Announcement: Almost Half of the Government Members Does not Give Access to Their Bank Accounts

Prime Minister Duško Marković, Deputy Prime Minister for Regional Development Rafet Husović and nine out of 19 ministers, did not give access to their bank accounts to the Agency for the Prevention of Corruption. Also, out of the 16 presidents of the political parties represented in the Parliament, seven of them do not allow the Agency to check their bank accounts, including the president of the Democratic Party of Socialists and former Prime Minister Milo Đukanovic.

Prime Minister Dusko Markovic and nine out of 19 ministers did not give their consent for the verification of their bank accounts to the Agency for the Prevention of Corruption. Among those who do not want the Agency to have insight into their bank accounts are two of the three Deputy Prime Ministers – Zoran Pažin, Deputy Prime Minister for Political System, Internal and External Affairs and Minister of Justice, and Rafet Husovic, Deputy Prime Minister for Regional Development. Deputy Prime Minister for Economic Policy and Financial System and Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Milutin Simovic, provided consent to the Agency to check their bank accounts.

Among nine ministers who did not give the aforementioned consent, in addition to Minister Pažin, include Minister of Defense, Predrag Boskovic, Minister of Finance, Darko Radunović, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Srđan Darmanovic, Minister of Education, Damir Šehović, Minister of Economy, Dragica Sekulić, Minister of Transport and Maritime Affairs, Osman Nurković, Minister of Health, Kenan Hrapović and Minister of Labour and Social Welfare, Kemal Purišić.

Also, by inspecting the assets of the presidents of political parties represented in the Parliament, we found that seven of the total of 16 of the presidents do not allow the Agency to check their bank accounts. Among them are Milo Đukanović, President of the Democratic Party of Socialists, Nebojša Medojević, President of the Movement for Change, Ranko Krivokapić, President of the Social Democratic Party, Ivan Brajović, President of Social-Democrats, Andrija Popović, President of the Liberal Party, Miodrag Lekić, President of Demos and Rafet Husović, President of the Bosniac Party. This tells us that the higher function in practice does not entail greater transparency and responsibility towards the citizens, since most of them simultaneously perform very high public functions – those of MPs, President of the Assembly and Deputy Prime Minister.

Even though the statistics of the Agency for the Prevention of Corruption in its Report for 2016 indicate that most public officials (73%) and civil servants (76%) “have nothing to hide”, that is, that they have given their consent for their bank accounts to be checked, it seems that at the highest level of public officials these statistics are disastrous. This is important, especially if we have in mind that most of these officials have been performing various public functions for many years, through which they have had access to numerous state resources and citizens’ money.

Institute Alternative already pointed out the necessity for the Agency to publish the list of public officials and civil servants who gave, or did not give their consent for the verification of their bank accounts. We also requested, via freedom of information requests, from the Agency the copies of given consents, with the protection of personal data – the erasing of the unique registration number and the numbers of bank accounts of public officials. For nearly nine months, the Agency has been silent on our requests, as well as on the decisions of the Agency for the Protection of Personal Data and Free Access to Information, which adopted our complaints.

Although the information on who allowed access to their bank account and who did not, represents an integral part of the income and property report posted on the Agency’s website, a unified, publicly available information about which public officials hide their bank accounts is still not available.

Ana Đurnić
Public Policy Researcher

The announcement was published as part of the research within the project “ Towards Qualitative Signs of the Anti-Corruption Efficacy” implemented by IA with the financial support of the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. Opinions and attitudes stated in the announcement do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of the Kingdom of the Netherlands Embassy.

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