The Government Draft will not enhance corruption prevention

Cosmetic changes, forgotten quality draft of the parliamentary working group, lack of political will for substantive changes

 The Ministry of Justice prepared and published for public consultation the Draft Law on the Prevention of Corruption which does not bring significant improvements, nor will it, if adopted, enhance corruption prevention.

Proposing such a draft law text demonstrates the current Government’s lack of political will to contribute to the fight against corruption by improving the legal framework.

 It is particularly concerning that the current Government does not value the previous efforts of the Parliament of Montenegro and civil society to improve the text of the current law. We remind that the working group within the Anti-corruption Committee, which also included NGO representatives, prepared a Draft Law on the Prevention of Corruption in 2023. Additionally, this Committee organised a roundtable in May of last year to discuss the draft law.

The latest working version, which the representative of Institute Alternative in that working group had insight into, represents a significantly better text, although it could have been further improved since we had objections and reservations regarding certain provisions of that draft.

It remains unclear why the Ministry of Justice did not take into consideration numerous quality solutions from that draft law.

Institute Alternative is particularly concerned that the draft law put up for public consultation does not include provisions obligating members of commissions conducting procedures for public procurement, privatisations, public-private partnerships, and concessions with an estimated value exceeding 100.000 euros, to submit income and assets declarations. We remind that these are areas in high-risk of corruption.

The draft law also does not include the jurisdiction of the Agency for Prevention of Corruption to determine the existence of conflicts of interest in performing public functions in the fields of spatial planning, urbanism, concessions, and public procurement by special regulations governing these areas.

 We propose that the Government adopts, as a bill, the text agreed upon in the working group formed by the Parliament of Montenegro in 2023.

Dragana Jaćimović
Public Policy Researcher

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