Only three ministries announced public discussions for this year

More than a half of the ministries have not published the work programme for the current year in accordance with the law, while only three ministries have published a list of laws and strategies to be subject of public discussions in 2021.

This year, the ministries continued the bad practice of not publishing their work programme, as well as the list of acts to be subject of public discussions during the year.  Thus,  the adequate conditions have not been created for involvement of citizens in policy- making processes. When it comes to the public participation in policy-making, this Government has made a step forward by including the public in the process of preparation of the Government’s Work Programme. The Institute Alternative has advocated this for many years.

At its  17th Session, held on 30th March this year, the Government of Montenegro adopted the Work Programme for the current year. Although the third quarter is coming to an end, by 29th September, more than a half of the ministries have not published the work programme in accordance with the obligation from the Law on State Administration. Out of 12 ministries, only five of them fulfilled this obligation – Ministry of the Interior, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Justice, Human and Minority Rights, Ministry of Education, Science, Culture and Sports. Only few days ago, Ministry of Defence also published its work programme.

On the website, the Ministry of Ecology, Spatial Planning and Urbanism and Ministry of Economic Development have published only their three year work programme for the period 2019-2021.

The bad practice continued when it comes to the publishing acts on which a public discussion will be initiated during the year. The Decree on the Selection of the Representatives of NGOs in Working Groups and Implementation of Public Discussions on the Draft of the Laws and Strategies stipulates the obligation of the ministries to post on their websites and e-uprava portal lists of draft laws and strategies to be subject of public discussions at the latest 15 days after the adoption of the work programme.

On this date, only Ministry of Justice, Human and Minority Rights, Ministry of Ecology, Spatial Planning and Urbanism and Ministry of Education, Science, Culture and Sports published the list of documents to be subject of public discussions in 2021. We came to this data by an advanced search conducted concluding with  28th September.

During this mandate, the Government has submitted 48 draft proposals to the Parliament so far, and for only six of them the public discussion was held.

We remind that the Government stated in its Work Programme that the basic principles in the future policy planning and planning of the work are to set transparency and openness to citizens in order to encourage discussion on key priorities and directions of public policy development.

By not publishing the work programme and list of the acts for public discussion, interested public can not to get acquainted with plans and responsibilities of the ministries in a timely manner. This is the first prerequisite for consulting the public. Ministries should enable meaningful civic participation, through timely announcement of public discussions whose implementation is expected during this year.

Dragana Jaćimović
Project Associate

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