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Central level authorities may delegate responsibility to municipalities regarding cadastral records, civil registration, voter registration, business registration and licensing, distribution of social assistance payments and forest protection.

These competencies can be taken from municipalities when they do not have the capacity to exercise them. Therefore, not all of these competencies have been delegated to the municipalities due to problems in the delegation procedure but also  due to  municipalities' own capacities to provide these services.

22 February 2018

Delegated competencies

Cadastral records

One of the delegated competencies from central to municipal level is cadastral services. The Kosovo Cadastral Agency (KCA) is the central governmental institution for cadaster, geodesy and cartography in Kosovo operating within the Ministry of Environment and Spatial Planning. There are Municipal Cadastre Offices established within municipalities, they are in charge of the functioning of the cadastre, these offices make measurements and data gathering on the ground for purposes of registration in cadastre, or re-arrangement of cadastral boundaries based on cadastral data and cadastral reconstruction; in addition to the activities specified in the Administrative Instructions of the Kosovo Cadastral Agency or the Ministry of Environment and Spatial Planning. Officers who carry out measurements within the Cadastral Office of the Municipality must be certified by the Kosovo Cadastral Agency. Moreover, every activity of the Municipal Cadastre Office is implemented and reflected in the central database of the Cadastral Agency of the Municipality. The legislation on cadastral records can be found on the Kosovo Cadastral Agency website. And here if you need you can find contact details of the municipal cadastral offices.

Services offered by the MCO include: Registration of properties on cadastral registers, Conducting of cadastral measurements (surveys), registration of property rights including registration of ownership, mortgages, servitute, registration of the servitute, registration of lease and exploitation rights, registration of prohibitions, recording of various constraints and loads.

Example: If this delegated competency did not exist, then each citizen would have to go to the headquarters of the Kosovo Cadastral Agency. In this sense, a citizen of Peja would have to come to the Kosovo Cadastral Agency in Prishtina to register his property.

Civil registration

One of the delegated powers from the central level to municipalities is the provision of civil registration. The civil status service in Kosovo is organized in such a manner as: the central level of civil status service, the Agency, respectively; the local level of civil status service, the civil status offices, respectively; the civil status service at the diplomatic and consular missions of Kosovo. In the civil status offices of the respective municipality are recorded the facts of births, marriages and deaths. To have a recognition by law is the basic right of every citizen, and civil registration is a process through which an individual person can be identified and recognized as part of the society where he lives. Through civil registration, citizens have the ability to obtain official documents and exercise their rights and freedoms. The provision of travel documents and ID cards are also the responsibility at the municipal level, namely the provision of: Birth certificate, Marital Status Certificate, Marriage Certificate, Residence Certificate, Certificate on Wedlock Arrangements, Death Certificate, and Certificate of Family Household

Municipalities should focus on increasing the number of civil registration staff and financial investment to increase logistics and human resources for their proper functioning. In particular, the municipality should focus on providing minority communities with the possibility of obaining of documentation in their own language and facilitating communication and services in official languages, directly through civil servants or through language assistance.

It means in the municipalities, among other things, in the archives of the Civil Status Office is kept the Register of Civil Status - the civil status book, which reflects all the civil status components for each citizen of Kosovo, foreign citizens and any stateless person, with temporary or permanent residency in the Republic of Kosovo. Related legislation on the civil registration you can find here

Example: If this delegated competence would not exist then each citizen would have to go to the Civil Registration Agency headquarters. In this sense, every citizen of Kosovo would have to come to Pristina to register his/her marriage.

Voter regjistration

The CEC maintains the Voters List and ensures that the Voters List is accurate and updated, but it does so through the Central Civil Registry that provides the CEC with all relevant information that the Central Election Commission requires to maintain the Voters List.

Administration of the Central Registry of Civil Status is done by the Civil Registration Agency. However, updating of the registry records is done by the civil status officers at the civil status offices, i.e., in municipalities or officials at diplomatic and consular representations.

Therefore, although the Law on General Elections holds the CEC accountable for the Voters List, given that civil status officers in the municipalities update the data, then in a sense this falls in the category of a delegated competence.

Also one of the delegated powers from the central level to the municipality is administration of elections. The body in charge for the implementation of electoral activities within the territory of the municipality is the Municipal Election Commission (MEC). This Commission is composed of 7 members who shall represent all the communities with distinct numbers within the municipality.

Responsibilities of the Municipal Election Commission shall include the administration of elections within the municipality under the supervision of and instructions of the CEC and in compliance with the applicable law. In this way, establishment of an office within the municipal administration building is necessary to perform all the necessary tasks. Each Commission shall provide impartial information on political parties, coalitions, civic initiatives, and election administration for all voters and the community. This Commission is in charge of conducting proper voting and counting of ballots, summarizing of the election results.

Registration of businesses

The Business Registration Agency is the institution in charge of registration of businesses. However, there are 29 municipal registration centers (with the possibility of increasing their number) which record the data in an electronic system related to the ARBK’s headquarters.

Example: If this delegated competence would not exist then each citizen would have to go to ARBK headquarters. In this sense a citizen of Mitrovica would have had to come to Prishtina to register his/her business.

Distribution of social assistance payments

Each municipality, through its respective directorate, is responsible for ensuring the provision of social and family services within its territory according to the standard specified by the Ministry.

The Center for Social Work (CSW) is a professional public institution at the municipal level which is responsible for the protection of all citizens with social needs. Within this Center, there is this Custodian Body composed of experts of this field. This municipal body is responsible for providing social assistance and protecting the interests of children and adults, and for ensuring the provision of services.

Directorates are allowed through CSWs and non-governmental organizations to provide additional services to groups with social needs. Directorates are responsible for identifying the nature and extent of social services and prepare annual plans for maintaining of these services. For the purpose of transparency and inclusion of community, the directorates should publish an annual report on these services and on conducted activities. Involvement of key actors in providing these services and consulting with the community and relevant groups are essential for the directorates when drafting their annual plans.

Although they have this overall responsibility for the provision of social and family services within their territory, no elected member of a municipal assembly or a municipal official can issue orders regarding professional management of any particular case of social and family services, or to have access to confidential case records.

Municipalities or other governmental and non-governmental organizations, including private enterprises, can provide social and family services. However, the Ministry reserves the right to determine where, as well as who conducts these services, as well as the right to directly provide these services by itself if the circumstances justify this. The legislation on distribution of social assistance benefits can be found here.

Protection of forests

Forest protection as a competence is delegated to the municipalities. The forest protection service as a whole is municipal competency, in accordance with Articles 29.1, 29.2 and 29.3 of Chapter VIII of the Law on Forests in Kosovo . If cut trees are confiscated by the forest protection service in municipalities, the revenues belong to the municipality. Municipalities are obliged to conduct field registration at least once a year and submit a report in writing to the competent forest management body managing the forests, in this case the Kosovo Forest Agency.

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