Committee Sittings outside of the National Assembly Seat

Subotica

Wednesday, 18 July 2018

52nd Sitting of the Committee on Finance, State Budget and Control of Public Spending

At the 52nd sitting, held on 18 July 2018 outside of the National Assembly seat - in Subotica, the Committee on Finance, State Budget and Control of Public Spending considered the Report on the conducted audit of the City of Subotica and the effects of the conducted recommendations of the State Audit Institution (DRI), prevention of corruption at the local level, Report of the Subcommittee for the Consideration of Reports on Audits Conducted by the State Audit Institution on the reviewed State Audit Institution sector reports, accompanied by a conclusion proposal and adopted conclusions on the reviewed State Audit Institution sector reports.


18 July 2018 52nd Sitting of the Committee on Finance, State Budget and Control of Public Spending

18 July 2018 52nd Sitting of the Committee on Finance, State Budget and Control of Public Spending

The sitting was attended by the Mayor of Subotica Bogdan Laban, Head of the North Backa Administrative District Dragi Vuckovic, President of the State Audit Institution Dusko Pejovic and representatives of the Anti-Corruption Agency Assistant Director of the Sector for Prevention Marijana Obradovic, Zorana Kepnik Hinic and Almira Medunjanin.

Mayor of Subotica Bogdan Laban said that Subotica is proud to have been the host of the recent Government session and now of this sitting of the National Assembly’s Committee on Finance, State Budget and Control of Public Spending as it shows the commitment of the political powers that be to make their work more visible to the citizens of Serbia. He said that Subotica is a good example of use of public funds and that it had stabilized its public sector, realized infrastructural projects and attracted direct foreign investments.

DRI Council President Dusko Pejovic presented the Audit Report on the City of Subotica and the effects of the implemented DRI recommendations, stressing that after the audit in February 2017 Subotica got a responsive report on how to eliminate the irregularities noted in the first report and had done so within the stipulated deadline. The irregularities the DRI noted in the financial statements concern faulty economic classification, organizational classification and property inventory and records, said Pejovic. He added that in future the DRI will audit all the ongoing investments in the local self-governments which had not been completed in years. Speaking of irregular business dealings which are a general problem at the local level, Pejovic said that noted irregularities concerned the assumed obligations relating to salary, taxes and contributions charged to the employer, liabilities and legally unjustified expenditure, liabilities relating to appropriation, expenditure contravening public procurement regulations and liabilities assumed without the obligatory public call. Pejovic added that these irregularities exceeded 474 million RSD in total.

Speaking of the DRI itself, the Council President said that in 2017 it had issued 2,518 recommendations, 1,566 (62%) have been implemented, whereas only 126 (5%) have not. So far, the DRI has not controlled its own work via peer review conducted by SIGMA and is expected to do so next year, Pejovic concluded.

The representatives of the Anti-Corruption Agency spoke about the prevention of corruption at the local level focusing on the two anti-corruption mechanisms employed at the local level – drafting of local anti-corruption plans as envisaged by the Action Plan for Chapter 23 – strengthening anti-corruption mechanisms at the local level, and local integrity plans. The representatives of the Anti-Corruption Agency went on to present the results of the Agency’s activity in 2017 which the Committee on Finance, State Budget and Control of Public Spending had reviewed and accepted at the previous sitting.

In the course of the Committee sitting, the Subcommittee for the Consideration of Reports on Audits Conducted by the State Audit Institution held its third sitting wherein it reviewed the DRI sector reports for the previous year, presented by the authorised state auditors.

The sitting chaired by Subcommittee member and Deputy Chairman of the Committee on Finance, State Budget and Control of Public Spending Milan Lapcevic focused on the reports of the sectors in charge of auditing the budget and budget funds of the Republic of Serbia, National Bank of Serbia, public agencies and other public funds beneficiaries, local budgets, public enterprises, companies and other legal entities founded or owned/managed in part by a public funds beneficiary and performance audits.

Following a debate the Subcommittee members submitted a Report on the reviewed State Audit Institution sector reports, accompanied by a conclusion proposal, to the Committee.

The Committee members proceeded to accept the Subcommittee Report and conclusions on the reviewed State Audit Institution sector reports.

The Committee sitting outside of the National Assembly seat was held with the support of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) via project “Strengthening the Oversight Role and Transparency of the National Assembly of the Republic of Serbia”.

The sitting was chaired by Committee Chairperson Dr Aleksandra Tomic and was attended by the following Committee members and deputy members: Zoran Bojanic, Sonja Vlahovic, Goran Kovacevic, Olivera Pesic, Srbislav Filipovic, Milan Lapcevic, Ivan Manojlovic, Miljan Damjanovic, Dr Milorad Mijatovic, Snezana B. Petrovic, Vojislav Vujic and Zoltan Pek, as well as MPs Tomislav Zigmanov, Milimir Vujadinovic and Dr Desanka Repac who are not members of the Committee.

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