NGOs submitted proposals and priorities for public administration reform

A meeting of the National Working Group for Public Administration Reform was held in Podgorica, attended by representatives of the civil society and the Ministry of Public Administration.

At the meeting, discussions revolved around the 2024 priorities of the Ministry of Public Administration and proposals from representatives of non-governmental organisations for improving public administration reform. Additionally, a Draft of guidelines for the implementation of a design thinking approach regarding governance issues at the local level was presented. Proposals on how to enhance the Draft were also discussed. 

The meeting was attended by ten representatives from eight non-governmental organisations, as well as four representatives from the Government of Montenegro and the Ministry of Public Administration. Marija Hajduković, the General Director for Strategic Planning in Public Administration, International Cooperation, and IPA Funds at the Ministry of Public Administration, spoke on behalf of the government.

Representatives of the civil sector have agreed that it would be beneficial to restart public discussions on the work program of the government and ministries for the upcoming year 2024. The issue of regulating recruitment in public enterprises and institutions, as well as the necessity of introducing special organisational units for monitoring and evaluating public policies, was also highlighted as an important item for further consideration. The adoption of amendments to the Law on Free Access to Information, the Law on Salaries of Public Sector Employees, and the Law on Non-Governmental Organisations were also prioritised.

Representatives of non-governmental organisations also pointed out the lack of effective oversight of the implementation of standards for electronic accessibility of websites and highlighted that the internet presentations of municipalities are not harmonised. Therefore, non-governmental organisations have called on the Ministry of Public Administration to follow good examples of some of the Western Balkan administrations and to offer the draft of the next report on the implementation of the Public Administration Reform Strategy for comments to interested citizens, citizens’ groups, and non-governmental organisations.

To involve the non-governmental sector and citizens in the public administration reform process, a draft of guidelines for addressing local-level public administration issues, with a focus on the needs of citizens (applying the design thinking approach), was presented to the representatives of NGOs at the meeting. This was part of the call for project proposals within the framework of the WeBER 3.0 project program. Those interested in submitting proposals were invited to identify a specific problem related to local governance or public administration reform and approach its resolution through seven key steps while adhering to the principles of sustainable development.

Western Balkan Enablers for Reforming Public Administrations – WeBER 3.0 is a project with the main goal of further empowering civil society organisations to contribute to a more transparent, open, and accountable administration that is citizen-focused. The aim is to achieve an administration that is more in line with EU standards in the Western Balkans region. The project is funded by the European Union, represented by the European Commission, and co-financed by the Austrian Development Agency and the Ministry of Public Administration of Montenegro.

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