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LTI 2022: Novi Pazar, Sombor and Sokobanja – Transparency Leaders

LTI 2022 MC KZN 2The most transparent local governments in 2022 are Novi Pazar, Sombor and Sokobanja, according to this year's survey of the Local Transparency Index (LTI 2022), which Transparency Serbia presented at today's press conference.

The average transparency index of cities and municipalities in Serbia in 2022 is 49 points - one point more than in the previous year and three points more than in 2020. Although progress has been constant in the last few years, the average score is still low, Nemanja Nenadić, Program Director of TS said. He added that almost half (49%) of municipalities improved the result in 2022, but 46% of local self-government (LSG) declined.

"Transparency is one of the conditions for the rule of law. Today, we are witnessing the collapse of the rule of law globally, but the results of this research are proof that efforts can be made at the local level to provide citizens with unhindered access to information and achieve results," said Shanley Pinchotti, d with whose support TS conducted the research this year as well.

Commissioner for Information of Public Importance Milan Marinovic stated that since the beginning of this year, there has been a trend that most complaints to the Commissioner come to the work of local governments, about 35 percent, which is a significant increase over the previous year (less than 20%). He reminded that more than 40 percent of all government bodies are local communities in Serbia. He concluded that a more transparent and proactive approach allows citizens to access the necessary and accurate information.

The transparency average has constantly been growing since 2015 when TS conducted the first research, but we have fluctuations, said Zlatko Minić from TS. This year, 67 municipalities recorded worse results and 71 better results than the previous year. He stated that there are also LSGs who constantly survive at the top, such as the three first-ranked municipalities.

Nihad Biševac, the mayor of Novi Pazar, the transparency leader this year (87 points, nine more than in 2021), did not hide his satisfaction with the result but added that he is even more pleased that the municipality has had continuity for four years. "We have maintained the trend of increasing transparency, and that was our main goal - to be a service to citizens, increase their trust and thus their participation in the work of municipal bodies."

Sombor took second place for the second year in a row (85 points, three less than last year). Ljiljana Tica, Deputy Mayor, said transparency is "a demand today, a need of both the individuals and the wider community. Success of our work depends on correct and accurate information ". As one of the many examples of good practice in her municipality, she mentioned the organization of a public debate on the budget, for which the interest of citizens is exceptionally high.

Slaviša Krstić, a member of the Municipal Council of the third-placed Sokobanja (84 points, nine more than in 2021), stated that, as a small municipality, Sokobanja have tried all year to improve transparency in their work, to "rely on their strength" and that they, therefore, formed a Working Group intending to increase transparency, which, obviously, brought results.

LTI 2022 MC KZNTutin took fourth place, representing unprecedented growth - from 93rd place last year to fourth in 2022. Then come Kanjiža, Užice, Veliko Gradište, Vranje, Leskovac, Vrnjačka Banja and Subotica. At the bottom of the ladder, with less than 30 points, are Bujanovac, Knić, Kovačica, Sečanj, Koceljeva and Preševo.

Among the city municipalities, which due to smaller competencies cannot be fully compared to other local self-governments, Surcin (69) has traditionally had the best result. Sevojno (63) comes second.

Regarding the categories, minimal growth of transparency was recorded in four areas, of which "Public hearings and public competitions" are significant - from 44.3% to 54.7%. The decline was also recorded in four areas, the largest in the case of "Information Booklet " (from 51.9% to 41.7%). The last year's category winner – "Public Procurement "– has a sharp decline (from 95.5% to 72.6%). The reason for that is the implementation of the new law, according to which contracting authorities are no longer obliged to publish information on their websites but only on the Public Procurement Portal, which many LSGs did.

The lowest transparency is still in the  ​​"Assembly and Council" area, which indicates that the decision-making process at the local level is still not adequately protected from corruption risks.

LTI 2022 MC KZN 4


The complete LTI 2022 report, tables and PPT presentation can be found on the Transparency Serbia page -