Authorities Not Reacting to Recruitment Abuses

Administrative inspection has not adequately responded to our initiative and failed to examine the extent to which the job mediation is used to circumvent the mandatory rules of staffing in the public administration.

Following the findings of the regular monitoring of recruitment and promotion in state authorities, which IA has been conducting two years in a row, we have submitted an initiative to the Administrative Inspection for determining whether certain state authorities, by recruiting people via employment mediation agencies for job positions categorized by Law on Civil Servants and State Employees breached this law.

Our findings suggest that at least two out of 25 state authorities who responded to our freedom of information requests concluded employees transfer agreements during the last year.

The Labour Law prescribes that these agreements can be made only for tasks which do not require special expertise. In addition, they cannot exceed a maximum period of 120 days.

Nonetheless, analysis of the agreements concluded between the two state authorities _ Environmental Protection Agency and Education Bureau, and Agency for employment mediation “Dekra” suggest that these agreements have not been concluded in a legally prescribed manner. This is because “Dekra” has transferred employees for tasks which require special expertise, while an employee to the Education Bureau has been transferred for a period which exceeds 120 days.

Yet, in response to our initiative, Administrative inspection argues that there was no abuse of employment mediation in these cases.

Although we have asked from this institution, given the frequent problem of “administrative silence”, to undertake additional actions with an aim of determining the actual scope of employment mediation and the degree of its compliance with law, Administrative Inspection has not undertaken any of these actions.

Such attitude of the institution with key competences for oversight of implementation of the legislation in the field of state administration is a cause of concern and it can prolong practices which can reverse the efforts in reforming the country’s civil service.

Our newer findings during the research within the project “State Administration in Montenegro: Equal for All”, supported by the U.S. Embassy in Podgorica, suggest that employment mediation is still misused for circumventing obligatory testing procedures for entering the civil service.

The State Commission for Control of Public Procurement Procedures, which was criticized last year by media and civil society organizations for filling vacancies with no previous vacancy announcements, this year also took over two workers from an employment mediation agency for job positions categorized by the Law on Civil Servants and State Employees (independent advisor III and state employee VI).

We thus once again urge Administrative Inspection to respond to our initiative and undertake necessary inspection measures with an aim of further investigation of irregularities and recruitments in state authorities which are not in line with the Law.

Milena Milošević
Public Policy Researcher

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