Kasalović: Local administration development level is one of three criteria for EU accession

State Secretary at the Ministry of Public Administration and Local Self-Government Zoran Kasalović said that the level of development was one of the three criteria for EU accession.

“This Ministry and the Government of Serbia aim to ensure that every municipality in Serbia has an efficient administration. We have therefore embarked on a thorough overhaul of the entire system. We are changing it to make it less costly and more manageable for the state, but the main reason for the change is to respond to the demands of citizens and businesses, because the whole point of public administration is to provide services to them and it only exists because of them”, he said. Efforts are underway to digitalise public administration so civil servants could swiftly exchange information and complete their tasks and to improve the knowledge and skills of employees to help them accept the changes. He said work was also being done to regulate the sphere of inspection, with the public debate of the Draft Law amending and supplementing the Law on Inspection Supervision completed last week. He noted this Law was being amended not because it was not good enough, but because its implementation in practice had shown it could be upgraded with new, reform-oriented arrangements. “We have proposed numerous arrangements which reflect the spirit of the overall inspection reform, which is based on prevention, risk assessment and fostering trust between inspectorates and businesses”, Kasalović said, noting that some of the provisions aimed to address the issues that had been faced by municipalities and cities vis-à-vis local inspectorates. “We are aware that local inspectorates lack capacities in terms of staffing and the equipment available to inspectors. For this reason, the new provisions allow multiple municipalities within the same administrative district to agree on joint inspection services by signing a cooperation agreement. This was already envisaged by the Amendments and Supplements to the Law on Local Self-Government adopted this summer and the present provisions only reaffirm it”, Kasalović said. The Draft Law also allows multiple municipalities within the same administrative district to form a joint unit for the enforcement of inspection of inspection orders because, notwithstanding the fact that inspection reform is moving towards better prevention, the system must incorporate mechanisms which will ensure that the orders issued by inspectorates are effectively complied with, the State Secretary said.