Skip Navigation
North Macedonia

Monitoring Property Status of Elected and Appointed Officials (MK0124)

Overview

At-a-Glance

Action Plan: Macedonia Action Plan 2018-2020

Action Plan Cycle: 2018

Status: Active

Institutions

Lead Institution: State Commission for Prevention of Corruption

Support Institution(s): State commission for prevention of corruption Misha Popovikj, IDSCS, misha@idscs.org M.A. Snezhana Kamilovska Trpovska, MCIC skt@mcms.mk and other civil society organizations

Policy Areas

Anti-Corruption, Anti-Corruption Institutions, Asset Disclosure, Audits, E-Government, Land Rights & Spatial Planning, Legislation & Regulation, Political Integrity, Public Service Delivery, Sustainable Development Goals

IRM Review

IRM Report: North Macedonia Design Report 2018-2020

Starred: Pending IRM Review

Early Results: No IRM Data

Design i

Verifiable: Yes

Relevant to OGP Values: Access to Information

Potential Impact:

Implementation i

Completion:

Description

An advanced mechanism for monitoring the property status of the elected and appointed officials
Start and end date of the commitment: September 2018 – August 2020
Lead implementing agency
State Commission for Prevention of Corruption
Description of commitment
Status quo or problem addressed by the commitment
One of the ways to reduce the illegal wealth of the elected and appointed persons as a result of their function is a functional mechanism that will monitor these conditions. In Macedonia, this system is relatively inefficient, primarily due to technical reasons, which leaves room for arbitrary operations of the competent institutions. The SCPC monitors the sources of the property of state officials during their terms of service in a limited manner. At the same time, the SCPC does not have complete insight whether all elected and appointed persons have submitted asset declarations because the register of appointed and elected persons has not yet met its function for which the same was established. Namely, apart from the institutions, the citizens are denied the opportunity to have full insight into who are the elected and appointed persons in the state, and what is the property state and how it changes as a result of the public function.
Main objective
Establishing a functional system that will simplify the checking of the property status of the elected and appointed persons and will provide the citizens with adequate insight into it.
Brief description of the commitment
Based on the analysis of the anti-corruption legislation, and by virtue of the already existing information of the SCPC, but also of the civil society, an audit will be conducted in order to upgrade the functionality of the registry. This will be a basis for qualitative overview of the filled-in data of the Register under SCPC’s competence. In the meantime, the SCPC will put into effect the connection between the electronic registration of asset declarations, the publication of the same and the register. In addition, the SCPC will create a legal basis for redefining the content and the manner of submitting the asset declaration with the amendments to the Law on prevention of corruption. SCPC, along with other competent institutions such as Public Revenue Office, Employment Agency of RM, Cadastre, Central Register of RM, Securities and Exchange Commission, Ministry of Interior, will put into operation the interoperability system as one of the tools for systematic monitoring of property during the performance of the function.
OGP challenge addressed by the commitment
Public services improvement
Incresing the public integrity
More effective public resource management
Additional information
Reference to the Global Sustainable Development Goals, reference to Goal 16, “Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions”, Target 16.5: Significant reduction of all forms of corruption and bribery. The measures of this commitment contribute to prevention and fight against corruption and the protection of public interest by increasing the accountability and responsibility of the elected and appointed officers towards the citizens.
Milestone
2.1.1 Revision of the asset declaration’s content
2.1.2 Analysis of the functional failures of the Register of elected and appointed persons
2.1.3 Completing the registry according to the analysis
2.1.4 Putting into operation the electronic filing of the revised asset declaration
2.1.5 Establishing a system for continuous publication of asset declarations, including background data in an open and computer readable format
Contact information
Name of responsible person from implementing agency
M.A. Nikolina Tarchugovska – Miloshevksa Adem Chuchulj
Title, Department
Sector for Programs, Analytics, International Cooperation and Administrative Affairs Secretariat for SCPC
Phone and e-mail
02 3248-942 nikolina@dksk.org.mk, 02 3248- 934 a.cucul@dksk.org.mk, 02 3215-377
Other actors involved
State commission for prevention of corruption
Misha Popovikj, IDSCS, misha@idscs.org M.A. Snezhana Kamilovska Trpovska, MCIC skt@mcms.mk and other civil society organizations

IRM Midterm Status Summary

Theme II: Integrity and Good Governance

2.1 An advanced mechanism for monitoring the property status of the elected and appointed officials

Language of the commitment as it appears in the action plan: [20]

Based on the analysis of the anti-corruption legislation, and by virtue of the already existing information of the SCPC, but also of the civil society, an audit will be conducted in order to upgrade the functionality of the registry. This will be a basis for qualitative overview of the filled-in data of the Register under SCPC’s competence. In the meantime, the SCPC will put into effect the connection between the electronic registration of asset declarations, the publication of the same and the register. In addition, the SCPC will create a legal basis for redefining the content and the manner of submitting the asset declaration with the amendments to the Law on prevention of corruption. SCPC, along with other competent institutions such as Public Revenue Office, Employment Agency of RM, Cadastre, Central Register of RM, Securities and Exchange Commission, Ministry of Interior, will put into operation the interoperability system as one of the tools for systematic monitoring of property during the performance of the function.

Milestones:

2.1.1 Revision of the asset declaration’s content

2.1.2 Analysis of the functional failures of the Register of elected and appointed persons

2.1.3 Completing the registry according to the analysis

2.1.4 Putting into operation the electronic filing of the revised asset declaration

2.1.5 Establishing a system for continuous publication of asset declarations, including background data in an open and computer readable format

Start Date: September 2018

End Date: August 2020

Context and Objectives

North Macedonia’s Law on Prevention of Corruption requires elected and appointed officials to declare their assets and property within 30 days of election, termination, and change in their assets. [21] The State Commission for Prevention of Corruption (SCPC) receives and verifies asset declarations and publishes this data on its website. [22] During the previous action plan (2016-2018), SCPC committed to publish in open format a historical overview of officials’ asset declarations during their time in office. While the software to publish this was developed, mandatory online reporting required amending the Law for Prevention of Corruption, which did not occur by the time of the End-of-Term Report. [23]

The commitment in the current action plans expands on this previous commitment by focusing on electronic submissions of asset declarations to SCPC. In 2019, the government adopted a new Law on Prevention of Corruption and Conflict of Interests, which stipulates the SCPC establish a new electronic form for submitting declarations of assets and statement of interests. [24] Under this commitment, SCPC aims to put this into place and redefine the content of asset declarations in accordance with the amended Law on Prevention of Corruption and Conflict of Interests. [25] In addition, SCPC will work with other institutions to simplify the assessment of elected and appointed persons’ property status. [26] The commitment is clearly relevant to the OGP value of access to information, because the submissions of elected and appointed officials’ asset declarations will be publicly available on the SCPC register. The activities are verifiable, though it is not clear how analysis of the functional failures of the register will be conducted (Milestone 2.1.2).

Currently, public officials in North Macedonia submit asset declarations by completing a questionnaire in hard copy, and SCPC employees enter the data from the questionnaires into the electronic database manually, whereupon the data is published on SCPC’s website. This existing questionnaire contains insufficient data on the property and assets of officials as well as the members of their families, and according an a SCPC representative, declarants sometimes provide incomplete information. [27] According to SCPC, the new system will provide not only an electronic submission of the declaration of assets, but also an integrated register of elected and appointed officials. The new system will also allow SCPC to thoroughly search the assets of public officials in the 17 institutions whose databases SCPC has access to. [28] Furthermore, SCPC will publish on its website a detailed history of the positions occupied by the official and changes in the property status and interests of each elected and appointed official.

Overall, this commitment could significantly improve SCPC’s existing practice of receiving submissions of asset declarations by shifting from paper-based submissions to a standardized electronic form. According to the Council of Europe’s Group of States Against Corruption (GRECO), the replacement of the paper-based statements and asset declarations with a single electronic form could potentially make the management of conflicts of interest more reliable and transparent. [29] In addition, the amended Law on Prevention of Corruption and Conflict of Interests will expand the range of public officials required to submit asset declarations, and will include (among others) public, enforcement agents, administrative officers, and persons employed in the offices of the President of the Republic of North Macedonia. [30]

Next steps

While implementing this commitment, the IRM recommends ensuring that the updated electronic filing of asset declarations is in place by the end of the action plan. The IRM also recommends making the data searchable according to several key criteria, such as the name of the public official, by the name of the entity where they are employed, or by the name of the asset. Lastly, the IRM recommends that SCPC puts in place a functional verification mechanism to ensure the accuracy of the data, such as in Georgia and Ukraine. [31]

2.2 Collaboration with the civil sector for anti-corruption assessment of legislation

Language of the commitment as it appears in the action plan: [32]

SCPC and civil society organizations will develop a mechanism for collaboration in the consultative processes during the law adoption, as well as in the process of selection and prioritization of the laws that have already been adopted, and will be subject to anti-corruption assessment of the legislation. In accordance with the Anti-Corruption Legislation Methodology, the SCPC will select and prioritize laws that will be subject to assessment on the grounds of common criteria or separate cases. Separate cases relate to findings reporting and indications by civil society, concerning the risks of possible corruption and conflict of interests in certain legal provisions or in a particular legal area, information on a draft-law that has been exposed to strong lobbying by interest groups, etc. CSOs and their networks should be proactive and more active at this stage - by participating in working groups, then at the level of consultations, when they can send comments on behalf of the groups they represent, but also by providing indications to the SCPC and giving recommendations legislation amendments.

Millstones:

2.2.1 Established consultation mechanism during the law adoption and prioritizing the laws that will be subject to anticorruption assessment of legislation

Start Date: September 2018

End Date: August 2020

Context and Objectives

As part of the 2016-2019 State Programme, the State Commission for the Prevention of Corruption (SCPC) introduced a process of carrying out anti-corruption reviews for North Macedonian legislation. [33] This covers legislation that is being drafted or has been adopted and seeks to detect, prevent, or minimize the risk of corruption and conflict of interests that may emerge from the implementation of new laws. This commitment calls for SCPC and CSOs to jointly create a consultation mechanism for civil society to contribute to anti-corruption reviews of legislation. Specifically, the consultation mechanism will provide civil society with the opportunity to review draft legislation and to be involved in the selection and prioritization of laws that have already been adopted and will be subject to anti-corruption review. According to the action plan, civil society will be able to participate in working groups, at the level of consultations, and where organizations can send comments and recommendations to SCPC on legislation amendments.

This commitment is relevant to civic participation because it aims to provide civil society with the opportunity to review and submit feedback on legislation. The main activity is verifiable, namely the establishment of the consultation mechanism. However, the action plan does not provide additional details on the possible operations of the mechanism beyond civil society involvement through working groups.

The potential impact of this commitment will largely depend on how the consultation mechanism is set up and functions, as well as how many draft laws it is able to assess and how the laws are prioritized for assessment. As such, the potential impact is marked as minor.

Next steps

Moving forward, the SCPC could consider the following recommendations:

  • Ensure open and transparent process for selecting CSOs for the consultation mechanism.
  • Define expected number and nature of draft laws from the beginning so that the burden of participation in the mechanism is clear to the civil society members.
  • Provide training as needed for the participating CSOs to ensure effective functioning of the consultation mechanism.
  • Hold consultations at the scenarios (green paper) stage before the drafting of laws begins.

[20] The texts for all the commitments are an abridged version of the commitment texts. For the full commitment texts, see the Republic of North Macedonia 2018-2020 National Action Plan, https://www.opengovpartnership.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/Macedonia_Action-Plan_2018-2020_EN.pdf

[21] Law on Prevention of Corruption, Official Gazette, [in English], https://bit.ly/337w4H6

[22] Register of Elected/Appointed Persons, State Commission for the Prevention of Corruption, https://register.dksk.org.mk/Public/Submissions#/SubmissionList

[23] IRM, Republic of Macedonia, End-of-Term Report 2016-2018, p 31, https://www.opengovpartnership.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/11/Macedonia_End-of-Term_Report_2016-2018_EN.pdf

[24] European Commission, https://ec.europa.eu/neighbourhood-enlargement/sites/near/files/20190529-north-macedonia-report.pdf

[25] SCPC will determinate the content of the new submissions form, which will be operational after developing a new software solution.

[26] According to the action plan, the other institutions include Public Revenue Office, Employment Agency of RM, Cadastre, Central Register of RM, Securities and Exchange Commission, Ministry of Interior

[27] Adem Cucul, SCPC, 4 December 2019.

[28] Information provided to the IRM by SPCP during the pre-publication review period of this report, 6 April 2020.

[29] Fifth Evaluation Round, North Macedonia, https://rm.coe.int/fifth-evaluation-round-preventing-corruption-and-promoting-integrity-i/168095378c

[30] Adem Cucul, SCPC. Other public officials who will be required to submit asset declarations will include: notaries, enforcement agents, administrative officers of category A determined by law, persons employed in the cabinet of the President of the Republic of North Macedonia, the President and the Vice-Presidents of the Parliament, the President of the Government, the Deputy Prime Ministers of the Government, the Ministers and the Secretary General of the Government

[31] Commitment 14 in Georgia’s 2014-2015 OGP action plan, p 25, https://www.opengovpartnership.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/06/OGP-AP-GEORGIA.pdf, and Commitment 12 in Ukraine’s 2014-2016 OGP action plan, https://www.opengovpartnership.org/members/ukraine/commitments/UA0044/

[32] The texts for all the commitments are an abridged version of the commitment texts. For the full commitment texts, see the Republic of North Macedonia 2018-2020 National Action Plan, https://www.opengovpartnership.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/Macedonia_Action-Plan_2018-2020_EN.pdf

[33] Republic of Macedonia, State Commission for Prevention of Corruption, http://www.dksk.org.mk/en/images/stories/PDF/stateprograme-eng-final.pdf


Commitments

Open Government Partnership