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The municipality is accountable to citizens and accountable on any action, decision and policy.

14 March 2018

Accountability

In order to have the accountability in place, the Law on Local Self-Government enables that:

  • All decision-makers, both collective and individual, shall take responsibility for their decisions.
  • Decisions are reported, explained and may be sanctioned.
  • There are effective remedies against mismanagement and actions of local institutions violating civil rights.

 

Meaning of oversight and control of municipalities in Kosovo is defined in two ways: accountability through internal control and accountability through external control.

Internal control in the municipality means the right of legally authorized municipal bodies to ensure respect for legality and constitutionality by the lower-level bodies within the municipality.

This includes the control carried out by the municipal assembly towards the executive as a whole, and the control that the mayor conducts in relation to the municipal directorates.

Although from the point of view of control, there are no specific provisions regulating the form of control (assembly-executive), this issue can be understood on the basis of the hierarchy as defined by law. The Municipal Assembly is designated to be the highest body in the Municipality, and at the same time a oversight body at the local level, authorized to ensure provision of services by the executive in accordance with the legislation in force.

External control. In practice, a real address in terms of accountability for the mayor is the party he or she represents, to which it is an address of the duties the mayor has to fulfill during his or her term.

Mechanisms for civic participation provide guarantees for accountability of municipal bodies.

Reviewing the legality of the municipal acts by the responsible ministries as oversight authorities through the Ministry of Local Government Administration (MLGA), channels the acts that are under review

Work activity of the municipality is subject also to control by the Ombudsperson Institution, it protects the rights, freedoms and legitimate interests of the individual from the illegal and irregular acts or omissions of the municipal bodies, and compiles reports relating to the work of the municipality for the purpose of identifying the problems and of providing data on alleged violations.

Members of the assembly should play an active role, their relation is with citizens and not with the party they represent, so it is very important for the members of the assembly to create open communication lines with citizens at all times.

Prevention of conflict of interest is of paramount importance for any elected official, from the mayor to members of the municipal assembly. This is a symbol of good faith and governance as well as a sign of the health of the decision-making process of a certain body, as citizens know that their representatives have only their concerns and needs in mind when making a decision. Prevention of conflict of interest is achieved when:

  • Mayors terminate any contracts or relationships they have, which may put into question their ability to carry out their responsibilities fairly and impartially;
  • Mayor of the municipality, a member of the municipal assembly or a member of the committee, an employee of the municipal administration is excluded from the decision-making and administrative procedures relating to any matter in which he/she, or any relative member of his or her family, has a personal or financial interest;
  • Mayor may voluntarily exclude himself/herself from decision-making and administrative procedures;
  • Each member must expose all conflicts of interest arising in each of the meetings in which he/she is present. Each member of the assembly may provide information on interests of the other member;
  • As well as many other meganisms foreseen in the LVLs under Articles 38, 59, 63, 67 on conflicts of interest.

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