Jaume Far, the director of the anti-corruption office, has delivered a warning to those who might be tempted to engage in corrupt activities.
Speaking at the Balearic parliament, Far observed that there is a perception that it is possible to commit fraud with very little risk of being discovered. This turns otherwise honest people into potentially corrupt individuals, as there is a "sociological justification" that leads them to think that they can get away with it. "There are people who are reluctant to see themselves as offenders, as they think that if others are doing it, then why not me. I hope that the mere existence of an office like this will be enough reason to make them desist."
Far is an experienced inspector with the Tax Agency and until his appointment was in charge of the tax collection office in Calvia. His brief is to monitor any possible cases of corruption in government circles, be this the government itself, government agencies, the island councils or town halls. He will have full autonomy and will report to parliament annually. His contract is for five years, and in addition to his 95,000 euros salary there is an initial budget for the office of half a million euros. He eventually intends having fifteen staff working with him.
Investigations will be conducted with total confidentiality, and complaints can be anonymous. Far said that he will not be investigating the Més contracts affair as this is already in the hands of the prosecution service. His office will not undertake prosecutions but will forward information to the public prosecutor. A priority for him is to have discussions with the prosecution service and the audit commission and to develop "strategies".
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