Joint Press Release: Government dismissed OGP Operational Team

On yesterday’s session, Government of Montenegro de facto dismissed current Operational team of Open Government Partnership (OGP), by passing a new Decision on the formation of Operational team of Open Government Partnership, which it envisages the election of new members within 30 days from the day when the Decision comes into force.

Members of this working body from civil society were not previously informed that their term would suddenly be terminated as well as that NGO representatives will be re-elected based on public call. Controversial decision of Government was never reviewed on sessions of Operational team, and even after several inquiries submitted to coordinator of Operational team, we were deprived of the information who made this decision and suggested it to Government for its adoption, or who made the decision to dismiss current Operational team.

The only information that members of Operational team from civil sector received, as an inarticulate explanation, was that this decision had to be made in order to secure full legal assumptions for the unobstructed work of Operational team, and that the Government’s intention, supposedly, was not to dismiss members from civil sector.

Members of the Centre for Civic Education (CCE), the Centre for Democratic Transition (CDT), the Institute Alternative (IA) and the Network for the affirmation of non-governmental sector (MANS) worked in this working group voluntarily during last six months on the creation of Action plan for the improvement of state in the area of improvement of public services, increase of public integrity, efficient management of public resources etc, thereby advocating serious measures that would significantly change the functioning of state administration and proposed dozens of measures based on which current working version of Action plan of Open Government Partnership was made.

After the first version of Action plan was completed, and first public consultations conducted, Government “deposited” our work for another month, until the finalisation of Action plan. In this, highly inappropriate manner, Government secured that someone does the job, or that civil sector proposes the measures for new Action plan, and then excluded us from the work of Operational team just before the adoption of Action plan. In that manner, we will not be able to influence the final content of Action plan, which would leave room for Government to remove most problematic measures from the aspect of political will, but officially claim how the Action plan was made in cooperation with civil sector. Not only that Government prevented us in this manner from influencing the final outcome and content of Action plan for Open Government Partnership, it also ensured that we could not follow the implementation of that Action plan through Operative team.

OGP is a prestigious global initiative where 64 states participate, in which the cooperation between the Government and civil sector is mandatory when it comes to preparation of plan of reforms based on which the transparency and responsibility in the work of state administration is improved.

Boris MARIĆ, Centre for Civic Education (CCE)
Milica KOVAČEVIĆ, Centre for Democratic Transition (CDT)
Dina BAJRAMSPAHIĆ, Institute Alternative (IA)
Vuk MARAŠ, Network for the affirmation of non-governmental sector (MANS)

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