Reaction of the Institute Alternative (IA) and the Centre for Civic Education (CCE) to statement of the Capital City on findings of analysis “Employment in Montenegrin municipalities – merit or party based?”

Institute Alternative (IA) and Centre for Civic Education (CCE) inform the public that statements of the PR service of the Capital City regarding “unfounded, unprofessional and malicious” assesments of IA and CCE are an expression of rashness and lack of information.

We believe that one established, serious and substantiated public address must be preceded by an insight into results of research, which, when it comes to PG Bureau, was not the case. Regretfully, we emphasize that even by this reaction the Capital City has showed the same degree of lack of interest for cooperation with CCE and IA as well as during the eigtheen-month long implementation of the project “Corruption at the local level – zero tolerance!” within which this analysis was prepared. Namely, the failure to respond to requests for free access to information, denying access to key documents for fight against corruption (as is the case with reporting on public procurement), ignoring questions during preparation of analyses, etc, are only some of these “forms of cooperation” that we had during this period.

Data from the analysis “Employment in Montenegrin municipalities – merit or party based?” were quoted from responses to requests for free access to information that were sent to local self-governments in March 2014 (they include also the number of employees in this period), official reports and policy documents of the Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Interior, internet presentations of municipalities that were subject of this research, as well as comments from local officials, councillors and representatives of non-governmental organizations which were presented during the consultative trainings within the project that were held during June and July 2013. The analysis also highlights all positive examples according to criteria by which we have measured transparency of employment.

It is important to note that the Capital City has not prepared a plan for reduction of staff, that data on the number of employees in yesterday’s press release are not available in the Report on implementation of the Plan of reorganization of the public sector which was published on 31 July 2014, as well as that the “most recent” official data for this municipality are dating back to year of 2012. Also, it is interesting that Podgorica in yesterday’s statement has not published the total number of employees in public institutions and enterprises, which was also the subject of our analysis.

Due to unprofessional attitude of the PG Bureau towards the public we will consider a possibility for initiating a corresponding procedure before the Ethics Committee of the local officials and employees.

Jovana MAROVIC, Research Coordinator at the Institute Alternative
Boris MARIC, Senior Legal Advisor at the Centre for Civic Education