Employment in Montenegrin municipalities – merit or party based?

Centre for Civic Education (CCE) and Institute Alternative (IA) have presented today at a press conference the analysis “Employment in Montenegrin municipalities – merit or party based?”.The analysis has been prepared within the project “Corruption at the local level – zero tolerance!”, implemented by the Centre for Civic Education (CCE), in cooperation with the NGO Institute Alternative (IA) from Podgorica, NGO Bonum from Pljevlja and NGO Nada from Herceg Novi, with the support of the European Union through the EU Delegation to Montenegro through IPA 2011 and co-financing by the Royal Norwegian Embassy.

Boris Maric, Senior Legal Advisor at the CCE reflected on the project “Corruption at the local level – zero tolerance!”, pointing out that the same aimed at strengthening the role of civil society organizations, local self-governments and relevant government authorities in policy development, monitoring and implementation of the campaign for reducing corruption in local communities of Montenegro.One of the results of this project is six publications dealing with key risks for emergenceof corruption at the local level: public procurement, employment, public-private partnerships, urban-planning, political corruption and the position of local parliaments in the system of fight against corruption.“Today’s topic – employment, with special emphasis on redundancy in local self-governmentsmust inevitably be linked to political influence on the employment system and the emergence of political corruption for the purpose of maintaining the acquired position of power at the local level”, said Maric.He has stated that “The necessary control levelsof performance of local authorities have not been established, and the wholelocal government is a victim of a centralized political system”,assessing that “source of the problem of redundancy lies in political corruption and politically motivated decisionswhere you have to employ franticallyin order to have a certain election result.”He has concluded that “De-politicization is a main precondition for solving the problem of redundancy in local self-governments, which is particularly evident in the party’s employment, especially in the pre-election period.”


Jovana Marovic, Research Coordinator at the IA believes that impossibility of determining the optimum number of employees in the municipalities is in direct relation to poor human resources planning.“Improving the planning process is not being contributed to by the Plan for internal reorganization of the public sector, which has predicted creating the necessary analysis of the optimal number of employees only year after adoption of the document itself that is precisely offerring a projection of rationalization.”She has clarified that at the local level have been identified problems of redundancy, inadequate human resources planning, lack of skilled and qualified personnel, insufficient motivation of employees, party employment, lack of transparency in relation to procedures, lack of formal prerequisites for implementation of the Law on Civil Servants and State Employees at the local level, etc. Marovic has specified that it was difficult to determine the number of employees at the local level, but it is certain that employment on local level is the most intensive before elections, regardless of redundancy in local government that has already been pointed to.“Workplaces are used for „buying“ votes, election victory and social peace. A large number of employees in local self-governments have nothing to do, but again, receive salary regularly. This has a negative impact on financial stability of local self-governments.The system of local finance in Montenegro is, in the long-term, burdened with numerous problems, of which the most significant are decrease in current incomes, growth of outstanding liabilities and credit commitments, as well as high level of budget deficit”, assessed Marovic. She pointed out that in addition to the local self-governments bodies, problem represent also the public enterprises and institutions in which there is twice as many employees, as is the case in Bar, Budva, Kotor, Podgorica,Pljevlja and Tivat.

Based on the analysis conducted at the end of the first quarter of the year 2014, total debt of all local self-governments has amounted to 171.05 million euros, namely 4.86% of the estimated GDP for 2014, while the total outstanding liabilities of the municipalities ending with the month of March have amounted to 108.61 million euros.The projected potential savings after rationalization of the number of employees in all the municipalities according to the Plan of interior reorganization by the end of 2016 should amount to 9.388.476,33 euros. Marovic indicated that decrease in current incomeand growth of outstanding liabilities and credit commitments are evident in Montenegrin municipalities.

The project “Corruption at the local level – zero tolerance!” aims to strengthen the implementation of anti-corruption policies at the local level, as well as to increase awareness of citizens on importance of effective anti-corruption mechanisms and procedures in 14 municipalities in Montenegro: Podgorica, Cetinje, Niksic, Danilovgrad, Herceg Novi, Kotor, Tivat, Budva, Bar, Rozaje, Pljevlja, Mojkovac, Kolasin, Pluzine.Target group includes citizens of 14 Montenegrin municipalities, whose understanding of and participation in the fight against corruption at the local level is of essential importance for overcoming this challenge for European Integration of Montenegro.

Svetlana Pesic, Programme Associate