Joomla 3.2 Template by Justhost Complaints
Local transparency index - LTI
Business Integrity Country Agenda – BICA Assessment Report Serbia
Anti-corruption priorities for Parliament and Government for 2020-2024
Advocacy and Legal Advice Centres - ALAC

The appointment of the Agency's director is delayed; on what basis will MPs decide?

The programs of the three candidates for the director of the Agency for the Prevention of Corruption, among whom the National Assembly will choose, do not provide clear answers to all essential questions about the future work of this body. The procedure envisaged by the law does not imply the possibility of representing candidates in the Assembly. Moreover, their programs were not even delivered to the MPs; only their biographies were. As a result, the repetition of the 2021 election of members of the Agency's Council can be expected when the deputies voted based on an agreement reached in advance and not based on individual qualities.

On the procedural side, the competition for the director was disputed in public because two of the three members of the Competition Committee are public officials who are subject to the control of the Agency. In this regard, there was no reaction from the state authorities. In addition, the problem is that the Agency should appreciate the potential conflict of interests of the members of the competition commission, and the actual director of that body and his deputy are among the candidates for director.

The programs presented by the candidates for the director have shortcomings. The Commission that reviewed the programs failed to point out this in the minutes. It also failed to do it during the half-hour presentation of the candidates when the Commission members could ask additional questions. Evaluations of program presentations do not contain sufficient arguments.

The current director of the Agency, Dragan Sikimić, his deputy Dejan Damnjanović, and Kosta Sandić, who has previous experience working in the private and public sector, as well as three candidates who did not take the test, applied for the competition. A relatively small number of candidates can indicate low confidence in the possibility that someone who does not secure political support in advance can be elected, as it happened during the election of members of the Agency's Council.

The Judicial Academy has established good practices by publishing candidate programs. However, it is evident that the Commission should have specified the mandatory elements of the work programs so that consideration, evaluation and comparison of those programs could be more well-argued. Transparency Serbia has prepared an analysis of the programs of all three candidates and will soon submit it to the parliament.

The mandate of the current director of the Agency for the Prevention of Corruption expires on 18.01.2023. The Minister of Justice submitted the proposal containing the names of all three candidates on 11.01.2023. The Judicial Academy conducted a competition, the results of which were published on 28.12. 2022. Therefore, it is evident that the election will be delayed once again, as it happened when the Council of the Agency members were elected. The current deputy, whose mandate expires in August this year and who is one of the three candidates in the present competition, will manage the Agency from 18 January 2023.