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Serbia

Law on Financing Political Activities (RS0002)

Overview

At-a-Glance

Action Plan: Serbia First Action Plan 2014-2015

Action Plan Cycle: 2014

Status: Inactive

Institutions

Lead Institution: Ministry of finance

Support Institution(s): Ministry in charge of justice Anti-corruption Agency State Audit Institution Civil Society Organizations

Policy Areas

Legislation & Regulation, Money in Politics

IRM Review

IRM Report: Serbia End-of-Term Report 2014-2016

Starred: No

Early Results: Did Not Change

Design i

Verifiable: Yes

Relevant to OGP Values: Access to Information Public Accountability

Potential Impact:

Implementation i

Completion:

Description

The Law on Financing Political Activities of the Republic of Serbia has significantly improved legal framework in this area. However, in practice, it turned out that some legal solutions have imperfections, especially with regard to the obligations of persons in relation to political subjects, the use of public funds, and the obligation of bodies responsible for the control of financing the political subjects, because they were not prescribed by law as compulsory subjects to audit by State Audit Institution. In order to overcome these issues, the Ministry of Finance is preparing the Draft Law on Amendments to the Law on Financing Political Activities.

IRM End of Term Status Summary

Commitment 2. Law on Financing Political Activities

Commitment Text:

1. Amending the Law on Financing Political Activities in order to clearly define and delineate the responsibilities of Anti-corruption Agency, State Audit Institution, and other bodies involved in the control of political activities, and to precisely determine the mechanisms for transparency in financing the political subjects.

            a. Submitting the Draft Law to the Government for consideration and formulation of the Bill

Responsible Institution(s): Ministry of Finance

Supporting Institution(s): Ministry of Justice; Anticorruption Agency; State Audit Institution; CSOs

Start Date: Not specified                                             End Date: Quarter I 2015

 

Commitment aim:

In Serbia, political financing is one of the key issues for the fight against corruption, given that public funds are the biggest funding source for financing political campaigns. This commitment aimed at closing loopholes in the legal framework in the context of financing political activities with the goal of making this process more transparent. It also aimed to make political subjects more accountable by precisely defining their obligations in the context of spending public funds.

Status: Complete at mid-term

The commitment was implemented within the first year of the action plan cycle in accordance with the set timeline. For more details, see the Serbia IRM Progress Report 2014-2015. The Ministry of Justice submitted a draft amended law, but it has yet to be adopted. The deadline for its adoption, according to the governments self-assessment report, was Quarter III of 2016.[Note 6: Self-Assessment on the Implementation of the Serbian Open Government Partnership Action Plan for 2014-2015 (Report), [Serbian] http://bit.ly/2gyghOh] Additionally, CSOs and the Anticorruption Agency disagreed about some of the provisions in the draft amendments. Most notably, organizations disagreed with the proposal to use of public funds for purchasing property.[Note 7: “CSO Held Consultative Meeting on Open Government in Serbia,” European Policy Centre, 21 September 2015, http://bit.ly/2eU95eb]

Did it open government?

Access to information: Did not change

Public accountability: Did not change

Public funds in Serbia make up 48 percent of political campaign finances,[Note 8: “Report on the Financing of Political Activities During the Election Campaigns in the First Half of 2014,” Anticorruption Agency, October 2014,  “Novac I Izbori [Summary of the Report],” Vreme, 11 November 2014, [Serbian] http://bit.ly/1K76IsO ] and the level of transparency about how political subjects use these funds is relatively low in practice.[Note 9: “Serbia,” Money, Politics and Transparency, https://data.moneypoliticstransparency.org/countries/RS/ ] However, by envisaging only the submission of a draft law to the government, this commitment has not changed government openness given that the law has not been adopted. Hence, as of June 2016, it had no impact on government openness either in terms of access to information or public accountability.

Additionally, Serbia already has a comprehensive regulatory framework regarding political financing. The challenges arise mostly in practice. According to the “Money, Politics and Transparency” indices, Serbia ranks much better on its regulatory framework than practice in the context of political financing.[Note 10: “Serbia,” Money, Policies and Transparency, https://data.moneypoliticstransparency.org/countries/RS/ ] The letter of the law and the results in practice will not be addressed until the final implementation of the law. Therefore, although this commitment was completed in the first year of the action plan cycle, its potential effects on government openness in terms of the management of public funds and public spending will be visible only in the long term, if the law is adopted and its stipulations implemented.

Carried forward?

The commitment was completed, and no commitments regarding the financing of political activities were included in the 2016-2018 action plan adopted in November 2016.


Commitments

  1. Increasing transparency and participation in parliament

    RS0042, 2018, Civic Space

  2. Publishing Budget Law

    RS0028, 2018, E-Government

  3. e-calendar for financing civil society

    RS0029, 2018, E-Government

  4. publish data on environmental protection funds

    RS0030, 2018, Capacity Building

  5. opening data for public calls for media development

    RS0031, 2018, E-Government

  6. open data reports on CSOs

    RS0032, 2018, E-Government

  7. amending media registration bylaws

    RS0033, 2018, E-Government

  8. Assistance with and monitoring of adoption of LAP

    RS0034, 2018, Anti-Corruption Institutions

  9. Updating of electoral roll

    RS0035, 2018, E-Government

  10. ePAPER

    RS0036, 2018, E-Government

  11. e-notice board

    RS0037, 2018, E-Government

  12. Improving proactive transparency – Information Booklet

    RS0038, 2018, E-Government

  13. Access to Information Law

    RS0039, 2018, Capacity Building

  14. cooperation with CSOs on regulations

    RS0040, 2018, Capacity Building

  15. e-civic engagement

    RS0041, 2018, E-Government

  16. Develop a Model of Job Description or Part of Job Description of an Officer Responsible for Cooperation with Civil Society in Local Administration

    RS0014, 2016, Capacity Building

  17. Organise Trainings for Public Administration Officers in Connection with the Application of the Guidelines on Inclusion of Civil Society Organisations in the Process of Passing Regulations

    RS0015, 2016, Capacity Building

  18. Organise Trainings for CSO in Connection with Application of the Guidelines on Inclusion of Civil Society Organisations in the Process of Passing Regulations

    RS0016, 2016, Capacity Building

  19. Improve the System for Collecting Initiatives from Citizens and Businesses

    RS0017, 2016, Capacity Building

  20. Introducing Standards for Civic Participation in the Public Policy Management System

    RS0018, 2016, Capacity Building

  21. Improving Proactive Transparency – Information Booklet

    RS0019, 2016, Capacity Building

  22. Amendments to the Law on Free Access to Information of Public Importance

    RS0020, 2016, Legislation & Regulation

  23. Development of an Open Data Portal

    RS0021, 2016, Capacity Building

  24. Draft a Bylaw Based on the Guidelines for Evaluation of Websites

    RS0022, 2016, Capacity Building

  25. Improve the Institute of Public Hearing in the Drafting of Laws

    RS0023, 2016, Legislation & Regulation

  26. Development of a Uniform Methodology for Planning, Monitoring and Performance Evaluation of Programmes and Projects Implemented by Civil Society Organisations and Monitoring the Spending of Allocated Funds

    RS0024, 2016, Capacity Building

  27. Amend the Regulation on Funds to Support Programmes or Missing Amount of Funds for Programmes of Public Interest Implemented by Associations

    RS0025, 2016, Capacity Building

  28. Enactment of a Law on Electronic Documents, Electronic Identification and Trusted Services in Electronic Business

    RS0026, 2016, Capacity Building

  29. Establish a Single Public Register of Administrative Procedures and Other Conditions for Pursuing a Business Activity

    RS0027, 2016, Capacity Building

  30. Transparency in Monitoring Budget Expenditures

    RS0001, 2014, Capacity Building

  31. Law on Financing Political Activities

    RS0002, 2014, Legislation & Regulation

  32. Transparent Public Procurement Procedures

    RS0003, 2014, Open Contracting and Procurement

  33. Transparent Financing of Civil Society Organizations

    RS0004, 2014, Civic Space

  34. Extending and Clarifying Responsibilities of the Anti-Corruption Agency

    RS0005, 2014, Anti-Corruption Institutions

  35. Whistleblower Protection Trainings and Campaigns

    RS0006, 2014, Legislation & Regulation

  36. Draft Law Regulating Inspections in Public Administration

    RS0007, 2014, Audits and Controls

  37. e-Governmental Portal Awareness and Mobile Application

    RS0008, 2014, E-Government

  38. Starred commitment Public Administration Website Harmonization and Amendments to the Law on Free Access to Information of Public Importance

    RS0009, 2014, E-Government

  39. New Technologies to Improve Citizen Services

    RS0010, 2014, E-Government

  40. Cooperation with Civil Society Organizations in Public Policymaking

    RS0011, 2014, Civic Space

  41. Citizen Participation in Local Government Affairs

    RS0012, 2014, Public Participation

  42. Civil Society Participation in Monitoring the Public Administration (PAR) Strategy

    RS0013, 2014, Audits and Controls