Most of the state administration authorities do not respect the Law on Free Access to Information, which prescribes proactive publishing of lists of senior public officials with their wages.
Institute Alternative, by using the Internet search of web pages of state administration authorities in the period between July 20 and August 1 this year, found only 16 lists of senior public officials with the monthly income they earn in these respective authorities. Thus, less than one third of the state administration authorities, among them only half of 16 ministries, has met the legal obligation.
Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Interior (including Police Administration), Ministry of Sustainable Development and Tourism, Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Ministry of Labor and Social Care, Ministry of Defense, Ministry for Human and Minority Rights, Ministry for Information Society and Telecommunications, State Archives, Education Bureau, Bureau for Intellectual Property, Environmental Protection Agency, Human Resources Management Authority, Directorate for Anti-Corruption Initiative, Administration for Prevention of Money Laundering and of Terrorism Financing and Phytosanitary Administration have published these data within the separate documents. Ministry of Justice has uploaded the list onto its web page on Thursday, July 31, following the insight into the working version of our press release which was distributed among all independent state administration authorities with the aim of validating the collected data. The uploaded list also covered authorities within the Ministry – Directorate for Anti-Corruption Initiative and Bureau for Enforcement of Criminal Penalties. The wage of the justice minister Duško Marković, however, has not been listed because he does not earn his wage as a minister but as a vice-prime minister. Administration for Inspection Affairs has also sent us via e-mail data on wages of its public officials and chief inspectors, while announcing that, staring from the next month, these data will be also available at its web page.
It is interesting that, according to the available data, average net wage of 123 public officials in 20 state administration authorities amounts for 715 euro. The lowest average salary is distributed to the officials of Ministry for Information Society and Telecommunications. Public officials at the Ministry of Interior earn above 300 euro more – 960 euro on average.
Remaining 34 state administration authorities, including the authorities within the ministries, have not published any lists of their officials with the wages they earn. The remaining authorities are: Ministry of Foreign Affairs and European Integration, Ministry of Education, Ministry of Science, Ministry of Culture, Ministry of Economy, Ministry of Transport and Maritime Affairs, Ministry of Health, Administration for Diaspora, Tax Administration, Administration for Property, Customs Administration, Administration for Games of Chance, Real Estates Administration, Administration for Protection of Cultural Goods, Direction for Development of Small and Medium Enterprises, Ports Administration, Administration for Maritime Safety, Directorate of Transport, Railways Directorate, Veterinary Administration, Forests Administration, Water Administration, Tobacco Agency, Directorate of Public Works, Bureau for Care of Refugees, the Public Procurement Administration, Agency for Protection of Competition, Administration for Youth and Sports, Secretariat for Legislation, Secretariat for Development Projects, Montenegro’s Statistical Office, Bureau for Hydro-Meteorology and Seismology, Institute of Metrology and Directorate for Protection of Classified Information.
Prior to this research, IA has also drawn public attention to disrespect of Law on Free Access to Information from the side of state authorities. As a result of this disrespect, the insight into information necessary for human resources planning, analysis and management and assessment of overall progress in public administration reform is hampered.
Our organization will devote additional attention to public official and senior civil servants in the upcoming period. Precisely this layer of civil servants is of significance for enforcement and continuity of much needed reforms, and as such, it should not be susceptible to the unlimited discretion of members of the government.
Among other things, by the end of the year, the IA will prepare a policy study on the professionalization of senior management staff in Montenegrin state administration. Nonetheless, the deficiencies in implementation of the Law on Free Access to Information results in the lack of information on precise number of senior public officials, precisely those who at the same time occupy positions of deputy ministers, secretaries and heads of authorities.
Hence, we once again urge the state authorities to regularly publish lists of senior public officials with their wages, as well as overall lists of their employees. Consistent implementation of these legal norms would be a significant boost to the transparency of state institutions.
Here is the visualization of average wages of public officials in authorities, which disclosed these information: