IA and CCE react to the press statement of the Capital City

Reaction of Institute Alternative (IA) and Centre for Civic Education (CCE) to the press statement issued by the Capital City referring to the findings of our analysis “Employment in Montenegrin Municipalities – Merit or Party Based Recruitment?”

Institute Alternative (IA) and Centre for Civic Education (CCE) hereby inform the public that the press statement issued by the Capital City Podgorica, which classifies our claims as “unfounded, unprofessional and malicious”, is uninformed and rushed.

We believe that a well-founded and serious public statement had to be preceded by a thorough insight into the research findings, which was not the case when the PR Bureau of the Capital City is in question. Regrettably, we wish to point out to the lack of interest for cooperation with CCE and IA hereupon expressed by the Capital City, in the same manner as during the eighteen-month long implementation of the project “Corruption at the local level – zero tolerance!” within which this analysis was prepared. Namely, the failure to respond to requests for free access to information, denying access to the key documents related to fight against corruption (e.g. reporting on public procurement), as well as ignoring inquiries during preparation of our analyses, are only some of these “forms of cooperation” which we experienced during this period.

The data in the analysis “Employment in Montenegrin Municipalities – Merit or Party Based Recruitment?” was quoted from the following documents: the responses to requests for free access to information that were sent to local self-governments during March 2014 (which also include the number of employees in this period); official reports and policy documents of the Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Interior; internet presentations of municipalities that were subject of this research; as well as commentaries of local officials, councillors and representatives of non-governmental organizations presented during the consultative trainings organized within this project and held in June and July 2013. The analysis also highlights all positive examples according to criteria by which we have measured transparency of the employment procedure.

Furthermore, we wish to underline several important issues related to this matter. Firstly, the Capital City has not prepared a plan for reduction of staff. Secondly, the data indicating the number of employees presented in yesterday’s press statement is not available in the Report on Implementation of the Public Sector Internal Reorganization Plan, which was published on 31 July 2014. Finally, the “most recent” official data related to this municipality date back to 2012. It is especially interesting that the Capital City has not published the total number of employees in public institutions and enterprises in yesterday’s statement, in spite of the fact that this matter was also the subject of our analysis.

Due to unprofessional conduct of the Capital City PR Bureau towards the public, we will consider the possibility of initiating a procedure before the Ethics Committee of Local Civil Servants and Employees.

Jovana MAROVIĆ, Research Coordinator at Institute Alternative
Boris MARIĆ, Senior Legal Advisor at Centre for Civic Education

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