Events
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Reducing Error, Fraud and Corruption in Social Protection Programs
June 8-12, 2014Opatija, Croatia

High-level policy makers and practitioners from around Europe and Central Asia gather to discuss how to develop comprehensive and cost-effective systems to combat irregularities in social protection programs.

Social protection systems are large, complex cash payment systems that deliver millions of pensions, unemployment benefits and social assistance benefits every month. In countries in Europe and Central Asia, they tend to absorb about a fifth to a third of all Government spending. Although every country's social protection program aims to pay the right beneficiary the right amount at the right time, complex systems mean that some level of error and fraud is unavoidable.

To minimize waste of public funds, countries such as Albania, Croatia, Moldova, and Romania have started to put in place effective systems, tools and instruments to combat error, fraud and corruption (EFC) in their social protection systems.

In Croatia, from 8-12 June, representatives from these countries will share their experiences with high-level policy makers and practitioners from other Europe and Central Asia countries involved in the prevention and detection of EFC.

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    Milanka Opacic

    Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Ministry of Social Policy and Youth of Croatia
    Milanka Opacic is the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Ministry of Social Policy and Youth of Croatia. She has a degree in political sciences from the Faculty of Political Sciences, University of Zagreb. Between 1992-1995 and 2000-2011, Ms. Opacic was a Member of the Croatian Parliament. Between 2008–2011, she was the Chairperson of the Committee for Families, Youth and Sport and the Vice-chairperson of the SDP parliamentary group. From 2003 to 2007, she was vice-chairperson of the Committee for Labour, Social Welfare Policy and Health Care, member of the Committee for Families, Youth and Sport, and vice-chairperson of the SDP parliamentary group. From 2002 to 2003, Ms. Opacic led the Committee for Gender Equality of the Parliament, and was member of the Legislation Committee, member of the Credentials and Immunities Committee, and vice-chairperson of the SDP parliamentary group. From 1996 to 2000, she was the Vice-chairperson of the Central Board of the SDP, member of the Central Board, and member of the Executive.
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    Valentina Buliga

    Minister of Labour, Social Protection and Family of the Republic of Moldova
    Ms. Valentina Buliga, Minister of Labour, Social Protection and Family of the Republic of Moldova, graduated from the Academy of Public Administration affiliated to the President of the Republic of Moldova, with a Master in Public Administration (diploma of excellence); and from the State University of Medicine and Pharmacy “N. Testemiţeanu” (diploma of excellence). Between 2005 – 2009 she was a Member of Parliament, Head of the Parliament Commission on Social Protection, Health and Family. From 1998 to 2001, she was the Head of Department at the Ministry of Health. During this time, Mrs. Buliga carried out a series of international studies in the sphere of public acquisitions, child protection, pharmacy and health services, health insurance, prevention and fight against family violence. On September 2009, based on the Decree of the President of the Republic of Moldova, Mrs. Buliga was nominated to the post of Minister of Labour, Social Protection and Family.
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    Hrvoje Sadaric

    Assistant Minister of the Ministry of Social Policy and Youth of Croatia
    He holds a degree in political sciences from the Faculty of Political Sciences, University of Zagreb. In 2011, he completed the Diplomatic Academy of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and European Integration. As Assistant Minister, Mr. Sadaric is responsible for EU coordination. Prior to joining the Ministry, Mr. Sadaric held various offices in the Croatian parliament.
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    Codrin Scutaru

    Deputy Minister of the Romanian Ministry of Labor, Family, Social Protection and Elderly
    Codrin Scutaru is Deputy Minister of the Romanian Ministry of Labor, Family, Social Protection and Elderly (since 2013). He is in charge of coordination of the social assistance programs and social services. This includes policies for disabled people, child protection, and social inclusion for different vulnerable groups, including Roma. He is also responsible for the relation with international organizations, like the World Bank, IMF and the European Commission. He was previously a senior consultant with substantial experience in government relations, public sector and administration, political consultancy, public affairs and organizational development. He is licensed in Political Science and Law, with a MA in Strategic Management and a PhD in Sociology. Mr. Scutaru holds a PhD in Sociology at the University of Bucharest (2010), a MA in Strategic Management from the same university (2006) and BA degrees in political science, sociology (2003) and law (2006). He is author and co-author of numerous research publications in the field of social inclusion and social development (2004-2012).
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    Hongjoo J. Hahm

    Country Manager for Croatia and Slovenia in Zagreb
    Hongjoo J. Hahm is Country Manager for Croatia and Slovenia in Zagreb since 2010. He joined the World Bank in 1991, prior to which he worked at the Asian Development Bank and taught economics at New York University and the City University in New York. In the World Bank, Dr. Hahm has also held positions as the Head of the Infrastructure Unit in the World Bank Office in Jakarta, overseeing the transport, energy, urban, and water and sanitation sectors. He led the infrastructure and housing reconstruction work in post-tsunami Aceh; the housing reconstruction efforts in post-earthquake Yogyakarta, and the flood mitigation program for Greater Jakarta. He oversaw infrastructure financing in Indonesia for the World Bank, with a focus on financing through public private partnerships. His area of expertise is in finance. His PhD was in financial economics, and he was heavily involved in the banking and corporate restructuring programs in Korea, Philippines, Thailand, and Indonesia during the 1998-2000 Asian financial crisis, and in the banking and enterprise sector of Europe during the current European financial crisis. Dr. Hahm has years of private sector banking experience, having worked at Goldman Sachs Asset Management LLC from 2000-2005. Dr. Hahm received his B.A. from the College of William and Mary, his M. Phil. from the London School of Economics, and his M.A. and Ph.D. in Economics from New York University. Dr. Hahm is well published and holds an Executive MBA from Harvard Business School. He is a member of the Cambridge University Sustainable Development Leadership Program.
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    Alexandru Alexe

    public manager with the General Directorate for Social Assistance within the Ministry of Labour, Family, Social Protection and Elderly
    Alexandru Alexe (MA) is public manager with the General Directorate for Social Assistance within the Ministry of Labour, Family, Social Protection and Elderly. He has coordinated the implementation of projects of the National Interest Programmes in the field of child protection in 2008 – 2009, at the National Authority for Child Protection. Starting in 2010, he was involved in reporting on the National Reform Programme and Country Specific Recommendations on social inclusion and the implementation of the Managerial Control System of the Ministry of Labour. Since 2012, he has coordinated the preparatory phase of programming of the European funds for 2014-2020 in the area of social affairs and social inclusion and has been 3 involved in drafting the Partnership Agreement with the EC and the Operational Programme Human Capital for Romania. He is also involved in the implementation of the Social Assistance System Modernization Project developed in cooperation with the World Bank. He is a graduate of Law School and holds a Master’s degree in management and human resources, from the National School for Political and Administrative Studies Bucharest.
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    John Armstrong

    Deputy Senior Responsible Officer for surveillance in Great Britain’s Department of Work and Pensions’ Fraud and Error Service
    John Armstrong is the Deputy Senior Responsible Officer for surveillance in Great Britain’s Department of Work and Pensions’ Fraud and Error Service. Reporting to the Director of the Fraud and Error service, John is currently designing a new surveillance strategy including a Central Authorising Bureau for considering applications seeking authority to carry out surveillance. John joined the Department in 1975 and since 1979 has been involved in benefit fraud investigation work in various capacities ranging from operational investigations through to managing at various levels, most recently managing the East of England’s investigation service. During his career he led an initiative to work with other Government Departments to jointly investigate offences across Government where public money was being defrauded. John also leads the Service’s training team.
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    Rodica Cărăuşu

    public manager within the General Directorate for Social Assistance, Romanian Ministry of Labour, Family, Social Protection and Elderly
    Rodica Cărăuşu is a public manager within the General Directorate for Social Assistance, Romanian Ministry of Labour, Family, Social Protection and Elderly. She was involved in the negotiation, preparation, implementation and monitoring of World Bank projects, respectively: Social Inclusion Project, on family violence and youth at risk issues, and Social Assistance System Modernization Project, on improving equity in social benefits programs, improving administrative efficiency, strengthening performance management and reducing error, fraud and corruption. She also participated in the negotiations of the Council of Europe Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence. From 2011, she was involved in the preparation process of the 2014 - 2020 European Funds Programming on social protection issues (Partnership Agreement and Operational Programs elaboration and negotiation). She has a BA in Social Assistance (University of Bucharest) and a MA in Public Administration and Public Policy (University of York, UK).
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    Sabin Chiricescu

    ICT Consultant and IT Business Analyst
    Sabin Chiricescu is an ICT Consultant and IT Business Analyst. He has wide experience in advising large private and Government organizations in Romania. His expertise is in: large databases – data warehouses; developing web-based solution for collecting, storing and analysing tax or social protection information; developing data audit routines to check on the completeness or accuracy of the information stored in large databases; developing monitoring modules for MISs; as well as on implementing bulk data matching. Recently, he advised the Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Labour, Family, Social Protection and Elderly (MLFSPE) in Romania on improving their management information systems. Since 2012, he worked with the MLFSPE and the National Agency for Social Benefits and Inspection (NASBI) on developing monitoring reports and carrying on bulk data matching of the records stored in the NASBI MIS with similar records from other public databases. He graduated the Polytechnic University of Bucharest in 1988, with a degree in Computer Science.
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    Marinele Nicoleta Dinu

    Deputy Director of the Municipal Agency for Payments and Social Inspection of Bucharest, Romania
    Marinele Nicoleta Dinu is Deputy Director of the Municipal Agency for Payments and Social Inspection of Bucharest, Romania. Ms. Dinu is a seasoned social assistance and social services civil servant. She worked as child protection specialist since 2000. Between 2004 to 2007, she was part of the Social Inspection team of the National Authority for Child Protection and Adoptions. Starting 2010, she was the Head of the Social Inspection team of the Ministry of Labor, Family, Social Protection and Elderly. In March 2011 she was the General Director of the National Agency for Social Benefits, and subsequently of the National Agency for Social Benefits and Inspection (from January 2012). She graduated the Craiova University in 1997, and has post-graduate studies in sociology and social assistance (2000). In 2009 she completed the Master program in strategic management for social development of the Bucharest University.
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    Nicolae Draganescu

    specialist in computer science in the IT Department of National Agency for Social Benefits and Inspection (NASBI)
    Nicolae Draganescu is specialist in computer science in the IT Department of National Agency for Social Benefits and Inspection (NASBI), working in this area since 2008. He has extensive experience in data mining and data analysis from large databases, using techniques of matching and crossing information from different databases, installing, configuration and troubleshooting of applications on computers on local networks. Experience in planning social inspection activities, designing specific operational procedures for social inspection activities, generating statistical reports on social inspection activities at regional level, collecting and processing the results of the activities of social inspection. He holds a diploma in Mathematics and Informatics from University of Targoviste, Faculty of Science.
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    Mihaela Duiculescu

    social inspector in the National Agency for Payments and Social Inspection, since 2008
    Mihaela Duiculescu is social inspector in the National Agency for Payments and Social Inspection, since 2008. She has experience in implementing, management, administration of private and public social services including day centers for children and their families, disabled, vulnerable groups, and women at risk. She has experience in evaluation of the institutional methodologies and standards and in the management, administration, and evaluation of grant aid programs and creating the grant schemes, application forms and guidelines for applicants. Her present responsibilities include: setting up methodologies and evaluation instruments, training for social inspectors (different kind of social services and social benefits), setting up strategies in cases with suspicions of fraud, inspections in different social services all over the country. She has a diploma in medicine from the University of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of General Medicine in Bucharest, and a master in psychology from Spiru Haret University.
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    Vlad Grigoraș

    World Bank’s Romania Country Office team
    Vlad Grigoraș joined the World Bank’s Romania Country Office team as a consultant working on regional Human Development projects in November 2012. Currently, he is working on the Social Assistance System Modernization Project (providing technical support) and the Strategy for Poverty Reduction and Social Inclusion (co-Task Team Leader) in Romania, and he has been involved in Social Protection related projects in Ukraine, Belarus, and Moldova. Before joining the Bank, Vlad was an Assistant Professor at the University of Bucharest, Department of Sociology, with more than 8 years of teaching experience in quantitative data analysis, methodology of social research, and impact evaluation methods. He has been widely exposed to projects on poverty and social protection, through a series of activities and tasks such as: computing poverty/inequality indicators for the ECA countries, providing trainings on computing poverty and social protection indicators, and performing ex-ante evaluations of the implementation of different reforms.
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    Margaret Grosh

    Lead Economist for the World Bank’s Latin America and Caribbean Region Human Development Department
    Margaret Grosh is the Lead Economist for the World Bank’s Latin America and Caribbean Region Human Development Department. She has written, lectured, and advised extensively on social assistance programs, especially on targeting and cash transfer programs globally and for Latin America. She has extensive experience with social protection for both crisis response and improvement of equality of opportunity. Earlier, she led the team for Social Assistance in the World Bank’s global Social Protection Department and, before that, the Living Standard Measurement Study in the Research Department. She holds a Ph.D. in economics from Cornell University (1986).
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    Chris Jennings

    Head of Fraud, Error and Debt Strategy at the UK Department for Work and Pensions (DWP)
    Chris Jennings is Head of Fraud, Error and Debt Strategy at the UK Department for Work and Pensions (DWP). He is responsible for setting the long term direction for DWP's efforts to eliminate fraud and error, and for ensuring that the Department delivers against targets. Chris has extensive strategy and policy experience, most recently as Head of Strategy and Governance for the Government Equalities Office, Head of Devolution and Constitutional Strategy at the Ministry for Justice and leading the work to create a legislative and policy framework for compensating people who have lost their pensions as a result of their employer entering insolvency.
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    Gabriela Rotariu

    social inspector at the National Agency for Payments and Social Inspection working in this domain since 2008
    Gabriela Rotariu is a social inspector at the National Agency for Payments and Social Inspection working in this domain since 2008. She is experienced in implementing and managing the social services aimed at protecting and promoting children and family rights and also other vulnerable groups of persons with disabilities, elderly people, and victims of family violence. She is experienced in elaborating and implementing procedures, control instruments and programs for initial and continuous forming of social inspectors. Her present responsibilities include coordinating the activity of the compartment (department) of social services in the National Agency for Payments and Social Inspection. She received her degree in: social assistance at the University of Bucharest, Faculty of Theology and Social Assistance. She has a master’s degree in public administration from the National School of Political Science and Public Administration.
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    Dacian Sirbu

    Chief of Department for Social Inspection in Valcea County and part of National Agency for Payments and Social Inspection
    Dacian Sirbu is Chief of Department for Social Inspection in Valcea County and part of National Agency for Payments and Social Inspection team involved in reporting and managing statistical data. He is responsible for data web reporting for major social benefits and for managing a social inspection county department. He was previously very involved in training management, public servants, and job seekers. He is the author of a national occupational standard, used in professional training. With a solid engineering background, working 13 years in the private sector, he holds a Masters in Business Management from 2008. He is a member of the General Association of Engineers in Romania and an expert in AXEA (The Association of European Experts).
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    Christian van Stolk

    Director at RAND Europe
    Christian van Stolk is a Director at RAND Europe, a public policy research institute based in Cambridge, UK. He has worked extensively on programme integrity and governance. In 2006, he wrote a comparative study for the UK National Audit Office (NAO) on the occurrence of fraud in international security systems and in 2007 contributed to a study on measuring the cost-effectiveness of approaches to tackle fraud in the benefit system. He is an adviser to the World Bank on the issue of error, fraud and corruption (EFC) in social security systems. In this capacity, he has contributed to conference and distance learning modules on the topic for World Bank staff and client departments of the World Bank and has been a member of study teams that have analyzed the issue of EFC in the Ukraine, Kyrgyzstan, Bangladesh, Romania, and Vietnam. Also for the World Bank he finished a project to strengthen the governance dimension of social protection systems in ASEAN countries and contributed a chapter to the governance strategy. He has also worked on a project for the Organisation of Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) looking at the sustainability of civil service reform in Central and Eastern Europe, which incorporates issues of modernization but also corruption and politicization of administrations. Currently, he is working for OECD mapping the progress and sustainability of civil service reform in the Western Balkans.
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    Emil Tesliuc

    Senior Economist in the World Bank’s Eastern Europe and Central Asia region
    Emil Tesliuc is a Senior Economist in the World Bank’s Eastern Europe and Central Asia region. He has extensive operational, research, and policy experience in the areas of social protection, social inclusion, and poverty reduction. He has written a number of papers on poverty, vulnerability, and social protection. He co-authored two books about the design and implementation of social assistance programs: "For protection and promotion - The design and implementation of effective safety nets”, World Bank (2008) and "Income Support for the Poorest: A Review of Experience in Eastern Europe and Central Asia,” World Bank (2014). He also co-authored the ADePT Social Protection software, a standard tool to carry out benefit incidence of social protection programs using household survey data. He is currently leading client engagements focused on developing social protection systems, improving targeting and the control of error and fraud in social protection programs in several Eastern European countries. He holds a Ph.D. in economics from the Academy of Economic Studies in Bucharest, 1999, and a master in public policy from Princeton University, 2001.