First Basic Public Prosecutor’s Office in Belgrade confirmed that there are no basis for initiating criminal proceedings for misuse in implementing the bid of the Ministry of Labor of the Republic of Serbia for social services in 2014, announced the Lawyers’ Committee for Human Rights (YUCOM) today.
YUCOM stated that prosecutor’s office “after more than two years of collecting material hasn’t found basis to proceed in case against unknown persons involved in implementing bids of the Ministry of Labor, Employment and Social Policy, that attempted illegal awarding over two million euros intended for social services”.
“In the end, after collecting material it is decided that ‘there is no legal basis for initiating criminal proceedings against any person, for any criminal offense prosecuted ex officio’”, as it stands in the statement that YUCOM urges prosecutor’s office to reconsider decision.
The Lawyers’ Committee for Human Rights – YUCOM, Civic Initiatives, Policy Center and the Center for Research, Transparency and Accountability – CRTA filed a criminal complaint.
It is added, these organizations haven’t been asked to provide information on the allegations of misuses during the bid, thus it is “unclear what information the prosecution was guided by,” whose decision “clearly contributes to continuing a culture of irresponsibility for misuses and violations of regulations in public authorities’ performance “.
The bid was advertised in 2014, then it was canceled because the civil society organizations indicated to the misuse and the money, instead for social services, was directed to the Children’s Rare Disease Fund.
YUCOM stated that at the advertised bid, the money was awarded to “a large number of associations registered just a month before the bidding, that do not even meet the basic criteria” and to “the associations that are managed by related parties or local officials who are close to local youth offices as well as to associations that have identical founding acts, including typographical errors in the statutes”.
The statement also notes that there is no answer to the requests of civil society organizations “for advertising a new bid, launching ex officio investigations and effective prosecution of all those responsible for the attempt of misuse of taxpayers’ money and for the dismissal of the responsible minister Aleksandar Vulin”.
YUCOM also stated that it has been filed a request for access to information of public importance which seek from prosecutor’s office information on the procedure in this case.