Kosovo: Irresponsibilities in the declaration of assets by public officials
The Kosovo Democratic Institute (KDI) has organised a roundtable entitled: “Implementation of the Law on the Declaration of Assets of Public Officials”, and published the analysis “(Non-)Declaration of Assets” on this occasion. The panellists of the debate have highly regarded the analysis, and agreed that there are shortfalls in the implementation of the respective law.
Merita Mustafa from the Kosovo Democratic Institute has introduced the findings stating the lack of results which the law was supposed to achieve. She divided these into the following three categories: public officials that have entirely ignored the law, public officials that have only partially obeyed the law and thirdly, public officials that have fully obeyed to the law.
These three categories contain indicators such as the 68 public officials who entirely ignored the law and the President of Kosovo who has only partially obeyed the law. However, there are public officials that have fully obeyed the law such as the Pristina Mayor, Mr Isa Mustafa, Minister of Kosovo Security Force, Mr Fehmi Mujota, and Ms Edita Tahiri, Minister of Public Administration.
Meanwhile, panellist Ms Edita Tahiri, Minister of Public Administration, argued that Kosovo is at the very early stages of democracy and requires much harder work to ensure that the rule of law prevails. Concerning the declaration of assets, she announced a direct link to the fight against corruption with the state’s success. “The more the war on corruption prevails, the more successful the state is,” she said.
Danielle Spinard from USAID said this experience shows that there is still a lot of work to be done. “Public officials must know and respect the importance of this law,” added Mrs Spinard.
Jetullah Aliu from the Anti-Corruption Agency recalled changing the law to classify false statement of assets as a criminal conduct. “We have also requested the Ministry of Justice to act in the inclusion of this misbehaviour in the criminal code,” he said.
More critical to the situation was Mr Naim Rrustemi, an independent MP. He said, “Some of the public officials have not taken the obligation to declare their assets seriously.”
Meanwhile Mr Naser Rugova has emphasised the shortfalls of the declaration forms, requesting changes in its design.
Civil society activists have questioned the morality of the entire process, while calling on public officials to realise that this process is a rather moral obligation they have towards taxpayers.
This debate was organised by KDI in the frame of the joint project with the FOL movement, which is supported by USAID and the Institute for Sustainable Communities (ISC), through the Strengthening Program of Civil Society. Its principal aim is to “monitor the drafting of an implementation of the anti-corruption legislative package.”
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