Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán has signed a decree to create an independent anti-corruption agency, a key step in unlocking 5.8 billion euros of the European Union's most important funds by next year.
This is reported by Bloomberg.
The Hungarian government previously agreed to take a series of measures to prevent or punish bribery, which the EU said was one of the factors it needed to address in order to preserve EU funding.
The body, which will be established by November 21, will "intervene in cases where it believes that the responsible authorities have not taken the necessary measures to prevent fraud, conflicts of interest, corruption and other illegal actions or violations that may harm the sound financial condition of the budget management EU," Orbán's decree states.
The government will also establish an anti-corruption task force by December 1 with an equal number of government and non-governmental delegates.
The European Commission has stepped up scrutiny of Orbán's broad erosion of the rule of law, from the independence of Hungary's judiciary to the status of minorities. Using a new mechanism that allows it to withhold billions of euros in funding from member states, the European Commission said in July that Hungary's efforts to resolve the problems had so far not yielded results.
The government has promised to increase business participation in public procurement, introduce a performance measurement system and shorten procurement procedures based on a single offer. According to the order, the evaluation of these tenders will also be made public.