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As of today, two thirds of public administration without legal management

As of July 1st2019,around two thirds of public administration institutions of the Republic of Serbia not only that they don’t have directors elected through competition procedure, in compliance with the law adopted in late 2005, but they don’t even have legal acting directors. Transparency Serbia (official chapter of Transparency International) constantly warns to illegal status ever since in the early 2010 for the first time deadline for completing the competitions expired (31.12.2010)[1]! However, expiration of period, legal changes[2], action plans and messages from the EU were not enough for the Government to change practice of appointing easy to replace acting servants to posts, instead of professionals whose release has to be elaborated.

Today, namely, in compliance with the law, mandate of all acting public servants expired– assistant ministers, secretaries of the ministries, directors and other managers of government offices, administrations and special organizations. This deadline for termination of „acting“ status in state administration, current Government imposed itself, with changes of the Law on State Servants from 2018.[3]Report from the last session of the Government[4] best states about the absence of will to implement this law.On this session, heldjust four days ago (27. 6. 2019.), Government appointed as much as twenty acting servants, three in the Ministry of Finances, two in the Ministry of Culture and Informing, one in the Ministry of Agriculture, five in the office for Kosovo and Metohija, three in the Office for Information Technologies and Electronic Government, three in the State Attorney’s Office and by one each in the Public Procurement Office, Republic Direction for Commodity Reserves and Direction for Property.

Transparency – Serbia emphasizes thatabsence of data onfulfilling of this obligation by the Governmentrepresents huge problem. Namely, so far, unique list of state servants appointed by the Government was not published. We emphasize that citizens of Serbia can have the insight into complete information only by detail search of documents from each session of the Government, all published competitions and Systematization Rulebook of Information Booklets of each of the several dozens of public administration organs, and with the condition that they are published and updated. Our organization didn’t obtain such list not even by several requests for free access to information of public importance[5], although it is obvious that it should exist. Namely, for years Government of Serbia delivers aggregated data on this matter to European Commission. According to last published data, from the end of 2018 there were 370 posts in high level public management, out of which only 107 (29%) was filled out on the basis of implemented competitions, while 263 (71%) posts were filled out by acting servants.[6]

We also remind that thisserious insult to the rule of law is unfortunately no isolated case. Namely, „acting“ status,that enables direct control of public sector institutions by high level politicians, and in direct opposition to legal provisions, exists largely in state owned enterprises.