Press release: Security and Defense Committee violates the Law for five months

Security and Defence Committee has not adopted the Parliamentary Oversight Plan for 2016, which should have been done according to the Law on Parliamentary Oversight of Security and Defence Sector

The Committee competent for the control of the security sector was obliged to adopt the Annual Parliamentary Oversight Plan for 2016 by the end of last year. Only yesterday, on May 4th, the Committee announced its session for next week with adoption of the Plan on its agenda.

The Committee has not published the draft plan, and has thereby prevented interested parties to present their proposals for improvement of this document. Although there is no legal obligation to do so, in accordance with the principles of openness of the Parliament and its working bodies in drafting key documents, the draft plan should have been published in a reasonable time before the session. This would provide the civil sector, the academic community and other relevant stakeholders with an opportunity to give their views of the Plan, in order to make this document as better basis for effective parliamentary oversight as possible. The plan should provide the most diverse set of activities aiming to contribute to improvement of the functioning of the sector, as well as to encourage reforms and fundamental and timely fulfillment of obligations of the integration process.

The Parliamentary Oversight Plan is an obligation which sets annual work objectives, but it also serves as the baseline indicator for assessment of the Committee’s performance at the end of the year.

We remind that one of the aims of the special Law on Parliamentary Oversight of Security and Defence, adopted in late 2010, is to strengthen the control role of the Parliament and more effective oversight of security and defence sector having in mind the repressive character of the area.

We urge the members of the Committee to fulfill their obligations promptly and within the legal deadline. Also, we urge them to submit more initiatives for using control mechanisms envisaged by this law. Finally, we express our dissatisfaction with the fact that the Committee has not met since mid-December last year, having in mind the fact that this is the most important supervisory body of the Parliament which is expected to establish effective control over key levers of power in Montenegro.

Aleksandra VAVIĆ
Project Associate

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