Service catalogue to bring the work of local self-governments closer to the public

Centre for Civic Education (CCE) yesterday sent to the Ministry of Public Administration, as the body responsible for monitoring and implementation of local self-government affairs, the Initiative for creating a catalogue of services that local self-governments in Montenegro provide to citizens.

CCE believes that the most effective manner of strengthening the transparency of work, bringing closer to citizens and improving the quality of municipal services would be through the creation of a catalogue of services that local governments provide to all citizens in Montenegro. Such an approach is in accordance with the draft of the Public Administration Reform Strategy 2022-2026.

CCE reminds that Article 157 of the Law on local self-government stipulates that ‘in order to satisfy cultural, sports, educational, health, information and other needs, the local population participates in public administration bodies and other legal entities exercising public authority and providing services to citizens, in the manner established by special laws and other regulations.

In this context, with this initiative, CCE wants to influence the improvement of the level of public awareness and more effective use of local self-government services, about the existence of which and the possibilities it offers, the interested public is not sufficiently informed.

Municipalities have different approaches to publishing the services they provide, and in most cases, data on all these services are not publicly available on the websites, so the public is superficially and insufficiently familiar with them, which jeopardizes their rights and the ability to respond in a timely manner in situations that are important to them. Therefore, we believe that creating a unified electronic service catalogue of all local self-governments would be a step towards improving the work of the municipalities themselves and providing better services which would ultimately lead to an increase in the satisfaction of citizens at the local level. In addition, it is necessary to regularly update that register, immediately after a change occurs, so that citizens have accurate data at any given moment.

Bearing in mind the expansion of technologically easier and simpler ways of informing, but also that E-Government is the future of the public sector, which must be a service for citizens, CCE believes that this unified catalogue could significantly contribute to the future development of a development of a system dedicated to local citizens, who feel the consequences of good or bad management of local governments the most.

Mira Popović Trstenjak, Democratisation and Europeanisation Programme Coordinator