Senate of the State Audit Institution (SAI) has been incomplete for a year now, comprising four out of the legally prescribed five members. Institute Alternative calls upon the Parliament and Administrative Committee, to place the appointing of a new member of the SAI’s Senate on the list of its short-term priorities.
Since a member of the SAI’s Senate Dušan Mrdović was appointed Ambassador of Montenegro to Macedonia in March 2010, his place has been vacant. Senate members are appointed and dismissed by the Parliament upon the proposal of the competent authority (Administrative Committee). Although the process for appointing a new member of the SAI’s Senate was initiated in June last year, there is still no indication that anything was done regarding this issue.
Member of the Senate is the head of one of SAI’s five sectors, a member of collegium and has a number of responsibilities related to SAI’s internal functioning, as well as monitoring of audit and accountability for its results. SAI’s overall human resources are still far from planned and systematized which makes the incomplete number of members of the Senate even more disturbing.
At the Institute Alternative we believe that the sole criterion that should influence the choice of a new member of the Senate is that of expertise. We call upon members of the Administrative Committee to ignore party and political acceptability criterion in this case. According to the law, once elected, a member of the Senate can not be a member of a political party or hold other public office.
Bearing in mind the current structure and legal norms that govern the selection and composition of the SAI’S Senate, it is necessary that a new member of the Senate DRI has a degree in law. Additionally, due to the low representation of women in managing positions within the SAI, we call upon members of the Committee to pay special attention to the principle of gender equality during the selection procedure.
First of all, however, it is imperative that MPs in the Parliament of Montenegro fully grasp the importance of SAI for political control of the budget and the fight against corruption and not permit the supreme organ of state audit to function with reduced capacity of its Senate. Therefore, we invite the Administrative Committee of the Parliament to continue the procedure of appointing a new member of the Senate DRI.