NGOs accuse the Bucharest City Hall of lack of transparency

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A report conducted by four NGOs accuses that six months after winning local elections, Bucharest general mayor Gabriela Firea, next to the PSD and ALDE councilmen who have majority in the General Council, managed to almost completely shut off the citizens from the city hall.

The report is signed by ActiveWatch, CeRe Center, OPTAR (Organization for Promoting the Alternative Transport in Romania and Funky Citizens.

“Bucharest City Hall has become a fortress, carefully watched by abusive practices, while it’s being managed by an occult administration that prevents citizens’ public attendance. The NGOs have analyzed the way legal provisions have been observed on decision-making transparency and citizens’ involvement in public decisions. The first six months at the City Hall have been opaque, with the public debate exercise being rather an accident,” reads the NGO’s press release.

The organizations called on the general mayor to observe and enforce the legal framework related to decision-making transparency and to turn the principles voiced out in the electoral campaign into facts.

According to the report, only 7 regulatory documents out in 149 were publicly debated. Only 10 out in those 751 mayor orders are public on the City Hall’s website.

The report conclusions show that the hall where citizens could watch live the General Council meeting was closed down. “Practically, a citizen cannot attend a meeting of the General Council. Moreover, due to the lack of Internet connection and of a computer, the citizens cannot find out what is at issue during the Council’ meetings, even if there are broadcast live on the City Hall’s website,” the NGOs argue, adding that the city hall’s budget cannot be analyzed either, while the representatives of USR, PNL and PMP in the General Council are prevented from debating the drafts by the sitting chairman.

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