The Government Draft will not enhance corruption prevention

Cosmetic changes, forgotten quality draft of the parliamentary working group, lack of political will for substantive changes

 The Ministry of Justice prepared and published for public consultation the Draft Law on the Prevention of Corruption which does not bring significant improvements, nor will it, if adopted, enhance corruption prevention.

Proposing such a draft law text demonstrates the current Government’s lack of political will to contribute to the fight against corruption by improving the legal framework.

 It is particularly concerning that the current Government does not value the previous efforts of the Parliament of Montenegro and civil society to improve the text of the current law. We remind that the working group within the Anti-corruption Committee, which also included NGO representatives, prepared a Draft Law on the Prevention of Corruption in 2023. Additionally, this Committee organised a roundtable in May of last year to discuss the draft law.

The latest working version, which the representative of Institute Alternative in that working group had insight into, represents a significantly better text, although it could have been further improved since we had objections and reservations regarding certain provisions of that draft.

It remains unclear why the Ministry of Justice did not take into consideration numerous quality solutions from that draft law.

Institute Alternative is particularly concerned that the draft law put up for public consultation does not include provisions obligating members of commissions conducting procedures for public procurement, privatisations, public-private partnerships, and concessions with an estimated value exceeding 100.000 euros, to submit income and assets declarations. We remind that these are areas in high-risk of corruption.

The draft law also does not include the jurisdiction of the Agency for Prevention of Corruption to determine the existence of conflicts of interest in performing public functions in the fields of spatial planning, urbanism, concessions, and public procurement by special regulations governing these areas.

 We propose that the Government adopts, as a bill, the text agreed upon in the working group formed by the Parliament of Montenegro in 2023.

Dragana Jaćimović
Public Policy Researcher

Interviews for Managerial Positions in the State Administration: Far from Competency Assessments

The subject of this analysis are public competitions for managerial positions in the Montenegrin state administration, with a special focus on the competence check, which should be carried out in relation to the previously established framework - which includes innovation, leadership, results-orientation, communication, and cooperation.

Failure to issue minutes of interviews conducted with candidates for such positions is a limiting methodological factor in the assessment of procedures and their application in practice. However, we were able to review the reports on the verification of knowledge, abilities, competences, and skills with key questions and evaluations given by members during interviews, as part of the procedure of public competitions, conducted in the period between September 2022 and September 2023. Therefore, this analysis is a unique opportunity to present to the general public what it looks like in practice, but also how the institute of follow-up interviews, which is conducted before making the final decision on the selection, works.

The reports we have seen show that competency assessments have not taken root, which points to the need to further strengthen the capacities of all state authorities and the Human Resources Administration, in order to apply the competency framework as a tool that can help establish a system of merit-based recruitment.