1. Scope of the procedure
The purpose of the complaints procedure is to ensure that members of the public wishing to complain or report irregularities regarding the implementation of the financial mechanisms have a simple means of doing so, that their complaint is handled with an open mind and in confidentiality and that incidents of mismanagement and corruption are uncovered and corrected.
The complaints procedure applies where the nature of the complaint indicates a threat to the proper use of the financial mechanisms, or where mismanagement or corruption by those charged with managing the funds is alleged. When the complaint concerns a public procurement process, the recourse mechanisms (i.e. appeal) available, i.e. the Tender Review Authority established under Cyprus Law 101/2003, should be used.
2. Members of the public
Members of the public wishing to address their concerns regarding possible mismanagement or corruption of the financial mechanisms will be granted confidentiality. There will be no reprisal of members of the public who give information in good faith. Members of the public who suspect mismanagement or corruption, but are unsure of their case, are encouraged to share their concerns with the Financial Mechanisms Office (FMO), the National Focal Point or any other agent responsible for the management of the financial mechanisms.
3. Advertising the procedure
The complaints procedure is public. Both policy and contact information on where complaints can be addressed, is available by the FMO and the National Focal Point on their respective websites, advertised during events related to the mechanisms or provided on request. The information is available in English on http://eeagrants.org and in Greek and English on the website www.eeagrants.gov.cy.
To this effect, relevant information is set out below:
- The Good Governance and Anti-corruption policy and the complaints procedure;
- The name, postal address, direct telephone number and direct e-mail address of the FMO Director and the Head of the National Focal Point:
i. Financial Mechanism Office
The FMO is the Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway's secretariat for the EEA and Norway Grants.
Financial Mechanism Office (FMO)
Rue Joseph II, 12-16
1000 Brussels, Belgium
Tel: +32 495 530 098
ii. National Focal Point
Directorate General for European Programmes, Coordination and Development (DG EPCD)
29, Vyronos Avenue
1096, Nicosia, Cyprus
Permanent Secretary DG EPCD
Mr. George Georghiou
Tel.: 357 22 602803
- Contact information of audit and control institutions supervising the FMO (EBoA, the Norwegian Office of the Auditor General) and the respective national audit institutions or ombudsman’s office in Cyprus where members of the public can, if they prefer, address their complaint or report an irregularity:
a) EFTA Board of Auditors (EBoA)
It is the audit and control institution supervising the FMO and the EEA Grants.
Rikisendurskodun Skulagata 57
105 Reykjavik, Iceland
Vice-Chairman: Ingi K. Magnusson
Tel: +354 562 4546
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org, cc. email@example.com
b) Norwegian Office of the Auditor General (Riksrevisjonen)
It is the audit and control institution supervising the FMO and the Norway Grants.
Postal address: P.O. Box 8130 Dep 0032 Oslo, Norway
Tel: +47 22 24 10 00
c) Audit Office of the Republic of Cyprus
Mr. Odysseas Michaelides
6, Deligiorgi Street
1406 Nicosia, CYPRUS
Tel.: 00357 22 401300
d) The Office of the Commissioner for Administration (Ombudsman)
Ms Eliza Savvidou
1097 Nicosia, CYPRUS
Tel.: 00357 22 405500
4. Complaints handling
The procedure in the Republic of Cyprus for dealing with complaints indicating threat to the proper use of the financial mechanisms or in cases where mismanagement or corruption by those charged with managing the funds is concerned, is as follows:
- Any member of the public who wishes to submit a complaint can do so by visiting the Crime Investigation Department, either at the Police Headquarters level or at the District level and making an official complaint through a signed statement. Alternatively, he/she may submit the complaint in writing to the above Department and will then be called upon to provide a written signed statement.
- The Police will examine the complaint and will investigate whether a crime has been committed in violation of any Law.
- When the investigation is completed, then the case is forwarded to the Attorney General.
- The Attorney General studies the report of the Police and decides whether there is sufficient evidence for the case to be forwarded to Court or not.
- The member of the public is kept informed on the progress regarding the complaint submitted, on a regular basis.
At the same time, the Focal Point (Directorate General for European Programmes, Coordination and Development) is also kept informed on the progress regarding the complaint submitted.
Any complaints or information regarding possible mismanagement or corruption of the financial mechanisms received by the FMO or the Focal Point shall, as appropriate, be shared between the institutions of the donor and the Cyprus Government. The Focal Point, the external monitoring agent and any other institution, linked to the case, shall provide the FMO with any information necessary to review the complaint.