Centre for Civic Education (CCE) received yesterday the Opinion of the Agency for Prevention of Corruption (ACP) which determined that the University of Montenegro (UoM) jeopardized the public interest due to inaction and non-execution of final court decisions. This opinion is made based on the CCE complaint for jeopardizing the public interest which indicated the presence of corruption at the UoM because of non-monetary liability according to the court decision in the case of Bugarin, which refers to illegal employment of academic staff at the Biotechnical Faculty. This proves the CCE’s position CCE that the previous management of UoM grossly violated the law and jeopardized the public interest in this case.
CCE wonders why ACP did not specified personal responsibility for non-execution of the final verdict, although it did process all the relevant regulations and documents during the procedure. It is clear even to the layperson that the major part of the guilt bears the accountable person within the institution, namely the former rector prof. dr Danilo Nikolić, which is why the CCE previously submitted the initiative for his dismissal to the Management Board (MB) of UoM.
The decision of the ACP precisely cites the provision of the Statute of UoM which prescribes that “the Rector governs, advocates for and represents the University”, and that s/he is “accountable for work at the University as well as for governance within the operational policy determined by the Management Board”. However, for some reason, the management of the ACP must not mention the name of Nikolić as the accountable person within the institution, because the institution does not govern itself. Nikolić is the one who brought the UoM into the offense as the accountable person within the institution, therefore the accountability of the UoM is indirect, and his accountability is direct, so it can neither be avoided nor imposed on the institution. This also raises the question of the professionalism of the competent persons in APC in the application of the law, and the CCE will request the ACP to complement this Opinion or bring another one by which the existing deficiencies will be removed.
Also, when deciding, ACP should have in mind that one of the legal principles is impossibilium nulla obligatio est, i.e. that the impossible obligation cannot be imposed on someone. In this regard, it is impossible to conduct the procedure of electing Bugarin at UoM in 30 days without violating procedures for election, but in that period that procedure can begin. This had to be clear to the APC from the UoM’s documents they had available for inspection.
Finally, the fact that the legal team of the UoM did not appeal to the very formulation of the verdict in due time indicates that the interest of the UoM was not defended when the legal basis for that existed.
Therefore, CCE calls on the new management of the UoM to urgently solve this case under the law and internal procedures of the UoM.
Damir Suljević, Project associate