Initiative for conducting a consultative hearing on public procurement in the health sector

Institute alternative addressed the presidents of the Committee for Economy, Finance and Budget and Committee on Health, Labor and Social Welfare with an initiative for conducting a joint consultative hearing on public procurement in the health sector. The aim of the hearing would be to find the best legal solutions and practices in order to solve the current public procurement crisis in this sector.

Public procurements in the health sector within the last and this year had numerous problems: the case of insulin supply as well as the past year’s procurement of other medicines and medical supplies, which are accompanied by non-compliance with legal deadlines for appeal, canceling of the tender procedure, several months long procedure that caused shortages of medicines, decision of the State Commission for Supervision of Public Procurement decision being annulled, etc.

These facts indicate the need for a more precise regulation and a better institutional set up in the public procurement system. The fact that about fifty million euro per year is being spent for public procurement in the health sector and that the ultimate beneficiaries of these procurements are the patients, only emphasizes the importance of this issue.

As a society, we are obliged to provide minimum treatment requirements during the year. We must prevent people in need to be victims of the legal inconsistencies, incompetence, corruption and bureaucracy. It is necessary to prevent the shortage of medicines to repeat in 2014.

The Parliament of Montenegro must contribute to solving the current public procurement crisis in the health sector (purchase of medicines, medical supplies and equipment). Committee for Economy, Finance and Budget along with the Committee on Health, Labor and Social Welfare (as committees assigned for procurement and health care) must find a proper solution for overcoming problems in this area.

Conference on oversight of data collection (DCAF, Ohrid)

Our researcher, Dina Bajramspahić, was invited by the Geneva Centre for the Democratic Control of Armed Forces (DCAF) to be one of the panelists at the three-day round table held in Ohrid, Macedonia on June 24-26.

Theme of the roundtable was “Security and Intelligence Oversight – Overseeing Information Collection and Information Sharing” and was primarily created for Members and staff of selected committees of
the Assembly of Kosovo, with focus on the Committee on Internal Affairs, Security and Supervision of Kosovo Security Force and the Supervision Committee of the Kosovo Intelligence Agency, as well as representatives of the relevant ministries and international organizations in Kosovo.

Dina had a presentation on the fourth session of the roundtable whose subject was “Frameworks for interception of telecommunications – Insights from Slovenia, Croatia and Montenegro”. This session meant to provide a platform for discussing with West Balkan and EU experts frameworks and approaches for interception of telecommunications with focus on aspects of particular relevance for the Kosovo context, in particular pointing to checks and balances and safeguards against potential abuse.

Her presentation was “Assessment of the legal framework for application of the measures for secret surveillance (MSS) and challenges for oversight in Montenegro”. Focus of her presentation was on compliance of the legal framework for the implementation of MSS by the National Security Agency and Police Administration with the standards, the problems in the implementation of the measures, practical barriers to effective supervision over the implementation, etc.

Scientific conference ”European citizen in the times of crisis”

Research coordinator at the Institute Alternative, Jovana Marovic, took part in the symposium “European citizen in times of crisis – the choice between the European Union and its member states as a false dilemma”, which was held at the Faculty of Political Sciences in Belgrade, 26 June 2013. During the conference numerous questions were launched about the citizen’s place in the EU system, the crisis in this supranational community and the impact of the crisis on the citizen and the state of citizen’s static activism and dynamic political elites. Jovana Marovic had presentation on “Active citizenship as a prerequisite for the development of democracy in the European Union.” The conference is part of the “Jean Monnet Module – The constitutional politics of the European Union”, which is funded by the European Commission

Good practices in citizens’ participation in the local budgetary process

IA’s researcher, Marko Sošić, participated at the round table “Good practices of citizen participation in the budget process at the local level”, organized by the European Movement in Serbia, in Belgrade, on 21 June. At the roundtable, the research paper entitled “Citizen participation in the budget process at the local level,” whose authors Zvonko Brnjas and Milica Radovanovic Dumonjić was presented.

As part of the roundtable, whose participants were representatives of local governments of Serbia and NGOs dealing with issues related to local finance, Marko spoke on “Citizen involvement in the budget process at the local level – the experience of Montenegro.” During the presentation, there were words about our new web site,, with a visualization of data related to local budgets, which was prepared in the framework of the project “Monitoring of local budgets in Montenegro.”

Recruitment and Promotion In State Administration – First Quarterly Report

Key findings of the report:

Start of the implementation of the new Law on Civil Servants and State Employees (LSCEE) was marked by the failure of authorities to meet all the legal and institutional preconditions for successful application of this act. Only four of thirteen envisaged by-laws were adopted during the 17 months long transition period, which marks the time between entering into force of the Law and launching of its implementation. Between January 1, 2013 and April 1, 2013, which is a period covered by our first quarterly report on the recruitment and promotion in state bodies, only three additional necessary by-laws were brought.

By April 1, the Rulebook on content and manner of keeping the Central Human Resources Record has not been adopted, although this record is a main precondition of the successful human resources management in the state administration. Data about near seven thousand of state administration’s employees have not been submitted to this information system yet, although it should contain the basic information about all civil servants and state employees in Montenegro. In general, capacities of Human Resources Management Authority, which is in charge of keeping the Central Human Resources Record, are not satisfactory, especially with respect to the training of staff to implement new procedures testing candidates’ abilities to perform tasks of the state administration job.

During the first three months of the implementation of the LSCEE, a total number of 18 vacancies for state administration jobs were announced. However, apart from the selection of heads of state administration bodies, only four candidates have gone through the newly regulated procedures of testing and evaluating candidates’ abilities, following the two separate vacancy notices. Since in both cases the final ranking list consisted of only one candidate, who subsequently got the job, it is too early to bring conclusions about the extent to which the new Law encouraged establishment of the merit based system in state administration. More precisely, it is to early to determine consistency of the application of the new general rule that the candidates with the highest ranking should be given a job position .

Yet, findings indicate that the implementation of the LSCEE lacks transparency. One body rejected to state the name and surname of the selected candidate, under the excuse of protecting his or hers personal data, although the Law on Free access to Information envisages obligation of all bodies to publish the list of its servants and employees, along with their positions. Furthermore, the competence of conducting internal notices within the state body was assigned to the state body itself, contrary to legal provisions which gave the Human Resources Management Authority a central role in conducting all the vacancy advertisements and notices.

With an aim of enhancing recruitment and promotion in state administration, it is thus necessary to finalize the legal framework for application of the new rules. Human Resources Management Authority and state bodies should ensure the consistent implementation of the provisions which clearly regulate the competences for conducting the vacancy notices and advertisements. All state bodies should regularly update and publish on their websites the lists of all their servants and employees along with their job positions, and thus ensure the transparency and easier monitoring of recruitment and promotion in state administration.