Implementation practice

During the year 2017, public consultation coordinators were assigned to almost all line ministries in line with the requirements of the Regulation. The Office of Good Governance of the Office of the Prime Minister, in cooperation with these officials, prepares annual reports on the public consultation process. The 2017 report as the first implementation year has begun to be prepared and is expected to be published before 31 March 2018.

Annual reports should include:

1. Number of initiated project proposals and their types;
2. Number of project proposals for which public consultation was conducted;
3. Number of approved drafts for which there was no public consultation, along with the justification for this;
4. Number of participants in public meetings and those who have submitted written comments;
5. The number of comments that have been fully accepted, partially accepted or rejected.

Also an instruction on the minimum standards monitoring methodology was prepared by the Technical Assistance project for civil society organizations as a support to the Strategy for cooperation between civil society and public institutions.

In practice, during the year 2016, progress was limited mainly due to the lack of specific policies that would regulate the public consultation process, and later because of the low level of implementation of the Regulation. During 2016 only 24.75 % of interviewed CSOs stated that they were regularly invited to public consultations, meanwhile slightly more than half of them stated that they were given enough time to comment. During the same year, 39.8 % of policy documents and adopted normative acts were consulted with civil society through CiviKos Platform. More concretely, the Government has distributed 27 draft-laws (out of 53 approved in total), 7 concept papers (out of 26 approved in total), 2 strategic documents (out of 8 approved) and 23 administrative instructions (out of 63 approved). Until August 2017, only 21.43 % of policy documents and laws planned for approval were distributed for public consultation through the Online Platform for Public Consultations. Translated in percentage, 24.56 % of draft laws were distributed to consult the public through Online Platform, 17.95 % of concept papers and 18.75 % of the strategies.

Official data for year 2017 has not yet been published. However, from the observation of the public consultation process during this year, it is noticed that not all documents approved by the Government are consulted with the public. While there were some positive cases in the ministry and certain processes, the main problems were the very low number of Final Consultation Reports. On the other hand, the level of contribution from foreign parties, including civil society, was quite low. Many open documents for consultation did not receive comment at all, or were commented only by one or two organizations.