BELGRADE – No official records are kept on the government agencies in Serbia, and politicians and analysts agree that the sector is in need of regulation and that some agencies will be shut down as part of the announced reforms.
The first step towards cutting the number of agencies could be the adoption of the Action plan for the implementation of the Strategy of public administration reform, the draft of which is to be presented on Thursday by Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Public Administration and Local Self-Government Kori Udovicki.
The Ministry of Public Administration and Local Self-Government has no record of the exact number of government agencies in Serbia.
“Regarding the number of agencies, the process of data processing and validation is under way. We can safely say that the number of government agencies is far lower than 100, as it is frequently claimed,” the ministry officials told Tanjug.
The regulation of government agencies, particularly of salaries paid in them, is one of the most important tasks of the government and the Ministry of Public Administration and Local Self-Government, the ministry stated in a release.
“Special attention will be paid to these issues as part of the comprehensive public administration reform,” the release reads.
Udovicki will present the Action plan for the implementation of the Strategy of public administration reform at the Reform Council’s first session on Thursday, and the government is expected to adopt it in September.
Transparency Serbia Program Director Nemanja Nenadic says that the Action plan is necessary to kick-start the regulation of government agencies.
Some agencies are founded based on the Law on Public Agencies, and some based on by-laws, Nenadic told Tanjug. Also, there are numerous government services and offices that do not enjoy the status of agencies, and there are services with the word ‘agency’ in their names which are in no way connected to the government or to the public agencies.
“There is a lot of confusion, as we do not have the initial premise for a serious analysis, and on the other hand, every now and then announcements are made that agencies are to be shut down and the public sector rationalized, without naming those who should remain and those who should not,” said Nenadic.
Before a certain number of agencies are scrapped, it must be clear if some of their duties are to be performed by the ministry, if a specialist organization should be formed outside the ministry, or if an agency needs to be founded that would act independently, Nenadic explained.