Public consultation on Open Government Partnership in Mitrovica Municipality

Mitrovica, march 19, 2014 – FOL Movement in cooperation with CMB in Mitrovica, 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 Mitrovica 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

Florentina Hajdari – Hajra from CBM after a brief introduction of the history of the establishment of Open Government Partnership – OGP (for more information please see OGP background: -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 Mitrovica and Kosovo as well regarding the access to public institutions.

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. He also said that this public consultation campaign will serve to increase the inclusion of all interested parties in this process and also obtain concrete proposal activities, which will be included in the National Action Plan of the Republic of Kosovo.

Hajrullah Mustafa, from NGO ‘Shtëpia e Shokut’ said considering that we have lots of problems of disinterest on politics, the meeting of drafting this plan is completely independent of political influence. He said that independent institutions cannot function as such. According to him, in legislative terms Kosovo has made a great advancement, but regarding the executive the matter is different, and only because of political interference.

Skender Kerolli, from  Association of the Blind said that access to municipality is very difficult. “There are two months since we requested a meeting with the mayor and  we were not able to accomplish it regardless numerous requests. Also another big problem is the employment of blind people who even if they have graduated the college cannot get a job. “

Ragip Hyseni from LYAC stated that the focus should be on the selection of employees. “As it is now based on political orientations and the hired people should be in services of the political party which hired him. There should be more transparency in terms of employment and vacancies criteria to be clear, because right now the calls for vacancies are just for show, even in some cases they are published after the employee has started working “

Florentina Hejdari – Hajra from CBM stressed that it would be better if in municipalities were formed  all-inclusive committees, including civil society but also experts in relevant areas. According to her, the planning of the last year budget was open, but in these  meetings there  were no ​​prior analysis which would point out the most urgent needs of the citizens. It is also noticed that there are no cost analysis of those projects.  It has happened that certain projects were planned and not included in the municipal budget but to foreign donations. “

Lulzim Hakaj, from Human Rights Civil Initiative, said that there should be more attention to the specifications of the criteria of special advertisements.

Ramadan Uka from NGO ‘Eco-Trepca’ said the they select directors with no previous work experience therefore this issue should be considered because although they are political staff, the mayors should be careful in their appointments.