Who Will be Held Accountable for Misuse of State Funds?

More than a month ago, with our four partner organisations, we have submitted an initiative to the Supreme State Prosecutor, requiring him to answer our question – What has Prosecution done with the reports that State Audit Institution (SAI) has officially submitted to the State Prosecutor’s Office?

So far, SAI has submitted audit reports to the State Prosecutor’s Office in eight cases: the Institute of Textbooks and Teaching Aids, Center for Contemporary Arts, Center for Vocational Education, Radio and Television of Montenegro (public service), University of Montenegro, Montenegrin National Theater, Democratic Party and the audit report on state guarantees.

We have received a response that in each of these cases the investigative actions have been carried out, but most of them were dismissed and no charges were brought.

In five out of eight cases, the Prosecution decided that there are no grounds for initiating criminal procedure. In three cases, the investigation is ongoing – the report on state guarantees, the Institute of Textbooks and Teaching Aids and Democratic Party from Municipality of Ulcinj.

This response confirms our doubts – the Prosecution’s work when it comes to determining accountability for inappropriate and illegal management of public funds is slow and inefficient.

It indicates that there are some problems in the cooperation between the Prosecution and SAI and some undefined procedures, but also that the Prosecution isn’t familiar enough with the nature of work of the state audit. The State Prosecutor’s Office is wasting time in the investigation requiring additional documentation not from the audited entities themselves, but from the SAI.

We will continue to follow these cases and put pressure on competent authorities to determine accountability for abuses and misuses of the taxpayers’ money.

 

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