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Dismissal of acting status in state-owned enterprises

The general goal is to improve transparency and accountability in the work of state owned companies (SOEs) and their founders (the Government of Serbia, the Assembly of  Vojvodina province and local authorities).

Specific objectives:

1) improving the implementation of the Law on Public Enterprises, through the professionalization of management (reduced scope of the "acting state") and increasing the transparency of work (publication of missing documents);

2) creating preconditions for improving the legal framework for accountability and transparency of the work of public enterprises (draft amendments to laws and lower acts, prioritization in public policies);

3) increasing the awareness of institutions and the public to the dangers brought by violations of the rules on the work of SOEs (initiating proceedings to determine the nullity of legal acts concluded by illegal acting directors).

Duration: 12 months, starting from July 1, 2020.

SOEs have been under party control for decades. The laws from 2012 and 2016 did not bring significant changes. Professionalization has not been implemented, although (mostly at the local level) competitions have been formally conducted, and the necessary bylaws have not been adopted. Many competitions announced in 2013 and 2017 have not been completed or canceled. On January 17, 2020, the Prime Minister, in response to the IMF's request to stop the practice of managing SOEs through acting officials, promised to hold public competitiona.

Acting status that lasts longer than allowed entails the invalidity of decisions, which is proven by a court judgment in one case. A new cycle of local director elections is expected after the 2020 elections.

Monitorings conducted by TS in 2013-2019 show progress in the transparency of SOEs (although it is still below the legal minimum), and the research itself encourages the publication of data.

Within the project, we will determine the state of professionalization in the PE (director, supervisory board, bylaws). We will also investigate the transparency of PEs, based on the PETRA methodology, applied for the first time in 2019.

We will determine in which SOEs the acting status lasts longer than the legal limit. To resolve this, we will challenge the validity of the decisions of the illegal acting director. We will prepare and advocate for proposals to improve the Law on POEs, enact bylaws, and proposals for planning these changes in public policy acts (POU, AP for Chapter 23, APSJU, LAP).


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