By not appearing yesterday at the control hearing in the Human Rights and Freedoms Committee, the Minister of Finance and Social Welfare, Milojko Spajić, avoided coming to the parliamentary hearing for the fifth time.
Although the ministers in the Government of Montenegro are obliged to respond to the invitation of the committees for control hearing, we are witnessing the increasing refusal of ministers to be accountable for their work and to answer the questions of the MPs in parliamentary working bodies. Since the constitution of the committees in the new parliamentary convocation, we have recorded eight cases in which ministers did not appear at the scheduled parliamentary hearing in the committees, out of which five are control and three are consultative hearings.
Article 75 of the Rules of Procedure of the Parliament regulated the control hearing conducted by the committees in Parliament, in order to exercise the control function of the Parliament, while the same article prescribes the duty of invited authorised representatives of state bodies to respond to the committee’s invitation. However, the Rules of Procedure did not prescribe further procedure in the cases in which invited persons are not responding to the invitations for control hearings.
Milojko Spajić, the Minister of Finance and Social Welfare, is leader when it comes to the number of cases in which he ignored the calls of the MPs for his parliamentary hearing. He did not respond to the Committee’s calls as many as five times, while he only attended one control hearing in the Committee on Economy, Finance and Budget. Minister Spajić did not appear at the control hearings organized by the Committee on Health, Labor and Social Welfare, the Committee on Gender Equality, the Committee on Security and Defense and the Committee on Human Rights and Freedoms.
We emphasize that the agenda of the parliamentary hearings at which the Minister did not appear included issues related to the current situation in the field of social policy, protection and support for women who were victims of violence, gender responsive budgeting, and the black market of cigarettes. The agenda of the session of the Committee for Human Rights and Freedoms planned for yesterday included a control hearing of Minister Spajić regarding the work of day care centres for children with disabilities and persons with disabilities, but he did not appear due to earlier commitments.
We appeal to the Government of Montenegro, ie the competent ministers, to ensure their presence at the control hearings in the committees, and thus do not block the exercise of the control function of the Parliament, which monitors the application of regulations and implementation of public policies through parliamentary hearings.