Press release: Budgetary Inspection Needs to Become Functional Urgently

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We submitted an initiative to the Ministry of Finance to urgently start the process of filling three vacant positions in the Department for Budgetary Inspection, including the position of the Chief budgetary inspector, as well as to make the work of this body more transparent.

In the wake of adoption of the Fiscal Strategy which stipulates numerous measures aimed at reducing public spending, we recall that the key mechanism for ensuring efficient and lawful spending of citizens’ money – budgetary inspection, has been dysfunctional for over three years.

Position of the Chief budgetary inspector has been vacant for more than six months, and the two remaining positions for inspectors were never occupied – since the adoption of the Rulebook on internal Organisation and Systematisation of the Ministry of Finance until today.

From the adoption of the Law on Budget and Fiscal Accountability in 2014 until today, budgetary inspector did not initiate a single misdemeanour charge.

On the other hand, the public did not have any information on his work, since the Ministry of Finance classified all the documentation regarding the operations of budgetary inspection as Internal. Even though the Administrative Court annulled this decision in September 2016 following IA’s lawsuit, Ministry of Finance never submitted the requested information – minutes on conducted inspection controls by the budgetary inspector are still not available to public.

Besides the systemic Law on Budget, budgetary inspector is also in charge of overseeing the implementation of the Law on Wages in the Public Sector. Notwithstanding the two systemic laws and the entire public sector in the broadest sense under aegis of this inspection, all three systematised positions are currently vacant, while the information on previous inspector’s work remains classified.

Anticipating the adoption of the Fiscal Strategy, in order to ensure compliance with the Law on Budget and Fiscal Responsibility and its misdemeanour provisions, we call upon the Ministry of Finance to urgently begin the procedure of filling vacant positions in the budgetary inspection. Measures aimed at reducing current and discretionary spending could be implemented only if there is effective and powerful oversight of the Ministry of Finance embodied in the budgetary inspection.

Therefore, strengthening this inspection’s capacities and introducing the mandatory transparency of its work should be number one priority of the Ministry of Finance. Urgent steps should be: appointment of the budgetary inspector, systematisation and fulfilment of additional workplaces in the budgetary inspection and introduction of the practice of publishing reports on inspection controls conducted by this body.

Stevo Muk

President of the Managing Board

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