Pristina 19 September 2019 – The Kosovo Assembly on 2 February 2019, adopted the Law on Public Officials, a law which aims at creating the legal basis for employment of public officials in the institutions of the Republic of Kosovo based on merit, moral integrity, impartiality and sustainability. The same law repealed the Law on Civil Service in the Republic of Kosovo.
The Law on Public Officials comes under the more advanced laws that set out procedures, rules and criteria that give priority to merit-based candidates for positions advertised in public institutions and which restrict public institutions from eventual manipulations of the recruitment process. Furthermore, interviews are conducted through electronic written test in an anonymous manner.
According to this law, from 12 September 2019, all public vacancy announcements must be advertised pursuant to this law. Despite this, an extremely large number of institutions have announced vacancies based on the old law on the Civil Service, which is now abolished.
KLI has analysed the announced vacancies from central and local institutions, which were announced since the new law came into force, where it has identified that justice system institutions, central and local, based on the old law, have announced at least 70 vacancy announcements for 261 public officials, in violation of the law. Of the number of vacancies announced, based on the already abolished law the champion is the Ministry of Infrastructure and Transport with a total of 20 vacancies announced, while for the number of positions announced, the Kosovo Judicial Council is the champion with 91 vacancies in total.
According to the new law, apart from the uncontested fact that new vacancies must be announced according to the new law, pursuant to article 83.9 the vacancy announcements that are in process must continue pursuant to the new law.
KLI finds that these findings point to new attempts to politicize the state administration. This is because the new law has greater restrictions on manipulation, which are not found in the previous law. This fact implies greater difficulty in recruiting family members and party militants in public institutions.
On the other hand, this is also related to the fact that many officials responsible for human resources in state administration institutions have no idea of the entry into force of the new law, which also indicates the level of public administration officials themselves.
KLI considers that this approach is unacceptable and the responsible officials in public institution must undertake action to implement the new law.
Furthermore, the situation already created should not be passed on in a symbolic way, but all those responsible should be held accountable for the implementation of the law in question. In this regard, KLI publicly calls on the Ministry of Public Administration as the main responsible institution for this failure in implementing the new law, urgently requests from all public institutions, the cancellation of vacancies announced pursuant to the old law and return of legality to the process of recruiting public officials.
Moreover, even in cases when there is no request to the Ministry of Public Administration for the annulment of vacancy announcements, institutions must take into account the legislative hierarchy and prior to unlawful decisions, to respect the principle of legality as a key principle for their work.
Public institutions must stop the practice that even in cases where good laws based on the highest standards are adopted, to announce these laws as invalid through the installation of unlawful practices.
List of institutions that have announced vacancies in an unlawful manner:
- Kosovo Privatisation Agency
- Anti-Corruption Agency
- Kosovo Judicial Council
- Kosovo Prosecutorial Council
- Municipality of Pristina
- Municipality of Drenas
- Municipality of Podujevo
- Municipality of Skenderaj
- Municipality of Mitrovica
- Municipality of Istog
- Municipality of Peja
- Ministry of Infrastructure and Transport
- Ministry of Education, Science and Technology
- Ministry of Public Administration
- Ministry of Internal Affairs
- Ministry of Economic Development
- Ministry of Justice
- Ministry of Local Government Administration
- Kosovo Police
- Kosovo Correctional Service