Transparency of local expenditure needs improvement
Stevo Muk, President of the Managing board of Institute Alternative (IA), took part in the public broadcaster’s talk-show “Okvir”; he pointed out that the Draft Law on Local Government Financing needs improvements, since monitoring mechanisms at the local level were particularly poor.
He reminded that the IA submitted suggestions to the Draft Law on Local Government Financing. On the other hand, local governments did not take nearly anything to rationalize their expenditures, but they retained or increased the wage share: “For three years, wages for employees in local governments increased from 42 to 46 million.”
As a step forward in the Law proposal, in line with the IA’s suggestions, he specified the obligation of local governments to publish quarterly budgetary reports on the internet, the obligation of the President of the Municipality to submit a semi-annual report on the budget execution and prescribing the upper limit for the use of the budget reserve.
Muk said that one of the suggestions of the IA was that analytical cards of local governments should be publicly accessible throughout the year, and not only during the election cycle. The Law proposal, however, failed to address this recommendation. “Such obligation of local governments would facilitate the work of NGOs, media, citizens, and in the first place those who should perform ex officio monitoring and control of the operations of local governments,” he added.
He concluded that the reasons for the poor financial situation of local governments are non-functional control system, including rare and inefficient internal controls, as well as the rare audits by the State Audit Institution. Control by local parliaments is especially poor, as well as the participation of citizens, local NGOs and the media.
Dodao je da se jedan od glavnih prigovora IA odnosio na slab inspekcijski nadzor, uključujući budžetsku inspekciju. Kao problematično navodi činjenicu da budžetski inspektor ne postoji, i da ni u onom vremenu kada je funkcionisao na papiru, nije dao rezultate.
He added that the IA particularly objected the poor inspection oversight. He explained that the problem is the fact that the budgetary inspector does not exist at all. Even at the time when he formally operated, he did not work properly.
The other participants in the show were: Snežana Mugoša, Director General of the Directorate for Local Government and State-owned companies, Stevan Katić, Mayor of Herceg Novi, Jovanka Laličić, Member of the Democratic Party of Socialists and Genci Nimanbegu, Vice-President of the Parliament of Montenegro.