Centre for Civic Education (CCE) submitted today to the Governing Board of the University of Montenegro (UoM) an initiative to open all sessions of that body for the interested public and the media.
CCE considers that in the interest of strengthening the transparency of the work of UoM, it is necessary to enable the interested public to monitor the sessions of this governing body. In this context, CCE proposed an initiative to include such a provision in the Rules of Procedure of the Governing Board, which would remove the current restrictions on the transparency of the Governing Board.
The existing Article 41 of the Rules of Procedure stipulates that the Governing Board informs the public about its work by holding press conferences, publication of press releases, interviews and in another adequate manner, as well as to press statements from the session of the Governing Board given by the chairman or a person authorized by him/her, as well as the Communication and Public Relations Service in the Rectorate, and only exceptionally, if it is a particularly important issue for UoM, in the opinion of the chairman or consultation with the members of the Governing Board, the session of the Governing Board may be attended by media representatives. Such a restriction is unnecessary, it leaves room for discretionary decision making, and the practice has shown that it strengthens the non-transparency of the oldest higher education institution financed by citizens.
Also, although all meetings of the Governing Board are recorded, and materials from the meetings, minutes, audio recordings and decisions are kept in the archives of the Rectorate, they should be published on the site to be available to the interested public without restricting the right to use of that material in terms of obtaining the consent of the authorized person.
CCE underlines that investments from the budget of Montenegro, i.e. all taxpayers, oblige the leadership of Montenegro on additional responsibility and transparency in work.
CCE wants to believe that the management of the Governing Board of UoM will thus demonstrate an additional deviation from bad practices of the previous leaders of the Governing Board, and that this issue will be resolved at the next session of the Governing Board.
Furthermore, the CCE requested that the next session, which would include this issue, be open to the public so that everyone would be informed about the individual attitudes of the Governing Board members towards this issue, but also the nomination of a new member on behalf of the founder, i.e. Government of Montenegro, which comes from one religious community and which calls into question the principle of the secular state of Montenegro and the autonomy of UoM.
Snežana Kaluđerović, Senior Legal Advisor