Legislation To Enhance Transparency, The Independence And The Credibility Of The Decisions And Opinions In The Field Of Public Health, The Sickness, The Safety Of The Food Chain And The Environment

Original Language Title: Loi visant à renforcer la transparence, l'indépendance et la crédibilité des décisions prises et avis rendus dans le domaine de la santé publique, de l'assurance-maladie, de la sécurité de la chaîne alimentaire et de l'environnement

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21 DECEMBER 2013. - An Act to enhance the transparency, independence and credibility of decisions taken and notifications in the field of public health, health insurance, food chain security and the environment



PHILIPPE, King of the Belgians,
To all, present and to come, Hi.
The Chambers adopted and We sanction the following:
Article 1er. This Act regulates a matter referred to in Article 78 of the Constitution.
Art. 2. For the purposes of this Act:
1. direct interest: direct link of a person, as referred to in Article 3, with a company, institution or organization whose activities, techniques, products, processes, services or strategies are within the scope of competence of the proceedings referred to in Article 3 such as remuneration, possession of shares and/or obligations, in-kind retribution, expert report and consultancy, organization of and/or participation
2. indirect interest: an indirect link of a person, as referred to in section 4, with a business, institution or organization whose activities, techniques, products, processes, services or strategies are within the scope of the jurisdictions referred to in section 3 such as an unrecognized benefit personally but benefited from a proceeding, a corporation for which the person, his or her spouse, cohabiting legal or fact, a descendant or an ascendant in the first degree;
3. conflict of interest: the situation in which the interests of a person, as referred to in section 4, could influence the conclusions of the proceedings referred to in section 3 to draw a direct or indirect interest; links with persons, businesses, institutions, or groups likely to compete with those referred to in a specific notice may also constitute a conflict of interest;
4. general declaration of interest: a statement on the honour by which the person to whom this Act applies shall inform the proceeding referred to in section 3 of all interests related to the activities of that body, established at least in the last three years; the model of the general declaration of interest, its terms of filing, updating, retention and advertising are fixed by the King, after notice of the proceedings referred to in section 3 and the notice of the privacy protection commission referred to in the Act of 8 December 1992 relating to the protection of privacy with respect to personal data processing.
Art. 3. The King, by order deliberately in the Council of Ministers, establishes and updates the list of competent bodies in the field of public health, health insurance, food chain security and the environment to which this Act is applicable.
Art. 4. Each person associated with the issuance of notices, proposals, recommendations or decisions emanating from a proceeding referred to in Article 3 to be an effective member, appointed expert or invited, scientific rapporteur, shall, at the time of his or her appointment, issue a general statement of interest.
The person referred to in paragraph 1er may only take part in the work, deliberations and votes of the proceeding in which it sits once the statement is signed and/or updated. The Committee referred to in Article 5, paragraph 1er, based on the information contained in this general statement of interest, decides on participation in the work, deliberation and votes of the person concerned.
The proceedings referred to in section 3 shall inform the persons referred to in this Act of their obligations under this section and of the procedure to be followed in order to comply with it and to recall, on a regular basis, their obligations in this matter.
Derogation from subparagraphs 1er to 3, the person referred to in this Act may complete his or her general statement of interest after taking office or the commencement of his or her consultation if the proceeding must urgently resort to that person in exceptional and unpredictable circumstances. In this case, the proceeding will motivate the emergency prior to the person's entry into office or the beginning of the person's consultation.
Art. 5. All instances covered by this Act establish their own conflict of interest management system. A Committee, specific to each proceeding, is responsible for assessing, on the basis of general statements of interest, the potential conflicts of interest of persons covered by this Act in order to determine the participation of such persons in the work, deliberation and votes. Decisions taken in this regard are motivated. The King shall determine the rules of application of this paragraph, including the rules relating to the composition and mode of operation of that Committee.
In order to ensure transparency, the authorities make available to the public their rules of procedure, their code of conduct, the conflict of interest management system established and the composition of the Committee referred to in paragraph 1er.
Once the opinions, proposals, recommendations or decisions taken by the bodies referred to in Article 3, the agenda of the working meetings leading to it, together with the decisions taken and the names of the persons who contributed to it, are made public to the exclusion of information of a commercial, industrial, scientific or confidential nature.
Art. 6. § 1er. It shall be punishable by imprisonment from eight days to one month and a fine of 100 euros to 1,000 euros, or one of these penalties only, which, in the cases referred to in Article 4, paragraph 4, fails to establish or update its general declaration of interest.
Is punishable by imprisonment from one month to one year and a fine of 200 euros to 15,000 euros or one of these penalties only:
1. any person who provides false information that affects the sincerity of his or her statement;
2. anyone who conceals negative information or disseminates misleading information during the proceedings and deliberations, as referred to in Article 4, paragraph 2.
Any person who contravenes another provision of this Act shall be liable to a fine of 50 euros to 100 euros.
§ 2. If it appears that a person who has participated in the work, deliberation or voting of a proceeding under the law is concerned by a conflict of interest, the Committee referred to in Article 5, paragraph 1er, shall, in view of the importance of this conflict of interest, decide on the validity of the notice, proposal, recommendation or decision taken by that proceeding.
The King shall determine the rules of application of this paragraph.
Art. 7. This Act comes into force on the first day of 24e month after publication to the Belgian Monitor.
The King may fix an effective date prior to that referred to in paragraph 1er.
Promulgate this law, order that it be clothed with the seal of the State and published by the Belgian Monitor.
Given in Brussels on 21 December 2013.
PHILIPPE
By the King:
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Social Affairs and Public Health,
Ms. L. ONKELINX
Seal of the state seal:
The Minister of Justice,
Ms. A. TURTELBOOM
____
Note
House of Representatives (www.lachambre.be):
Documents: 53-2041
Full report: 12-13 June 2013
Senate (www.senate.be):
Documents: 5-2315