We Lack the inter-institutional cooperation in the fight against abuse of public authority

Prishtina, 19 January 2011– Today Movement FOL held the round table on the topic “Strengthening the inter-institutional dialogue against the abuse of public authority”.The debate was organized in order to discuss openly the work of the Ombudsman Institution (OI), inter-institutional coordination, cooperation and support that this institution has from the perspective of movement FOL during 2010 by monitoring the work of this institution and organizing meetings and debates in various municipalities of Kosovo.

Armend Pajaziti, project coordinator mentioned that the independent institutions reports are often in media attention only for few days, and they remain only reports and do not initiate any action to improve the situation. “Such an example is the report of the Ombudsman as an institution that last year presented its annual report to the Assembly of Kosovo and which was approved without any serious debate. On the same day this report was presented in a round table organized by Movement FOL, where the discussion has been much deeper and more substantive than the one in the Assembly of Kosovo. “According to Pajaziti, this is proved also by the fact that no recommendations presented by the report of IO were incorporated in the work strategy of the Assembly. Pajaziti said the Assembly did not take any initiative to discuss the findings of the report and demand the institutions to take action or the Assembly itself to take measures that are its responsibility.

Ardian Ajvazi, from Legal Aid Commission stressed the need for inter-institutional cooperation as the best way to have successful results. “Only now we have drafted a memorandum of cooperation with the Institution of Ombudsman about the forms of cooperation,” said Ajvazi. According to him, there is a lack of cooperation with other institutions such as Judicial Council which did not allow the Legal Aid Commission to provide legal assistance for criminal cases.
Petrit Zogaj, Programs Manager on FOL Movement explained the reasons of the realization of this project by Movement FOL. “Considering that the Institution of Ombudsman is a constitutional category and is mandated to protect human rights and the fight against abuse of power, we have held meetings and debates in municipalities to discuss the role and work of this institution, we have conducted a multimedia campaign to promote this institution, “said Zogaj. According to him, we have noticed that most of the initiatives of this institution in local level have been ignored. “While in the central level the year 2010, is remembered for only one serious initiative initiated by civil society that has to do with the Law on Privileges of Parliamentarians and the Ombudsman has raised the issue to the Constitutional Court,” he said.

Movement FOL expresses its indignation for the absence of any official of the Ombudsman Institution in this table. This is seen as a lack of sincere willingness to cooperate with Civil Society relating debates about the existing problems that hold back the fight against abuse of power.
This debate was conducted within the project “Strengthening the triangular Dialogue against Abuse of Public Authority between Ombudsman Assembly and Civil Society”, supported by Kosovar Foundation for Civil Society (KCSF).