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Serbia

Extending and Clarifying Responsibilities of the Anti-Corruption Agency (RS0005)

Overview

At-a-Glance

Action Plan: Not Attached

Action Plan Cycle: 2014

Status: Inactive

Institutions

Lead Institution: Ministry of justice

Support Institution(s): Anti-Corruption Agency Civil Society Organizations

Policy Areas

Anti-Corruption Institutions, Asset Disclosure

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 Anti-Corruption Agency has achieved significant results in the field of prevention of conflict of interest regarding the incompatibility of functions. However, the issue of conflict of interest, in terms of elimination of the influence of the private interest of the persons performing a public function, has not been regulated properly, which inhibits actions of the Agency. Therefore, it is necessary to specify and provide mechanisms for monitoring and consistent application of the provisions on the conflict of interest and increase accountability and transparency in actions. In the field of control of assets and income of public high officials, the Agency has faced difficulties related to the verification of accuracy and completeness of assets and income declarations, and keeping a register. The main deficiencies in practice are a loosely defined rights and obligations of a public high officials, as well as non-existence of a register of public functions.

IRM End of Term Status Summary

Commitment 5. Extending and clarifying responsibilities of the Anticorruption Agency

Commitment Text:

1. Improve the provisions of the Law on the Anti-Corruption Agency so as to clearly distinguish and regulate concepts of cumulation of functions (to prevent performing multiple public functions which are interconnected in a conflict of interest) and conflicts of interest (to eliminate private interest in exercising public powers), and to expand the circle of related persons for whom a public official is required to submit a declaration on assets and income, as well as to authorize the Agency by law, to carry out extraordinary control of assets, and to act upon anonymous notifications.

            a. Establishment of the Special Working Group;

            b. Preparation of Draft Law on Amendments to the Law on the Anti-Corruption
Agency;

            c. Determination and publishing of Public Hearing Program;

            d. Conducting public debate;

            e. Submitting Draft Law to the Government for consideration and determination
of the Bill

Responsible Institution(s): Ministry of Justice

Supporting Institution(s): Anticorruption Agency; CSOs

Start Date: Quarter I 2015                                           End Date: Quarter IV 2015

 

 

Commitment aim:

The fight against corruption in Serbia is regulated through numerous documents that lead to conflicts of interest and an unclear division of responsibilities. This commitment intends to enhance the fight against corruption by tackling these issues through amendments to the Law on the Anticorruption Agency. The amendments clarify the law’s functions and authorize it to carry out administrative controls, among others.  

Status

Midterm: Limited

The working group to prepare the draft amendments to the Law on the Anticorruption Agency was established. There was little evidence of the work’s meetings and progress on preparing the amendments, as well as progressing on the remaining three sub-activities. For more information, see Serbia’s 2014-2015 midterm IRM report.

End of term: Limited

Apart from the establishment of the working group, which occurred in the first half of the action plan implementation cycle, and the working group’s meetings, the IRM researchers could not find further attempts by the responsible institution to make progress on the overall activities within the timeline envisaged in the commitment. However, the draft law and the Public Hearing Program were created, and the Public Hearing was approved on 28 September 2016,[Note 18: Republic of Serbia, Government Decision on the Public Hearing Program of the Draft Law (September 2016), [Serbian] http://bit.ly/2fdIKCU] which falls out of the research period of this report. Additionally, according to the government’s justification of the draft law,[Note 19: Republic of Serbia, The Government’s Justification for the Draft Law, [Serbian] http://bit.ly/2fRP5p6 ] the draft law and the Public Hearing Program were not a part of Serbia’s OGP efforts. They were framed in the context of the National Anticorruption Strategy 2013-2018,[Note 20: Republic of Serbia, “The National Anti-Corruption Strategy in the Republic of Serbia for the Period 2013-2018,” 1 July 2013, http://bit.ly/2gaNdJf] the National Anticorruption Strategy Action Plan,[Note 21: Republic of Serbia, “The Action Plan for the Implementation of the National Anti-Corruption Strategy in the Republic of Serbia for the Period 2013-2018,” 25 August 2013, http://www.mpravde.gov.rs/obavestenje/2837/akcioni-plan-za-sprovodjenje-nacionalne-strategije-za-borbu-protiv-korupcije.php. ] and the Chapter 23 Action Plan of the EU accession negotiation process in Serbia.[Note 22: Republic of Serbia, The Action Plan for Chapter 23: Draft by the Negotiation Group for Chapter 23, (April 2015), http://bit.ly/2fRLFmr ] Hence, the implementation level for this commitment in the OGP context in Serbia and at the end of the reporting term remained limited.

Did it open government?

Access to information: Did not change

Public accountability: Did not change

The fight against corruption has been high on the government’s official list of priorities.[Note 23: Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucica, “Framework Exposé,” Exposé, Republic of Serbia, 2014, [Serbian] http://bit.ly/1fIXhk9] However, there are still basic legislative issues with how responsibilities for preventing and fighting corruption are defined and allocated. The commitment intended to amend the Law on the Anticorruption Agency to allocate more administrative control to the Agency, as well as to define better its functions. However, this commitment did not lead to changes in access to information or public participation. Its level of implementation was limited, and the draft law neither was produced within the action plan timeline nor could produce any effect on government openness, in terms of either access to information or public accountability, without Parliament passing the law.

Carried forward?

This commitment was not carried over to the 2016-2018 action plan, and its implementation is planned to occur outside of the framework of OGP.


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