Letter to the Assembly: Review of the report on the work of independent state bodies

Transparency Serbia today called on the Serbian Parliament to postpone discussion and adoption of work reports of independent state bodies until the competent committees formulate conclusions that would also contain clear requirements in accordance with the recommendations and problems raised by these independent state bodies in their reports. The requests should primarily refer to the Government of Serbia, whose work is controlled by the parliament and to whom the executive is accountable, as well as to the Assembly itself. In their conclusions, the committees should set deadlines for reporting on the undertaken activities, and then monitor and discuss the fulfilment or failure of the conclusions, Transparency Serbia suggests in the initiative submitted to the National Assembly.

For 1 December 2020, the President of the assembly has scheduled a session at which the parliament will review the work reports of the Agency for Suppression of Corruption, the Fiscal Council and the Republic Commission for Protection of Rights in Public Procurement Procedures for 2019. All three proposed conclusions are formulated identically: "The work report (of the agency, commission, council) is accepted".

Transparency Serbia considers it very important that the National Assembly decided to review the conclusions regarding the reports of independent state bodies at one of the first sessions after the formation of the new convocation.

However, when the parliament’s competent committee does not indicate in the conclusion possible ways to solve systemic problems in the areas of work of independent state bodies, the National Assembly deprives itself of the opportunity to, based on these reports, exercise better supervision over the work of the executive and to perform its legislative function.

Transparency Serbia states that certain conclusions adopted by the National Assembly in 2014 can serve as an example of possible good practice in this regard. Among other things, there was the obligation of the government to inform the assembly about the implementation of those conclusions within six months. Unfortunately, even then, there was no discussion on fulfilling the conclusions.

Having in mind the constitutional powers of the National Assembly in relation to the government, Transparency Serbia also believes that it would be appropriate for the assembly not only to give recommendations to the government regarding the report of the State Audit Institution (as it is stated in the current draft conclusion formulated by the relevant parliamentary committee) but also to call for a certain action from the government. Making such a request would be all the more appropriate given that the SAI has been repeating findings of deficiencies in the financial management and internal audit system since the establishment of the institution and its first report.