Changes to provisions on inspection oversight without public and clear arguments

Although the Ministry of Public Administration claimed in its official response to the Institute Alternative that it still does not know all the legal changes resulting from the abolition of the Administration for Inspection Affairs, in the meantime, it has initiated changes to 85 laws, without a clear explanation and violating public consultation procedures.

IA previously reacted to the hasty intention of the Government of Montenegro to abolish the Administration for Inspection Affairs, pointing out that it was not based on adequate analyses, the expose for the composition of the current Government, and the Public Administration Reform Strategy, and that it cannot be carried out without negative consequences within the specified short deadlines.

We also warned that the Government does not have the exact number of laws that need to be amended in order to decentralise inspections, even though their changes are required by February 15th.

In the meantime, following this process, we requested from the Ministry of Public Administration (MPA) a list of laws whose provisions need to be amended, in accordance with the Government’s conclusion. However, on March 12th, the MPA responded that not all ministries have provided the provisions that need to be changed, and those that have done so have done it partially, i.e., they have not indicated all the necessary changes.

Just three days later, the Ministry, in a procedure that constitutes a violation of the Law on Public Administration and by-laws on public consultation in the drafting of laws, publishes a Draft Law amending laws regulating inspection oversight and invites the public to a round table discussion.

Alongside the Draft Law, an impact analysis of the regulations has not been published, even though it implies a drastic reorganisation of inspection bodies, and raises other related issues, such as the “fate” and further use of the unified information system, which provides technical support for the implementation, monitoring of the effectiveness of inspection supervision, and risk analysis.

The accompanying explanation on one side is not enough to answer numerous practical questions and challenges. Additionally, the existing information about the process is filled with inaccuracies and contradictions. For example, the minister claimed on a public service Radio and Television of Montenegro show that over 170 laws need to be changed, while now the intention is to amend half that number.

Also, the claim that the current combined system of inspection supervision, according to which certain inspections are within ministries (the so-called sectoral principle) and the majority within a single body – the Administration for Inspection Affairs (the so-called functional principle), is unique in Europe is not accurate.  This, considering that, a combined approach to organising inspection services exists in Croatia, which is considered a good practice example in this area.

Considering the contradictory information about this process and the potential negative effects, we once again appeal to the Government and Ministry give up on violating laws and ignoring the public in making important decisions, which threatens to become a pattern of action for the 44th Government.

Attached is the decision of the Ministry of Public Administration on the request for free access to information IA.

                                                                                                Milena Muk
Institute Alternative

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