Peja, March 12, 2014 – FOL Movement in cooperation with Syri i Vizionit in Peja, as a member of the Coordination Group for Kosovo’s membership in international organization for the Open Government Partnership, organized a public consultation today in Peja Municipality in order to draft the National Action Plan 2014-2016. This event was attended by representatives of local institutions, civil society, media and interested citizens
Naser Lajqi, from Syri i VIzionit, after a brief introduction of the history of the establishment of Open Government Partnership – OGP (for more information please see OGP background: http://www.ogpkosova.org/what-does -open-government-mean /), said that they have supported this initiative. He said that through this debate today, we are trying to identify the problems faced by the citizens of Peja and Kosovo as well regarding the access to public institutions. According to him this public consultation campaign will help the inclusion of all interested parties in this process and also proposing concrete actions which will be part of the Kosovo National Action Plan.
Fidan Kalaja from FOL Movement, briefly presented the steps that have been taken and have to be taken from Kosovo in order to become a member of the in the Open Government Partnership. He mentioned that the Coordination Group is established which consists of representatives of civil society, institutions and private sector representatives, whose mission is drafting the Kosovo National Action Plan. He said the Coordinating Group has decided that the plan focuses on four main challenges anticipated and suggested by OGP, that is: Improving public services, Increasing public integrity, more efficient public resources management and Increasing corporate accountability.
Samir Lleshi from Kosovo Chamber of Commerce said the corporations corruption allegations, have the origin in Procurement Law, where despite the insistence of KCC two years from now to have an online procurement, nothing is done in this regard.
Mevylde Idrizi,, a municipal assembly member in the municipality of Peja ( working in the company ‘ Hidrodrini’ – Peja ) , said they needed essential changes , because those areas that were defined regarding public enterprises were far from implementation . “In public enterprise the transparency does not exist, citizen participation never was active, neither for any regulatory plan nor for a request for access to public documents . Managerial staff never gives accountability even I was a municipal assembly member I didn’t have access to public documents”. She said that her insistence resulted with threats of dismissing her from her job. Correct management and various documents open to the public would help workers to be informed of their rights they have. Also Mrs. Idrizi suggested that within the National Action Plan should be provided the preparation and implementation of systematization of jobs for all the levels of administration .
Gazmend Shabaj a municipal assembly member said that a great deal of the laws that they had today, happens very often that many articles contradict each other, changes should start from there. At the same time citizens should be aware regarding their duties toward the country, considering that very few pay property taxes, electricity or water fees. According to him, the use of technology in publication of vacancies, contracts, and many other issues would affect a lot for better in this regard.
Islam Husaj, the chairman of Peja Municipal Assembly, said that there are many laws that should be amended, especially the Law on Local Self-Government and the Law on Public Procurement . It is a practice in all Kosovo that Municipal Assembly serves the mayor, so he is given so much power that he himself can take any decision. This law should be amended also regarding the criteria for selection of municipal directors, and not be a competence of the mayor. Regarding transparency, Husaj said that very few articles are posted on the web site of the municipality. We should be in the service of citizens, we must organize also the consulting sessions with citizens to inform them of the rights they have. Citizens should be informed about any actions of the Municipal Assembly . Mr . Husaj said he agrees that the systematization of jobs is essential for transparent, accountable and effective institutions. His recommendations were that the disputed laws should be amended, provide finances , provide a supervising mechanism and drafting the regulations for systematization of jobs .