Legislation

The Regulation in force prescribes the entire process of public funds distribution through established uniform criteria, guidelines and documents to submit. The call should be published on each provider’s website and must remain open for at least 15 working days. In order to increase wide outreach and competition usage of alternative ways of communication is encouraged. Besides general criteria such as CSO’s certificate, and fiscal number each call should contain specific criteria based on objectives and scope of activity of each public institution. Guidelines and forms for application should be published online as a package at the moment of opening the call. The following but not limited elements should be part of the call: objectives, criteria to apply, guidelines on submitting the application as well as evaluation criteria, mandatory and non-mandatory documents to be submitted, deadlines, contraction information, monitoring and evaluation information and a tentative calendar for call implementation. 

Within seven days after the call is closed, preliminary results should be published online, also all applicants should be informed in the written on the status of their application. This list becomes final only after the Complaint Commission has reviewed all complaints, in a timeframe of five days. Article 19 of the Regulation requires from all public financial support providers to prevent all conflicts of interest upon selection of beneficiaries as specified by applicable legislation. Appointed members of the Evaluation Committee respectively the Complaints Commission should sign a statement that states that their presence in such commissions constitutes no conflict of interest. If a conflict of interest arises, member/s should be replaced.

0 – 20 Fully disabling environment20 – 40 Disabling environment
40 – 60 Partially enabling environment60 – 80 Enabling environment
80 – 100 Fully enabling environment

Practice

Seventy percent of surveyed CSOs have stated to have encountered open calls for public funds distribution at least once per year. Even though it does not provide a clear estimate on the total of funds distributed without open calls, the Government’s Report on Public Funds distributed to CSOs 2018, recommends undertaking several steps by public institutions in order to increase transparency. Additionally, the Report distinguishes between main public funds distributors on both levels of government. After analyzing their websites, turns out that 4 out of five public funds distributors in the central level have published open calls on their websites. On the contrary, out of 5 greatest public funds distributors in the local level only one has published open calls online.

In the central level only the Office of Prime Minister and the Ministry of Culture Youth and Sports have published the Annual report of public funds distributed to CSOs. This report contains names and funds allocated to organizations also name of the specific activities/projects or programs supported. In the local level none of the five greatest public funds distributors has published the end of the year report. Again, such data are summarized at the end of each year through the Government’s annual report on financial support provided to civil society organizations by all public institutions.

Around 70% of CSOs agree or somehow agree that forms of application are comprehensive whereas criteria to apply are not excessive. Selection criteria are easy to comprehend and publicly available for half of the surveyed CSOs. 73% of surveyed organizations disagree or somehow disagree that decisions on allocation of public funds are fair and do not entail conflict of interest. Findings of the Annual Audit Report 2017 (published in 2018) mention lack of monitoring mechanisms of public funds allocated to CSOs in the field of education.

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