Only five ministries have fulfilled legal obligation to publish the work programme, while only three ministries have published a list of acts to be subject of public discussions in 2020.
Year after year, the Government and ministries do not improve in creating conditions for public participation in policy-making.
First of all, the Government established the Work Programme for this year at its session held on 6. .Same as previous years, Government failed to prepare this document in a transparent and participatory manner. Institute Alternative (IA) has recommended for years that this is the most important act for determining the priorities of the Government’s work and it should be open for public’s suggestions. Consultations should be organised no later than December for each coming year and gather ideas from citizens about what the Government should address in the upcoming year.
However, apart from the fact that it is impossible to influence priorities of the Government’s work, it is not even possible to get acquainted with plans and responsibilities of the ministries in a timely manner.
On this day (6. March) out of 17 ministries, only five of them published their work programme for this year in accordance with the obligation of the Law on State Administration. Ministry of Public Administration, Ministry of Justice, Ministry of Transport and Maritime Affairs, Ministry of the Interior published their work programme, while Ministry of Sustainable Development and Tourism published Three Year Work Programme 2019-2021, in October 2019.
The situation is even worse when it comes to the list of laws and strategies to be to be subject of public discussions during this year. To this date, only three ministries have published the list – Ministry of Transport and Maritime Affairs, Ministry of Public Administration and Ministry of Justice.
The Decree regulating public discussions stipulates the obligation of the ministries to publish on their website and eGovernment portal the list of laws and strategies to be subject of public discussion in their preparation, a brief explanation of the need to pass the law or strategy and other information relevant for the preparation of the law or strategy. All this should be published within 15 days after adoption of the work programme.
All of the above points to the lack of interest of ministries in enabling the public to make a good contribution in making policies that are important for all citizens.The first prerequisite for consulting the public is planning and informing the public on priorities and obligations. Considering the massive rejection of all the comments received from the interested public, it is clear why, from year to year, the motivation of citizens to participate in public discussions is diminishing.