Government ignored proposals for enhancement of its Work Programme

Proactive informing of citizens on the use of the budgetary reserve and of parliament on execution of budget, as well as proactive reporting on the implementation rate of the European Commission’s recommendations – these are some of the obligations that the Government has refused to include in the 2019 Work Programme.

Institute Alternative has submitted its proposals in order to improve Government’s 2019 Work Programme. Our proposals largely fall under the scope of Ministry of finance and Ministry of justice. However, they have not been accepted, apart from the obligation of preparing the Law on the Protector of Property and Legal Interests of Montenegro. Still, as this particular obligation is being repeated in the Government’s work programnes year after year, it is uncertain that it reflects the content of our request for more precise procedure of personnel selection and functioning of this important but neglected institution in our legal system.

We have proposed to the Government to compile the Information on the use of the current budgetary reserve in 2018. For years, we have warned that hiding information on the spending of budget units and the Commission for Allocation of the Part of the Budgetary Reserve Funds, with individual amounts paid out, its purpose and the user of funds, leaves room for abuses. We believe that this information must be made available to the public. As long as this Commission is accountable solely to the Government of Montenegro, and not to the citizens, we have the right to doubt that these funds have been abused for election purposes.

We also proposed an obligation for the Government to submit semi-annual reports on the budget execution to the Parliament, as well as to provide information on the realization of the obligations defined in the contracts on the rescheduling of tax debt of municipalities and of contracts, which regulate relations between the State and municipalities based on credit indebtedness with the state guarantee.

Furthermore, we have asked the Government to prepare comprehensive information on obstacle for the establishment and operation of the budgetary inspection with the proposal of urgent measures, as well as to prepare information elaborating reasons for delays in establishing the registry of state property, in both electronic and hard copy formats. Ten years after the law prescribed obligation of establishing the registry of state property, it remains unknown how much movable and immovable property Montenegro owns.

In order for the public to have a better insight into public procurement spending, we proposed the obligation to make a report on confidential procurements. We believe that this would not jeopardize the secrecy of confidential procurement in the security sector; on the other hand, citizens would have an insight into the number of bids submitted and the procedures applied.

We also proposed the adoption of the Law on Amendments to the Law on the Special State Prosecutor’s Office in order to improve the semi-annual and annual reporting on the work of this body by envisaging a special part with an individual overview of the workload of each special prosecutor and with information on dismissed criminal charges per applicant.

We believe that it is important to adopt bi-annual and annual reports on the implementation of recommendations addressed to specific institutions on the basis of the assessments in the European Commission’s Non-Paper on Chapter 23 (Judiciary and Fundamental Rights), in order to enable credible monitoring of the implementation of these recommendations.

We also proposed amendments to the Law on Prevention of Corruption. We believe that a four-year ban on the performance of a public function by a public official, who violates this law, should be extended also to those officials who resign due to the similar law breaches. We also asked for the establishment of a working group led by the Ministry of Justice with the representatives of the Police Directorate, the Supreme Court, the State Prosecutor’s Office, the Prosecutorial Council and the Judicial Council, in order to harmonize the statistics of these bodies and thus facilitate monitoring of performance of these institutions vis-à-visobligations stemming from Chapters 23 and 24.

Government also refused to incorporate adoption of the Information on the work of the Housing Commission of the Government of Montenegro, the Report on the Implementation of the Law on Public Gatherings and Public Events, in this year’s programme. Preparation of the Law on Amendments to the Law on Personal Data Protection was also rejected, even though these amendments would regulate the right of access to the verdicts against public officials, without prior consent of the public official concerned.

Team of Institute Alternative

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