Plan of parliamentary oversight should be adopted

Institute Alternative invited members of the Parliamentary Committee for Security and Defence to adopt the annual plan of parliamentary oversight, prescribed by the Law on Parliamentary Oversight of the Security and Defense Sector.

According to the Law, parliamentary oversight is performed regularly according to the annual plan adopted by the Committee and extraordinary, if necessary: “the Committee shall, by the end of the calendar year, adopt an annual plan of parliamentary oversight for the coming year”. Since the Law on Parliamentary Oversight of the Security and Defense Sector was adopted in late December 2010 and came into force in early January 2011, it was not realistic to expect the Committee preparing the plan of activities for 2011 at the same time. However, it should not be allowed that the Committee operates without the adopted plan for this year.

Government’s Agenda for the first 100 days and priority activities in 2011 can provide a starting basis for planning the activities of the Committee. There are numerous planned activities and priorities of the ministries, announced draft laws, rules and regulations as well as activities in the security and defense sector that require the Committee to engage in planning obligations under its own annual plan. Also, since the scope of the Committee’s competencies has extended and legally established, it is necessary to start careful planning in order to fulfill all the tasks before the Committee. These include consideration of annual and special reports of the subjects of oversight, monitoring and execution of budgets of these entities, monitoring the participation of the Army in peacekeeping missions and numerous other responsibilities.

The purpose of this plan is not to specify in detail all the possible actions of the Committee or specify their precise deadlines. Plan of parliamentary oversight is needed in order to form a framework for activities of the Committee, predict activity outside the regular sessions of the Parliament, drew up goals for this year, as well as create indicators upon which the work of the Committee could assessed at the end of the year.

Therefore we expect a responsible attitude toward the law adopted by consensus and commitments set forth by the MPs themselves. All the more reason is the obligation of preparing a calendar and schedule of parliamentary committees mentioned in the Action Plan of the Assembly to strengthen the legislative and oversight function, as one of the tasks for the first quarter of 2011.

Planning for the Board in the exercise of legislative and oversight role will offer MPs the opportunity to be better prepared for the responsibilities ahead of them and, in cooperation with the parliamentary service, their parliamentary clubs and party bodies, provide a greater contribution to the implementation of democratic control of defense and security sector.

The adoption of the plan will also create the necessary preconditions for civil society engagement in monitoring the work of the Committee and other forms of cooperation between the Committee and civil society.

Marko Sošić
Project associate

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