Public Administration in Montenegro: Salary schemes, reward system and opportunities for professional advancement in law and in practice

The process of reform of public administration has been initiated in 2001, in accordance with the Public Administration Reform Strategy in Montenegro 2002-2009.

However, the fact that Montenegro should further intensify the reforms of the public administration sector was outlined in the 2007 European Commission Progress Report of the EU, which has marked the country’s public administration as ‘weak and inefficient’.

Although the EU has acknowledged that some advancement has been made in this area, further improvements are needed in order to ‘clarify sectoral responsibilities in a manner which permits oversight and transparency.’ Having in mind all of the aforementioned, the purpose of this research is to provide an analysis of the salary schemes, reward system and opportunities for professional advancement in the public administration of Montenegro, both in law and in practice. the process of public administration reform and approximation to EU standards require the establishment of advanced mechanisms for attracting, allocating and rewarding the employees.

The poor administrative capacities are one of the key challenges Montenegro is faced with, and this fact is partly attributable to the substandard financial conditions of civil servants and state employees, lack of delegation of responsibility from managers and poor working environment.

All of these factors decrease the motivation of the civil servants to give the best contribution at their workplace. this has been confirmed by the Government itself, with the public promise that the situation would improve for the civil servants and the state employees. the attempts to amend the existing Law on Civil Servants and State Employees and the Law on Salaries of Civil Servants and State Employees both resulted in legal uncertainties.

The conundrum created by the current status of these laws outlines the lack of consensus among the policy-makers in Montenegro, the affair being ever more complex given the fact that these policy-makers belong to the same end of the political spectrum. Hence, the aim of this study is to invigorate the current debate on the reform of public administration, and provide for some concrete recommendations for further improvement in this sector. the need for this analysis is further asserted by the fact that the problems in the salary schemes, reward systems and opportunities for professional advancement in public administration have been perpetuating for a long time; and by the fact that so far, no serious analysis of the current state of affairs in public administration has been made, with thus no adequate recommendations offered to the policy-makers.

In order to offer the most comprehensive outlook of the current state of affairs in this area, and the most plausible solutions to the challenges, this paper is divided in four analytical parts, each having a specific scope. the first part of the study gives an overview of the existing legislation, which helps generate the second portion of research dealing with the implementation of reforms in practice. The third part of the study identifies the challenges Montenegro is faced with, in order to be able to give concrete recommendations on how to tackle them. The fourth element of analysis will consider the practices in Montenegro through comparison with Slovenia, Croatia and Malta, countries that have all recently engaged in the process of reform of public administration. The four analytical elements will be synthesised as recommendations at the end of this policy paper.

So as to present an ample overview of the current legal framework, relevant strategies, the applicability of these documents in practice and their effect on the employees, this paper uses the combination of analytical and comparative approaches. Due to such a perspective on research, qualitative methods -including text analysis and interviews with the relevant policy-makers – offer the best explanation for the examined case. the interviewed sample consists of the relevant officials of the ministries in the Government of Montenegro; and civil servants and state employees in the independent agencies and other institutions. these structured interviews are used to show and analyse the effects of the current legislation, as well as the level of the government’s commitment to creating an efficient state administration.

IA and Human Rights Action

Appeal to withdraw proposition of Law on electronic communications from parliamentary procedure

Having in mind that Parliament on its assembly on Monday, 21.07.2008., beyond schedule discussed the governments proposition of Law on electronic communications, as well as the fact that voting on this proposal will take place next week, NGOs Human Rights Action and Institute Alternative, urge the responsible members of Parliament to withdraw this proposal from parliamentary procedure and return it to the public debate stage, because its adoption would cause diminishing of right to free information in Montenegro.

The solution from the proposition of the Law on electronic communications, which implies that the new Agency for electronic communications and postal activity, which is in charge of giving permissions for broadcasting television and radio signal, is founded and supervised by the Government, is a danger to the existing level of freedom of informing in Montenegro and is endangering the development of free electronic medias.

We support critics made on the account of this law proposal by the Council and director of the Agency for broadcasting, as well as by the representatives of the General directorate of the European Commission for informatics society, which were all stating that the proposition is isn’t in line with acquis communitaire and standards of the EU, nor with recommendations from European Partnership and obligations from the Stabilization and Association Agreement. We remind the public on recent statement made by the representative of the OSCE for freedom of the press, Miklos Haraszti, in which he expressed his concern with this, and recommended starting a public debate on this law proposition.

Montenegro has committed its-self by the Charter of human and minority rights of Serbia and Montenegro, that it will not diminish achieved level of human rights guaranties, and although this guarantee unfortunately didn’t make it into the Constitution, we urge that it must be respected because of the dignity of Montenegrin citizens and their European future.

Human Rights Action and Institute Alternative


By adopting proposition of Law of electronic communications, some of the norms from existing Law on tele-communications and Law on broadcasting would be annulled, while the existing Agency for telecommunications and technical division of Agency for broadcasting, who decide on allocation of frequencies, would be replaced by Agency for electronic communications and postal activity, which is, in contrast to previously mentioned agencies, founded and controlled by the Government. According to the Law in force, Agency for broadcasting is an independent body managed by the Council, whose members, respected experts, are nominated by the Government, University, broadcasting associations, NGOs from the human rights and media orientation, while the Parliament is only obliged to confirm nominations. According to the new Law on electronic communications, president and members of the Council of the Agency are nominated by the Government, to whom they are responsible as well.

Freedom of press

Symbolically, on the day day of the fourth anniversary of the killing of director and main editor of daily newspaper “Dan”, the Prime Minister spoke about medias and journalism.

Instead of new informations regarding those who are behind this crime, that nobody is yet legally accused of, the Prime Minister offered his version of objective, competent, and critically oriented journalism.

Entire domestic and international public should be worried about this new Đukanović’s open call against journalism that has a critical attitude towards government.

By comparing journalist that do not go with the flow with personal symbols of well-known nationalistic parties, the Prime Minister is trying to label medias that do not fit his picture of independent journalism, as anti-systemic and anti-european.

If a Prime Minister, who is serving his fifth mandate on this function, in a country where his party exercises absolute power for decades, is so keen on reckoning with few independent medias, then it is very likely we are slipping into some kind of an attempt to establish complete control of all aspects of society.

It is possible that after this open call to confront medias and journalist, soon appear some new attacks on rights to life, privacy and peace of free journalist and other public figures. As was the case after previous announcements of the party that Đukanović leads.

Stevo Muk
The president of the executive board of Institute Alternativa