3.8. EDUCATION AND SPORT а) Description of the situation Risks of corruption noticed in the education sector are mostly associated with insufficient transparency of a number of processes taking place within educational institutions, as well as great discretionary powers in decision-making. Risks of corruption are particularly related to discretionary powers of directors in terms of employment of personnel, public procurement procedures, organization of trips, renting of school facilities, etc. The absence of effective control represents a great problem because mechanisms for responding to different types of irregularities do not exist. The lack of control is also connected to the problems with the education inspection whose work and contents of decisions may be influenced by the ministry competent for education.
The OECD Report (2012) “Strengthening Integrity and Fighting Corruption in Education – Serbia” shows that it is essential to make internal university rules and regulations clear to the students, to implement them in a fair and transparent manner and to ensure that academic merits of students, and not favoritism, are a guiding principle for grading. The normative framework in the Republic of Serbia is apparently not fully capable of providing transparent operation of schools and use of privately raised funds. It does not determine what sources of school revenues are permitted, and financial control of school revenues is not strong enough to adequately control the amount of inflow of private funds into the system. At this point, this is an economic activity in schools which may pose a threat to integrity. Therefore, the process of decision-making associated with the management of public funds should be carefully controlled and transparent. In addition, it is necessary to introduce control of management of the funds institutions raise from donations and sponsors, as well as of the funds received from parents and a local self-government unit.
The issue of private higher education institutions is insufficiently regulated considering that adequate quality control standards and mechanisms are not prescribed, which creates a possibility for abuse within these educational systems. The aforementioned OECD Report recommends that the Commission for Accreditation and Quality Control makes visits for the purposes of accreditation, as well as additional controls of actions upon complaints.
The Strategy for the Development of Sportsin the Republic of Serbia, adopted for the period 2009-2013, states that one of the problems is non-transparency in financing activities. Adoption of the Law on Sports in 2010 and accompanying by-laws created a normative framework which should improve transparency of funding from public sources, whereas the issue of financing from private sources remains unregulated, which contributes to the survival of the “grey/black” financing of sport. A related issue is the unresolved ownership structure of sports clubs, and/or the ownership vacuum, which is also a source of corruption in sports. Part of the Strategy is dedicated to depoliticization and autonomy of sports. In addition to a declarative statement that sports should remain politically neutral, this priority is not further elaborated in the Action Plan and leaves room for abuse of sports by politics. This is supported by the membership of state officials and civil servants in management and supervisory boards of sports clubs and associations. Significant progress in this field has been made with the Law on Amendments to the Criminal Code which introduces a new criminal offense “Arranging the outcome of a competition”.
b) Objectives 3.8.1. Change the legal framework relating to the appointment, position and powers of directors of primary and secondary schools, as well as deans of faculties.
3.8.2. Adopt regulations governing the education inspection.
3.8.3. Ensure transparency of the procedures for registration, examination, grading and evaluation of knowledge in all academic institutions.
3.8.4. Ensure that the process of accreditation and subsequent control of fulfillment of conditions for work of public and private educational institutions is based on clear, objective, transparent and pre-determined criteria.
3.8.5. Establish transparency of sports financing and the ownership structure of sports clubs and federations.