Transparency Index in Municipal Level
July 20, 2012
Movement FOL held a press conference, publishing the report "Index of transparency in municipal level", the purpose of this research was to evaluate the transparency of Kosovo Municipalities.
Prishtina, July 20, 2012 ? Today, Movement FOL held a press conference, publishing the report “Index of transparency in municipal level”, the purpose of this research was to evaluate the transparency of Kosovo Municipalities.
The Project Coordinator in Movement FOL Mexhide Demolli - Nimani, said that since this is a pilot project we have covered only four (4) municipalities: Gjakova, Podujeva, Prizren and Mitrovica. “The content of this report is based on the information gathered through a structured questionnaire, completed by each municipality during May-June 2012, and documents sent by these municipalities,” said Demolli-Nimani.
The Responsible officials for public information in Prizren have shown considerable knowledge, although not satisfactory, regarding the provisions of the Statute which aims to enforce the constitutional and legal provisions. Also in the Regulation for Transparency, the municipality has failed to explain what obligations, structures and specific resources provide it within the municipal structures. “The municipality has provided no explanation of the organizational structure of the office of information, and neither has drafted a policy document, implementation plan and annual work plan on public communication and information”, - she said, adding that ‘the press conferences’ is mentioned as the only activity in the municipality to inform the citizens of the right of access to municipal documents.
However, regarding the municipality of Mitrovica, information officers of this municipality have demonstrated satisfactory knowledge of the provisions of the Statute, since they have listed all relevant provisions of the statute regulating access to official documents and citizen participation in decision making. “The situation seems slightly better regarding implementing measures, since this municipality has listed some of them: the transparency of the meetings of the Municipal Assembly and its committees, publication of the acts of the municipality, petitions, meetings with citizens, public consultation and access in official documents.?However, regarding the resources allocated for enforcement of the activities related to public communication and information, according to Demolli-Nimani, this municipality has given ? 10,000, allocated this year to publish a monthly magazine of the Municipality and some brochures.
Meanwhile, the local coordinator of the Movement FOL in Podujeva, Granit Thaci, said that Information Officers in the municipality of Podujeva showed satisfactory knowledge about the provisions of the Statute because they have provided all the legal provisions regulating the legal liability of the municipality for public communication and information. “Separating the documents, the sensitive ones and those that are accessible to the public Podujeva municipality has not provided any additional explanation, regarding the documents that are always accessible. Also, the budget allocated to this office, they stated that they have no budget for the office separately but within the budget of the Office of the Mayor and did not mention any concrete amount, ?
The Coordinator of Movement FOL for the municipality of Gjakova, Drenusha Mula said that the office staff for public information showed insufficient knowledge about the provisions of the Statute, they only referred to the Statute, but did not provide the content of the provisions of the Statute regulating the legal responsibility for public communication and information. According to Mula, the mentioned officials have cited Regulation for Transparency but did not explain what obligations, structures and specific resources within municipal structures this regulation provides. “Performance Evaluation in Gjakova municipality is conducted on semi-annual and annual basis, but it is not clear what sort of standard of internal reporting and monitoring and evaluation work can be. Meanwhile, information officers have stated that they did not perform any additional activities for public communication and information regarding the access to public documents, ?
Recommendations of this report:
? As the findings of this public policy study shows, municipalities are in the initial stage of completion and implementation of legislation and local policies that allow public access to their public documents and other measures to improve their transparency and accountability to the public.
? It is recommended that municipalities should review their statutes to ensure the reflection of the obligations arising from laws and regulations within the powers and responsibilities of their offices which are responsible for public communication and information.
? It is recommended that municipalities also focus on further development of these regulations, focusing on the elimination of ambiguities and inconsistencies with the framework legislation, more precise and comprehensive definition on the issues that aim to regulate.
? It is recommended that municipalities take action in terms of human capacity building for these offices to ensure that staff responsible for public communication and information knows in details the legal provisions and policies required to implement, and improve capacities to implement them.
? Development of Organizational Structure / Organogram, Terms of References and Job Descriptions of offices responsible for public communications and information and their staff;
? Development of annual work plans of the offices responsible for public communication and information, which will contain clear objectives and detailed activities to achieve them, and
? Development of database of information on communication and cooperation with non-government actors, particularly media and civil society organizations, which would allow making a clear statement about the purpose and types of activities to communicate and cooperate with each of them.
The full report can be read in this link: