system using a smartphone or a computer and check their medical records, medicines prescribed to them and other information“
Last week the COEC welcomed the OECD experts on a fact-finding mission to the country in the context of Lithuania’s ongoing accession process to the organization. On this occasion, COEC was acting as a coordinating body in the field of public sector integrity arranging meetings with other state institutions operating within the field and engaging them in the information sharing process.