Senate green-lights AVAS reorganisation

The Senate on Tuesday voted to amend and supplement Government Emergency Ordinance 23/2004 concerning the establishment of reorganisation measures for the State Bank Assets Realisation Authority (AVAB) through merger by absorption with the State Shareholdings Administration and Privatisation Authority.

 The draft law cleared the specialist committees of the chamber without amendments. It regulates the introduction of amendments and supplements arising from the institution’s statutes as a public institution with a legal personality operating under the authority of the Government and the coordination of the economy minister.

The amendments regard mainly the change in name from the State Assets Realisation Authority (AVAS) to State Assets Administration Authority (AAAS) in all the pieces of legislation in force; cutting the number of deputy chairs down to 3 form a current 4, as well as the definition of booking the amounts raised from assets realisation. At the same time, the provisions concerning the coordination of the AAAS is included that will be secured by the economy minister, assisted by an oversight and guidance board made up of 5 members, one representative each of the Economy Ministry, acting as the chair; the Justice Ministry; the Government’s General Secretariat; the National Education Ministry and the Finance Ministry whose appointment and dismissal will be performed under an order of the leadership of their respective institutions.

Other modifications regard the introduction of provisions according to which the approval of the operational regulations for the oversight and guidance board will be performed by the economy ministry. Some powers of the AAAS chair are also redefined and provisions regarding the settlement of overdue liabilities are introduced.

The Romanian Government, as the initiator of the draft, argues that the institution is facing malfunctions in achieving its business objectives, because the powers of the institutions, of the chairman and the oversight and guidance board, including their appointment, are out of line with the new organisation and future role of AAAS.

At the same time, it is argued that because the accounts of the institution are frozen by the creditors having won in courts, amendments and supplements are needed for Emergency Ordinance 23/2004 concerning legal provisions for the booking in a distinct account of the revenue derived by the institution from the realisation and retrieval of assets taken over so that that it may be used to pay out the money mentioned in court rulings regarding liabilities against AAAS, other than wage rights, established under enforceable deeds, and the amounts owed to the victims of the National Investment Fund (FNI) scam ordered under final and binding enforceable deeds. This way a high level of financial predictability is achieved in relation to the payment of the debts involved.

AAAS is facing the impossibility of approving some documents and activities it can no longer carry out because of the absence of nominations to the oversight and guidance board and unclear powers related to the coordination, guidance and oversight of the institution.

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