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Increased transparency and efficiency - public procurement, public-private partnerships, public hearings and access to information 2015

Increased transparency and efficiency of the public sector in the areas of public procurement, access to information, preparation of regulations and public-private partnerships


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Citizens, businessmen and the professional public are aware that corruption is a serious problem in Serbia. The prevalence of the problem and the need to address it as a matter of priority have been recognized by international observers and organizations (including the European Commission in its annual progress reports), but also by the Serbian government from 2000 to the present. However, even when awareness of this exists, the question remains whether the fight against corruption will be conducted systematically, indiscriminately and in such a way as to bring the best possible effects. Transparency - Serbia, as an organization dedicated to such a fight against corruption, within this project, with the help of interested citizens and institutions, highlighted some of the most risky points for corruption and tried to influence the fight against corruption in those areas to be more effective.

One of the main preconditions for a successful fight against corruption is the transparent work of the public sector. On the other hand, corruption in the process of enacting regulations, in disposing of public funds and providing public sector services to citizens and entrepreneurs has a very detrimental effect on the economic development of society, the standard of living and the functioning of the rule of law and democratic institutions.

What was our goal?

This project aimed to strengthen the rule of law through increased transparency of public sector work and the quality of services provided to citizens. We wanted to achieve that in several ways. First of all, by monitoring whether and to what extent the authorities respect the regulations, because that is a precondition for the rule of law. Among the regulations whose implementation we monitored through the project were the Law on Public Procurement, the Law on Public-Private Partnerships and Concessions, the Law on Free Access to Information of Public Importance, the Rules of Procedure of the Government of the Republic of Serbia and the statutes of selected cities and municipalities.

Areas we dealt with

Public hearings

In connection with public hearings, we worked in several fields:

Improving the legal framework by giving concrete proposals to improve regulations that are important for the fight against corruption. At the time of the project, the anti-corruption strategy provided for the adoption or amendment of many important laws (on lobbying, on the protection of whistleblowers, on the Anti-Corruption Agency, on the financing of political activities, the Criminal Code, etc.);
TS advocated for the improvement of the legal framework of public hearings at the local level (amendments to the Law on Local Self-Government or the statute of interested cities and municipalities);
Organizing training for civil society organizations and the media;
Monitoring the procedures of public hearings in the preparation of regulations and informing the public about the observance of obligations from the Rules of Procedure of the Government (eg minimum deadlines) but also the meaningfulness of the entire regulation (eg whether proposals from public hearings are seriously considered)

Public procurement

TS closely monitored the legality of the implementation and expediency of twenty individual public procurements and informed the competent authorities and the public about the findings. We tried to include in this sample procurements that affect a large number of citizens. We also organized trainings for civil society organizations and the media on the topic of public procurement.

Access to information

TS conducted two rounds of research on compliance with the obligation of public authorities to develop and publish job information (30 selected institutions). This time, we pay special attention to the issue of respecting the obligation from the Law on Free Access to Information of Public Importance to publish detailed information on the services provided by the authorities, on the budget and the means of work at their disposal. In addition, we organized a discussion on fulfilling this obligation.

Public - private partnerships

Public-private partnerships, as an area that carries high risks of corruption, have been the subject of our attention in several ways:

Analysis of cases and effects of public-private partnership agreements that were concluded before the adoption of the current Law (2011);

Monitoring the legality and effects of 10 procedures for concluding public-private partnership contracts in the next year and a half;

Organizing two workshops on public-private partnerships.

Public participation

In order to help us achieve these goals and contribute to the success of the project, we invited all citizens, civil society organizations, media, businessmen and all others interested to e-mail This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or phone 011 303 38 27 to point to :

- Problematic provisions of regulations, from the point of view of possible corruption, which are in the process of adoption, and which need to be monitored and reacted quickly (eg by giving proposals during a public debate or sending proposals to MPs);

- Public procurements which, by the nature of the goods, works or services to be procured, are significant for a large number of people, for particularly vulnerable (vulnerable) groups or relating to issues of environmental protection and energy saving, and which should therefore be included in our follow-up sample from the beginning;

- Information on irregularities in the implementation of public procurement procedures or on the inexpediency of conducting planned public procurements of a state body, public enterprise or institution;

- Incorrect information (eg incorrect information on the services provided by the authority) that you found in the Information on the work of the authority;

- Agreements on public-private partnerships (agreements on joint investments of private investors and public bodies such as state bodies, public companies, etc.) which are of special importance for a large number of citizens and which should therefore be carefully monitored;

- Suspicions of irregularity or inexpediency in concluding public-private partnership contracts and data on the effects of the implementation of already concluded contracts of this type;

- Also, we invited all cities and municipalities interested in improving the provisions of the Statute related to the organization of public hearings to contact us, in order to directly help them in that work.

This project was implemented in the period from November 28, 2013 to May 28, 2015, thanks to the support of the Delegation of the European Union to the Republic of Serbia as part of the project "EU Civil Society Facility Serbia Program" and the Office for Cooperation with Civil Society.

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