The parliament of Montenegro to be an example of transparency to other government institutions

Centre for Civic Education (CCE) welcomes the decision of the Parliament of Montenegro to publish the public procurement contracts on the redesigned website. The data, which until now have not been available, are of great importance to the transparency of budget spending, which in the period of deep socio-economic crisis affects also their planning.

In the report of the CCE “The Parliament of Montenegro: public procurement and contracting services” from July 2012, which refers to the expenses in 2011 year, one of the key recommendations of the organization was that information regarding all the resources necessary for work of the highest organ of legislative power, as well as all the privileges and benefits which MPs receive by entering the Parliament – should be publicly accessible, so citizens can have a complete insight of the conditions in which the Parliament operates. CCE welcomes the decision of the parliamentary administration to implement this recommendation.

In this context, the Parliament needs to be an example also to the executive authorities, ministries and state administration institutions who have access to significantly greater resources, and whose contracts are not being published on the official websites. Thus, the CCE has last year, only after sending the request for free access to information, obtained information that some government institutions have spent tens of thousands of euros on the interior, new carpets, floral arrangements and even fresh fish. Publishing of this and similar data would help explain many inconsistencies and causes for such spending of money of taxpayers who are the biggest victims of the latest impositions.

CCE will continue to make efforts, through its sub-programme Accountability and transparency of government, to be a corrective which will serve for the purpose of increasing openness of Montenegrin institutions, and the overall democratization of Montenegro.

Damir Nikočević, Programme Associate