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Member of Senate Nikola N. Kovačević at the 14th National Anti-Corruption Conference

Podgorica, 9th December 2021 – Member of Senate, Nikola N. Kovačević has participated at the 14th National Anti-Corruption Conference, organized by the NGO Network for the Affirmation of the NGO sector (MANS) on the occasion of the International Anti-Corruption Day and with a support of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands and Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, the US Embassy in Montenegro, Balkan Tender Watch Coalition project, Delegation of the European Union, Italian Embassy in Podgorica and German Foundation for International Legal Cooperation (IRZ).

One of the topics of the 14th National Anti-Corruption Conference has been dedicated to financing of political parties and election campaigns in Montenegro. Member of Senate, Mr. Kovačević has stated that the SAI performed audits of the annual financial statements of political parties and reports on election campaign expenses from 2012-2016. The Law on financing of political entities adopted in 2014 separated supervision and control function - the Agency for prevention of corruption is responsible for supervision, while the SAI is obliged to audit the annual consolidated financial statements of political entities whose total income exceeds 10,000 €.

Mr. Kovačević has pointed out that the latest amendment to the Law in 2020 stipulates that the SAI audits the consolidated financial statements of political entities based on the assessed audit risk and methodological Instructions on financial and regularity audits. The SAI is also obliged to audit all political entities that have parliamentary status at the state and local level within 4 years.

Mr. Kovačević has also stated that there are certain weaknesses in the Law on financing of political entities and election campaigns, which is currently in force, where the norms are mutually exclusive.

Mr. Kovačević has also pointed out that 0.5% of the current budget for regular work, i.e. 1.1% to 3% of the local self-government budget is allocated for financing political entities, as well as funds for financing employees in the parliamentary clubs, providing premises for parliamentary clubs, providing a room for parliamentary clubs at the local level. Funds are also allocated from the budget for financing women's organizations in the amount of 0.05% of the current state budget, i.e. 0.11-0.3% of the local self-government budget. Funds in the amount of 0.25% of the current budget and 0.07% of the current budget for financing the presidential elections are allocated for financing election campaigns. Member of Senate has stated that Montenegro dedicates the largest budget allocation for financing political entities and that the budget funds usually amount to 95% to 97% of the budget of political parties in a non-election year, while it amounts to 87-88% during election period.

The representatives of political entities and non-governmental sector have also attended the conference.