We have sent 22 proposals for work plans of the parliamentary committees; we propose discussions on budget execution during the year, more involvement of the Parliament in monitoring and defining reforms and better communication with parliamentary oversight institutions.
We have sent proposals to committees for economy, finance and budget, for security and defence, for anticorruption, for human rights and freedom and for political system, judiciary and administration.
The Committee on Economy, Finance and Budget should request and consider a report on budget execution in the first six months of 2021. In this way, the Committee would prevent budget execution from being discussed too late and insufficiently. This Committee should address in more detailed way the delays in establishing a functional register of state property and budget inspection, as well as internal financial controls in the public sector. It is necessary to organise an expert discussion with decision makers and experts in the field of management of companies in which the state has majority ownership. These companies spend almost a billion euros a year, employ about 12 000 people and over 300 public officials.
As the implementation of the Public Financial Management Reform Program was largely conditioned by projects funded by the Instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance (IPA), we have invited the Committee on Economy, Finance and Budget to organise a hearing on their implementation.
We have suggested to the Security and Defence Committee to organise visits to the competent institutions in order to control the application of secret surveillance measures. Consideration of the semi-annual budget execution in the security and defence for the current year as well as consideration of the reports of internal audits of institutions in this sector would also significantly improve parliamentary oversight. Bearing in mind that the exceeding of police powers marked numerous events in the previous period, we proposed the organisation of a control hearing regarding the application of police powers. On the other hand, having in mind that the procurement in security and defence area has been in a legal vacuum for a long time, we believe that it is necessary to organise a consultative hearing on this topic, with an emphasis on the application and improvement of the regulatory framework.
The Anticorruption Committee is the parent committee for the work of the Agency for the Prevention of Corruption. “Contrary to the current practice of considering only the annual report on the work of the Agency for the Prevention of Corruption, the Committee should consider all quarterly reports that the Agency continuously prepares and publishes”, is one of the proposals that we have submitted to this body. Moreover, we believe that more attention should be paid to the reports of the European Commission and the so-called working papres (non papers) on Chapters 23 and 24. It is also necessary to organise a series of consultative hearings on further activities and plans in combating corruption in high-risk areas (public procurement, privatisation, urbanism, education, health, local government and police).
The Committee on Political System, Judiciary and Administration should not be left out in further public administration reform. The results so far are not enough, especially in terms of optimisation of public administration and this is confirmed by two external assessments. As the assessment of the impact of previous reforms is indispensable in determining reform priorities in the coming period, we believe that the discussion on these issues should include the organisation of a consultative hearing regarding to the assessment of the impact of public administration reform and the preparation of a new strategy for 2021-2025. Due to the importance of service provision and the exercise of rights, this Committee should consider these reports separately on the acting in the administrative matters and the state of electronic services with measures for their improvement.
Changes to the so-called Prosecutorial laws should be implemented with the full participation of the public and through the organisation of a consultative hearing before the parent committee. On the other hand, we believe that evidence-based discussion in the parent committee would contribute to the reform of the civil service system, especially in the light of the fact that such a discussion was absent when determining the latest amendments to the Law on Civil Servants and State Employees in December 2020.
Bearing in mind that the number of public gatherings has increased during the previous period, as well as the challenges associated with them, we believe that the Committee on Human Rights and Freedoms should consider the report of the Ministry of Interior Affairs on public gatherings and events. Moreover, it should adopt conclusions and recommendations with the application of standards in this area. The report of the Protector of Human Rights and Freedoms should be devoted to more substantive discussion and time, with the organisation of control hearings based on the report’s findings, especially representatives of those institutions where drastic violations of the law and discriminatory treatment were recorded. We also believe that at special thematic sessions, this body should consider the findings and recommendations from the relevant reports of the European Commission, which relate to respect for human rights.
Milena Muk, Public Policy Researcher, Institute Alternative