Role of the prefect
The prefect is appointed by the Government and represents the national government at the local level and exercises the powers that are constitutionally attributed to him.
The main attributes of prefects are defined at Article 123 of the Constitution of Romania:
(1) The Government names one prefect in each county and in the Municipality of Bucharest.
(2) The prefect is the representative of the Government at the local level and heads the devolved public services of the ministries and of the other organs of the central public administration in the administrative-territorial units.
(3) The prefect's attributes are defined through organic law.
(4) Between prefects, on the one hand, and local councils and town halls, as well as county councils and their presidents, on the other hand, no subordinate relations exist.
(5) The prefect may challenge, before an administrative court, an act of the county council, or a local council or of a mayor, in the event he considers the act illegal. The act thus challenged is suspended de jure.
Among the roles of the prefect is to ensure that the Constitution and laws are followed; to help fulfill the Government's programme; to help maintain social peace; to cooperate with local authorities in order to set development priorities; to verify the legality of acts done by the county or local councils and mayors; to ensure emergency preparedness; to promote integration into the European Union; to decide with which similar institutions in Romania or abroad to cooperate; to ensure that national minorities are able to communicate with Government institutions in localities where minorities make up over 20% of the population. The principles that are supposed to guide the prefect are legality, impartiality and objectivity; transparency and free access to public information; efficiency; responsibility; professionalism; and a citizen-oriented attitude.
Each prefect leads a prefectural college; this is a consultative body meant to assist in coordinating the activities of devolved public services. In particular, it is meant to analyse the activity of devolved services and propose measures to improve it; to identify where multiple services can cooperate; to decide on measures necessary to implement policies adopted at the national level; to organize joint activities of public services in order to deal with special situations; and to analyse what measures should be taken for there to be a unified system of managing information or material, financial or human resources.
Each prefecture also has a chancellery, composed of a director, an adviser to the prefect, an adviser on Roma issues, and a chief of cabinet. The chancellery ensures the prefect's work runs smoothly; analyzes social and economic data; organizes meetings between the prefect and civil society groups, unions, management, and political parties; drafts press releases; organizes informational meetings and press conferences, and informs the public about the prefect's activities; maintains the prefecture's website; and drafts quarterly progress reports on the Government's Roma strategy.
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