Favouritism advances; others can appeal

Although having the Bachelor and Specialist Degree, R.V. from Podgorica is unable to get recruited in public administration for jobs requiring only elementary or high school.

For several years, he had been applying more than 30 times for public administration jobs, while trying also to demand justice through judicial instances. However, this did not help him to get a job.

R.V. had multiple objections to the Human Resources Management Authority (HRMA), where, as he claims, he has experienced injustice and irregularities. Afterwards, he reported them in appeals and lawsuits. However, in statement for Center for Investigative Journalism of Montenegro, HRMA argues that their work strictly follows procedures.

Once R.V. was rejected for the job as storekeeper at the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs, he has filed an appeal to the Appeals Commission. He stated that the candidates were handed out the tests with stickers containing their names and surnames.


“Test marking in advance enables someone to do the test instead of the candidate. There is no point in passwords, which is put in the envelope, since the potential abuse can happen even before the candidate has been given the test”, R.V. stated in his appeal.

The Commission, has, however, rejected his complaint, but in 2014, the Administrative Court has overturned the Commission’s Decision and the case was remanded. However, the Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare has confirmed the earlier selection of the candidate, followed by another appeal to the Appeals Commission by R.V.

He has again pointed out the “illegal practice of stickers on test”, the lack of evaluation of documentation submitted within application for the job, as well as the failure to establish exact facts during the computers skills testing. The Commission has again rejected his appeal. This time, the Administrative Court has also rejected his lawsuit. Afterwards, R.V. has appealed to the Supreme Court, which has adopted the request for extraordinary review of the Administrative Court decision. The decision of the Supreme Court was not helpful either – in late December last year the Administrative court had rejected the suit of R.V again. He is still working in private sector 12 hours a day in order to feed his family. He is almost 40 years old, and the hope for getting decent job is reduced day by day.

“No matter what, I will keep applying for those jobs, to seek justice, to appeal… Maybe they’ll get tired of me.”

N.V, economist, cannot find the job for his vocation, so he has to work as a taxi driver.

He has sent his CV at multiple addresses, after he lost his job by the end of the Government-sponsored internship in state organ. He claims that the pursuit for the job in public administration is a bitter experience. Once, he says, he was the first-ranked for the job in state authority. Nevertheless, the head of the authority has chosen the candidate who had less points.

“I asked and it was told to me that it is also legal. What can I do? I supposed I should have found a connection for the job, since the grades mean nothing.”

Via internet website My Administration, Institute Alternative (IA) has received around 30 reports of citizens who faced irregularities during the recruitment for public administration bodies.

“The reasons behind the complaints vary, but generally they point out the irregularities throughout the recruitment process, non-selection of first-ranked candidates, as well as the abuse of fixed-term contracts and contracts on temporary jobs”, IA stated.

This NGO says that they are constantly pointing out the legal loopholes during the testing procedures – starting with non-regulated composition and process of establishing commissions for verifying candidates’ capabilities, up to the introduction of the so-called psychological evaluation of candidates.

One of the problems is that the Law does not stipulate which conditions should be fulfilled by the experts in the commissions, while the role of representatives of HRMA and public administration bodies is not specified either.

“IA has requested from HRMA the decisions on selection of experts for verifying candidates’ capabilities. However, we could not obtain them because they do not exist, which means that the procedures of establishing these commissions are very questionable and leave large space for manoeuvre which is definitely harmful”, they said.

IA also claims that there are other omissions in these procedures, such as non-uniformity of assessment of certain criteria, such as the work experience and professional trainings.

“Although these criteria should represent objective indicators of one’s capability, they are subjected to the arbitrary assessments by commissions”, IA said.

According to the most recent performance report of the Appeals Commission, workload of this body in 2015 was 839 cases. Out of that number, 770 cases were performed upon the candidates’ appeals, while 69 were upon the Administrative court’s verdicts.

The data also show that Administrative court completed 242 out of 342 cases regarding the Commissions’ decisions.

Out of that number, in 165 cases, or 68,18%, the Court has rejected the lawsuit as unfounded, in two cases the lawsuit was dismissed, and in 6 cases the proceeding was suspended. In 69 cases, the court has overturned the Commissions’ decisions.

Psychological assessment should be abolished; political figures make the procedures meaningless

Although having the Bachelor and Specialist Degree, R.V. from Podgorica is unable to get recruited in public administration for jobs requiring only elementary or high school.

For several years, he had been applying more than 30 times for public administration jobs, while trying also to demand justice through judicial instances. However, this did not help him to get a job.

R.V. had multiple objections to the Human Resources Management Authority (HRMA), where, as he claims, he has experienced injustice and irregularities. Afterwards, he reported them in appeals and lawsuits. However, in statement for Center for Investigative Journalism of Montenegro, HRMA argues that their work strictly follows procedures.

Once R.V. was rejected for the job as storekeeper at the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs, he has filed an appeal to the Appeals Commission. He stated that the candidates were handed out the tests with stickers containing their names and surnames.

A special scope for manipulation can be a psychological evaluation of candidates. IA considers that it should be abolished, because this mechanism was anti-constitutionally introduced by the Government Decree. Instead, IA proposes that certain characteristics of the candidates should be assessed in other ways, for example by psychologists who can be introduced as permanent members of the Commission for verification capabilities.

“However, this flawed procedure of verification of capabilities is made meaningless by the possibility given to political figures in ministries and other institutions, not to choose the best candidates after oral interview, which also the law fails to define…” Milena Milosevic, IA representative, says.

She believes that the HRMA should be more actively involved in the monitoring and improvement of employment policies in the state bodies.

Hygienist have to know who adopts municipal budget

Three years ago, Radmila Bojovic from Savnik, was refused to a job position of hygienist in the Fire service in Savnik, arguing that other candidates have more work experience, although it was not a condition required by the competition. Following the adoption of her appeal, in April 2014, Bojovic received a new chance for the same job in the same workplace.

She said that she was appalled by question that have not had anything to do with the job of the hygienist. “They asked me how is municipality organised, what is the legislative branch, who adopts the budget of the municipality. Questions on how to clean carpet and bathroom, how to clean cobwebs, using mop or broom, also followed. I was totally confused”, Radmila said then for TV Vijesti. After the written test, in an interview, she had to answer the question such as how to clean the dust from the table and whether the hygienist changes the lock or the glass.

The competent municipal commission then said that it had performed the tasks suggested by the Ministry of Interior, as the authority competent for issuing opinions on law implementation.

Author: Ana Komatina

This Article was originally published on the website of the Centre for Investigative Journalism of Montenegro.

You can also read it within the special section “Our administration” (Naša uprava) at Vijesti portal

Albanian version is available here.

This article has been produced with the assistance of the European Union within the project “Civil Society for Good Governance: To Act and Account”, implemented by Institute Alternative, Bonum, Natura, Novi horizont and Centre for Investigative Journalism. The contents of this article are the sole responsibility of the authors and can in no way be taken to reflect the views of the European Union.

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