Press Release: Assessments of the success for Chapter 23 are arbitrary

Semi-annual report on realization of the Action plan for the Chapter 23 abounds with imprecise information, while the assessment of the fulfillment of the measures itself is problematic and leaves a lot of space for arbitrary reporting and the manipulation with the achieved results.

The high degree of implementation of the measures, 77% in the Action Plan for Chapter 23 in 2015 is the result of inadequate reporting forms and descriptive assessment of the measures. Namely, in the report on the implementation of this plan, which was adopted yesterday by the Government, most of the measures are identified as “partially realized”, or it is refer to them as if they are being realized continuously. In total, 68 of the 99 outstanding measures and sub-measures for the implementation of the part in the report related to the fight against corruption are defined in this manner. We believe that this way of reporting reinforces the impression that implementation of activities has been carried out, which is not correct for a certain number of these measures.

In that manner, state authorities have assessed the measures of providing space and technical conditions for the work of the Special Prosecutor’s Office as partially realized, although it is said that the provision of these conditions is currently being realized, without any explanation at which stage the activities are taking place. Also, for a number of measures it is constantly repeated that are being realized continuously, although there were not any trainings conducted or round tables organized in the reporting period.

We can legitimately ask the question whether the measures are being implemented if we are not able to get an insight into the prepared material, as it is the case with the by-laws for the implementation of the Law on Prevention of Corruption. Additionally, in some cases it is emphasized that the implementers do not have the data defined as the success indicators for certain measures. For example, Department of Internal Control of the Police does not own the information about the number of indictments in relation to the number of criminal charges, which is controversial because of the manner of definition of impact indicators.

The example of imprecise and inaccurate reporting is also the measure related to the establishment of transparent procedures on public procurement. Since the indicator for this measure is the number of established services for public procurement in local governments, it is incorrect that they have been established in all local governments as it was pointed out in the report, because one Public procurement officer is not a substitute for the whole service, which is presented as equal in the report.

We believe that it is necessary to eliminate controversial qualifications of the degree up to which the measure has been implemented. Also, calculations on the percentage of the success of implementation of measures are unnecessary because they were based on superficial evaluation. For the measures reported that are being realizing continuously, it is necessary to establish precise quotas for the realization on the semi-annual level. Even with all these proposals, the public should be informed proactively and more frequently about the effects of the fulfillment of the measures.

Jovana MAROVIĆ
Research Coordinator

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