Centre for Civic Education (CCE) considers that the current efforts of local self – governments in the fight against corruption are insufficient and that it is a clear indication of lack of political will to deal with this problem. And it is exactly the local level the origin of many devastating and long-term forms of corruption, which require a higher level of commitment of local self – governments themselves.
Through its project experiences, the CCE had a chance to analyze the local action plans for fight corruption (LAP) for the period from 2009 to 2012 and 2013-2014 and to detect problems in the design, implementation and reporting of the LAPs.
In most cases (which applies to both of the above mentioned periods), LAPs literally tracked the Model of aligned action plan for fight against corruption and organized crime in local self-government and thereby failed to present perception and experience of citizens which have had contact with the local authorities, based on previously conducted analysis and public opinion surveys, and thus to obtain a high quality material for formulating concrete and for individual municipalities custom activities for action plans. Therefore, it is necessary to consult the Model of AP, and adapt the LAP, because the content of the LAPs should reflect the real problems of a given local self – government. On the other hand, reporting on the extent and quality of implementation must be standardized and aligned, for easier comparison, analysis and determining new and improved measures to combat corruption at the local level.
LAPs partially addressed the issues of employment, public procurement and urban planning, but not sufficiently, while areas such as concessions, public-private partnerships, the role of local parliaments and political corruption are completely neglected.
It is necessary to also accurately predict within local budgets the funds for the implementation of each operation envisioned in the plan, which so far was not the case. Before requesting funds through the responsible ministry for the implementation of certain activities from the local action plans, the funds allocated to combat corruption at the local level should be clearly marked in the very budgets of local self – governments.
Furthermore, the issues of transparency and quality of the action plans should be improved through the inclusion of experts in their development, as well as representatives of civil sectors, namely all stakeholders. This especially refers considering the assessment of the 2014 Progress Report, which clearly states that there is no progress in increasing transparency, efficiency and accountability of local self – governments.
CCE reminds that the municipalities of Budva, Rožaje, Ulcinj and Žabljak have not yet adopted the LAPs and therefore they directly obstructed activities in the Action Plan for Chapter 23, relating to the adoption of the LAPs, to be fully implemented within the deadline that was the end of 2013. At the website of the municipality of Budva, final version of the LAP is posted, but there are no precise information whether the same was adopted or not.
CCE assesses that the local governments have not demonstrated a willingness and proactive approach in the fight against corruption at the local level, which is a clear indication that there is insufficient political will for improvement in this area. In the forthcoming period, it is necessary to initiate the existing mechanisms for combating corruption, in order to make this process produce tangible and sustainable results.
Nikola Djonović, koordinator programa