The national anti-corruption strategy

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3.2.2. Public expenditures
а) Evaluation of the situation
Control and accountability are particularly important when it comes to the management of public resources or funds allocated by the citizens for effective and efficient management with public affairs in accordance with general interests. Adherence to these standards is still not satisfactory in the Republic of Serbia. The public is still not fully and in a comprehensible manner familiarized with the processes of planning and spending of budgetary funds. Laws on the budget for a specific fiscal year are mostly adopted in a short period of time, whereas a discussion of the national representative body about the manner in which public funds are spent in a specific fiscal year has not existed for ten years in a row.

So far, there has been no efficient sanctioning of malpractice in public procurements and adequate cooperation between the Directorate for Public Procurement, public prosecutor’s offices, the ministry competent for financing affairs, SAI and other competent institutions. The new Law on Public Procurements (“Official Gazette of RS” No. 124/12), came into force on 6 January 2013, and its implementation began on 1 April 2013. It has achieved a significant progress in the regulatory plan, in the field of transparency of procedures, reduction of discretionary powers of directors of the bodies conducting procurement, strengthening control over public procurement procedures, sanctions, professionalism, building capacities and integrities of the persons responsible for public procurements. Anti-corruption effects of the new Law and the need for possible amendments cannot be fully perceived. However, it is clear that it is necessary to harmonize other regulations with the new Law and adopt by-laws which shall govern the issues of determining appropriateness (justifiability) of public procurement, carrying out the monitoring and control of public procurement procedures, preventive mechanisms aimed at preventing conclusion of agreements on the basis of unjustified or irregular execution of the public procurement procedure, internal acts that would precisely govern the public procurement procedure, etc. Introduction of discipline in public procurements and combating irregularities should be supported by decisions of the National Commission for the Protection of Rights, however, they have not been enforced consistently.

b) Objectives Enhance participation of the public in monitoring budget expenditures. Consistent application of the Law on Public Procurements and keeping records on the actions of competent authorities related to the irregularities found in their reports. Improve cooperation and coordination between relevant institutions at all levels of the government on anti-corruption activities.

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