Abstention: Act of anticipating a conflict of interests situation. Any public official, in the exercise of his/her functions, decides not to intervene in a matter in which he/she has direct or indirect interests of any kind that compromise his/her impartiality , and in particular personal, family or financial interests, reporting the matter to their superior officer or to the competent authority.
Authority to issue guidelines: This refers to the recommendations by the means of which the Anti-Fraud Office addresses the public administrations, the proposals issued and the attention to non-binding queries formulated to the Office.
Conflict of interests: Arises between concerns and goods of the community as a whole and private concerns and goods, connected with the private ends of each member of civil society. Preventing conflicts of interest ensures the impartiality of public agents in taking charge of common concerns, without their acts benefiting or according privileges to their own private interests.
Corruption: Any act of corruption that entails the conscious breach of the decision of a public or private decision-maker which, in open disloyalty to his legal or contractual mandate, aims at obtaining private profit, disregarding the citizens or the legitimate interests of a third party. In this sense, public corruption and corruption in the private sector share the following characteristics:
a) Any corrupt conduct involving the breach of an institutional duty, in such a way that the corrupt party, actively or passively breaches the inherent reponsibilities entrusted to their status or the function he/she undertakes, violating the trust conferred.
b) It occurs within the context of a set regulatory framework. This can take place in a legal framework (e.g incompatibility regulations) or a contractual one (e.g rules of social corporate responsibility or involving risk to reputation).
c) It is always linked to expectations of obtaining an extra-institutional benefit, normally of an economic nature, but can be of a political or professional nature, or a combination of profits of different natures.
d) It takes place in a surreptitious or reserved manner, on its execution or, as applicable, simultaneously with or successively to the covering up of the illicit benefit obtained, which will depend on the strategy used or the degree of eficiency of the monitoring institutions.
Informant: Individuals who inform the Office of facts they know of or have learned, either at their own initiative or because they have been summoned to appear in the course of proceedings.The regulations governing the Anti-Fraud Office lay down mechanisms for the protection of those reporting or providing information about cases in good faith (known in the international sphere of regulations of the integrity of public and private workers as whistleblower), whether by preserving their identity or by providing them with assistance and instigating or exercising vis-à-vis the competent authorities corrective or reinstatement measures for reprisals they had suffered for their collaboration with the Office.
Interim measures: The director may at any time in the proceedings carried out by the Anti-Fraud Office, at the proposal of the functionary charged with the investigation and via written notice and issue of a report explaining the need for it, apply to the competent body for the adoption of any interim or advance measure provided for under the applicable regulations. And in the same terms, the Anti-Fraud Office may request that the measures adopted be left without effect in the light of concurrent circumstances that had arisen. The Office may request of the competent body that the Office be notified without delay of the agreement taken as a result of its application for the initiation or otherwise of administrative proceedings, the adoption and subsequent ratification of measures, modifications, extensions, entry in registries or removal therefrom, as well as in relation to the lodging of summonses against the proceeding. The initiation of the administrative proceeding in which the measures sought are accorded shall not be an obstacle to the proceedings of the Office, which can continue. On the conclusion of these proceedings, the Office has to notify the result thereof to the competent body.
Likelihood, assessment of: Study conducted prior to the start of proceedings in order to check the information and deeds reported or that are the base of the reasoned requests by other entities.
Nepotism, favouritism: Favouritism in the sphere of public administration and the public sector involves according preference to favour over merit, competence and the capacity of the tenderer of a contract, provision, subsidy or a post. Nepotism is used to designate situations in which the abuse of power is committed in favour of relatives and friends.
Personal interviews: Conversations held with anybody who might provide relevant or important information that lends specific form to, expands upon or clarifies cases the Office is examining, previously notified by any means and in advance.
Probity: Refers in general to rectitude of action, integrity, honesty. As applied to the administrative sphere, it would consist in the observance by public servants of irreproachable conduct and honest and fair exercise of the post, with the general interest prevailing over private interests. It is the opposite of corruption.
Reprisals: A reprisal is deemed to be any form of punishment, sanction or discrimination, in the form of action or omission, due to having reported presumed acts of corruption or irregular administrative practices leading to situations of corruption.