Prishtina, February 3, 2011 – Movement FOL during 2010 monitored and supported the work of the Ombudsman to influence the growth of inter-institutional cooperation.
Venera Ramaj, legal assistant in Movement FOL said that by monitoring the public activities in the media regarding the Ombudsman by FOL movement shows that among 80 activities, 40 deals with fortnight activities of publication of the work report for 2009, while dozens of other activities are roundtables organized by Movement FOL and other activities reflected in the writings of media.
“Disregarded attention of institutions towards the Ombudsman, the lose of credibility, non-implementation of recommendations from other institutions, limited capacities, the delay of the law, disrespect of the Assembly, are identified as some of the challenges that have followed this institution and as such they negatively impacted in the fight against abuse of power, “said Ramaj. And then non-election of the deputies, the lack of staff and budget, according to her, are some other problems that added to the long list of weaknesses that have characterized the institution in 2010. The failure of the Assembly for several years to elect the Ombudsman was against the credibility of this institution, which by the way scored some successes, which according to its officials are “increasing the number of complaints from citizens and the good will of some institutions to response back to the Ombudsman.”
The members of the assembly paid a little attention to the work and activities of the Ombudsman in the legislative agenda during 2010. Unfortunately, the requirements and recommendations met with deaf ears. To overcome the situation, the Ombudsman proposed alternative forms, such as the establishment of the Administrative Court, but without success, an initiative which wassupported also by movement FOL.
Meanwhile, Armend Pajaziti, project coordinator said that Kosovo and its institutions have been criticized again in the Progress report 2010. Even the Institution of Ombudsman, particularly in terms of addressing the violation of human rights and the delay in electing the Deputy Ombudsman. “This report suggests that the authorities should ensure quick responses to all requirements and recommendations of the Ombudsman,” said Pajaziti.
According to him, power is still being abused in Kosovo. Human rights are being violated, while the Institution of Ombudsman remains helpless when facing these developments. The Report of Movement FOL shows some recommendations for some institutions, the most important recommendations are:
To Institution of Ombudsman:
” The Ombudsman must take a more proactive role in all the areas that affect the freedoms and human rights. It should create closer relations with identified allies such as media and civil society, and create a joint front against the abuse of public authority by public officials;
” IO must make the issue public, when they cannot be fixed through institutional ways;
” IO must initiate a sensibilizing campaign, not only for the purpose of civic awareness to complain, but also regarding the institutions to fulfill their legal responsibilities towards the IO;
” To strengthen the office of public communication, by making more active and more voiced its officials in public in advocacy issues.
” To lunch a telephone line for free services online for citizens to seek the help of the Ombudsman.
To the Kosovo Assembly:
” The Assembly of Kosovo should be consulted more often with IO for its needs, and other activities which are undertaken with the aim of strengthening the work of the Ombudsman in protecting human rights;
” The Assembly of Kosovo, regarding the busy agenda, in the new legislature should form an ad hoc committee that would deal only with the recommendations of the Ombudsman in order to strengthen the authority of theinstitution, as required by the Constitution of Kosovo;
” Parliamentary committees must immediately begin the implementation of the recommendations of the European Commission identified in all Progress Reports, dealing with the work of the Ombudsman;
” The Assembly of Kosovo, before the approval of the Budget for 2011, must allocate a more favorable budget for IO, in order to increase human, organizational and professional capacity in addressing issues relating to abuse of power and violation of human rights;
” Members of the Assembly, particularly those of the Parliamentary Committee for Human Rights, should not wait for the committee agenda, reports the Ombudsman, but to initiate a debate in Parliament, to ask parliamentary questions and taking the side of IO in the fight against abuse of public authority.