Hungary Integrity Authority Could Start Operating From Nov 19

EU

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Hungary's Integrity Authority, a state administrative body autonomous of the government and other state organizations established to address concerns aired by the European Commission over rule of law, could start operating from November 19, Regional Development Minister Tibor Navracsics said at an event in Vac, on the outskirts of the capital, late Thursday, according to a report by state news wire MTI.

Navracsics said Hungary could "return to the normal timetable" by year-end with the conclusion of talks with the EC. Then transfers from the Cohesion Fund and the Recovery and Resilience Facility (RRF) could start arriving, he added.

He said the open application process for picking the Integrity Authority's chairman and two deputies had been closed. A three-member committee of experts established for the selection process will undertake an assessment based on which a recommendation for filling the posts will be made by the chairman of the State Audit Office (ÁSZ) early in November, he added.

The Anti-Corruption Task Force, with 10 members selected by the government and 10 from NGOs, will be formed by mid-December, he said.

The Integrity Authority will be required to inform other authorities, such as the European Anti-Fraud Office (Olaf) or the European Public Prosecutor's Office (Eppo), if it suspects graft, conflict of interest, corruption, or other legal violations or irregularities. The Anti-Corruption Task Force will work alongside the Integrity Authority, undertaking analyses, making recommendations, issuing opinions, and drafting decisions.

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