Government accepts 8 amendments from the commission hearing on the budget

Skopje, 6 November, 2018 - 14:41 (META) 

At its 100th session, on the proposal of the Ministry of Finance, the Government reviewed and adopted the amendments to the budget re-balance for 2018 which was proposed at a commission hearing in Parliament.

“The eight amendments from the Government session were accepted as an addition to the proposal for amendments to the budget for 2018, and the new, integral text of the re-balance budget proposal will be followed at the adoption during a plenary session in Parliament,” the Government reported.

Opposition MPs submitted 180 amendments and criticized the Government for the weak economic growth and the non-realization of capital investments.

With the proposed budget re-balance from the Government, the largest allocation of funds is for the municipalities, in the amount of 3,020 billion denars, in order to reduce debt and unpaid bills.

Most of OTA budget to be spent on salaries and allowances

Skopje, 2 November, 2018 - 12:41 (META) 

From the beginning of the month, the Operational-Technical Agency (OTA), which will function as an independent state body, will oversee the monitoring of communications by the competent state bodies, i.e. it will provide technical link between operators and the authorized bodies, without the possibility of activating or conducting the recording of the communications received.

With the budget re-balance, which is currently undergoing the parliamentary procedure for the new agency, 3.26 million denars (about 53.000 euros) have been allocated.

From this amount, 2.2 million denars (35.700 EUR) are foreseen for salaries and allowances, while the remaining amount of approximately one million denars (EUR 17.000) has been allocated for the procurement of goods and services, ie for travel and daily expenses, communal services, heating , communication and transportation, materials and small inventory, repairs and ongoing maintenance, contractual services and other current expenditures.

Re-balance to reduce budget resources for NATO integration

Skopje, 19 October, 2018 - 12:58 (META) 

The government, with the budget re-balance for 2018, plans to reduce defense spending in the Ministry of Defense planned for NATO integration. in the expenditures section of the Ministry of Defense for the 2018 budget, 935 million were envisaged for security and defense promotion, namely, the integration into NATO, and with the re-balance this item has been reduced to 855 million.

It is remarkable that the reduction of the money provided for NATO integration comes at a time when Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defense Radmila Sekerinska, Foreign Minister Nikola Dimitrov and the National Coordinator for NATO Stevo Pendarovski as members of the NATO Integration Committee , are staying at the headquarters of the Alliance in Brussels, where the final phase of the country’s accession talks with NATO, which will last until October 19, began.

According to recent statements, if the constitutional changes to accept the agreement with Greece are passed, the whole process should be completed by the end of December, this year. Then, in January 2019, Macedonia should sign the Accession Protocol with the right to participate in all NATO departments, but without the possibility of voting, and the accession of the country to full membership should happen after the member states ratify the Accession Protocol, within their national parliaments.

The formation of the OTA is still a financial enigma

Skopje, 7 September, 2018 - 21:40 (META) 

In regards to the question of how much will it cost for the establishment of the Operational-Technical Agency (OTA), the new body that will manage the wiretapping equipment in the country, the relevant institutions have kicked the ball into another court.

Today, Parliament voted for Zoran Angelovski as director of the OTA, but it seems that nobody knows how much money from the budget has been allocated for the implementation of the new Law on the OTA or whether they’re still calculating.

Instead of detailed data on the fiscal implications of the law, it is said that the financial resources needed to implement the Law on Operational and Technical Agency will be allocated from the budget.

The Ministry of Finance was asked, who is responsible for the state budget, how much money in the budget was provided for the establishment of the OTA. They sent a response to the Ministry of the Interior.

The Ministry of Interior, however, advised that a response be requested from Parliament, and referred the issue to the competent Parliamentary Committee on Defense and Security. They did not answer the question sent to the official email address.

The OTA should start operating from November, and the establishment of this agency was one of the key recommendations by Priebe’s expert group, which required the prevention of wiretapping.

The referendum will cost 3.5 million euros

Skopje, 31 July, 2018 - 11:26 (META) 

The decision adopted in Parliament on Wednesday adopted for the redistribution of funds between budget users, which provides 3.5 million for the implementation of the name referendum is to be held on September 30.

The Ministry of Finance says that the redistribution reduces smaller sums from larger budget users and allocates 210.4 million denars for the implementation of the referendum.

According to the decision, the largest reallocation of funds will be in the Ministry of Finance, where through various transfers will be allocated 60.000.000 denars.

MRT’s annual budget to be increased by three million euros

Skopje, 16 July, 2018 - 19:52 (META) 

The parliamentary Committee on Transport and Communications today accepted the proposal for re-balancing the budget for Macedonian Radio Television, and as a result, the public broadcaster will receive nearly three million euros on its account for this year.

In 2018, MRT was originally meant to receive 700 million denars, and with the budget re-balancing, this amount will increase by 186 million and 550 thousand denars, i.e. the total budget of MRT will now be 886 million and 550 thousand denars.

Dime Velkovski from SDSM said that the changes to the budget are legitimate and MRT has a bigger budget than the Ministry of Information Society and Administration and urged for the adoption of the Law on Audio and Audiovisual Media Services to happen as soon as possible, with which the Government offers a solution for financing MRT. Seventy amendments have been submitted to this law, and the Committee has reviewed only a few. Continuation of the session has not been scheduled for any time soon.

Meanwhile, even though opposition MPs supported the proposal, they warned that MRT could face financial problems if the broadcasting fee was to be abolished.

MRT’s budget re-balancing is supposed to be be voted on in a plenary session.

Todorovic returns the first 433,000 euros from “Skopje 2014”

Skopje, 4 July, 2018 - 17:01 (META) 

The Financial Police Department have filed criminal charges with the Basic Public Prosecutor’s Office Skopje, against former mayor of the Municipality Center, Vladimir Todorovic, and individuals M.T. a former secretary and D.R., an employee in the Sector for managing state land and environment protection in the Centre Municipality. It is believed that they committed a criminal offense by abusing their official positions, said the Director of the Financial Police Department, Arafat Muaremi.

According to the indictment, they misused the budget of Municipality of Center for the amount of 433,389 euros for construction works related to the construction of the “Oko” pedestrian bridge on the Vardar river, built by the company “Konstruktor Engineering AD Split”.

Due to non-fulfillment of obligations from the contract, missing the deadline, as well as poor performance of the already completed work, in the year 2012 the Municipality of Center terminated the contract with “Konstruktor Engineering AD Split”, which was 119,197.783 denars.

“Reported individuals V.T, M.T. etc. abandoned their duty for supervision, neglected their duties, and used three unpaid bank guarantees, which resulted in damages to the budget of 26,653,424 denars (433,389 euros)”, Muaremi pointed out.

He added that the money was returned into the account of Centre Municipality on 30th of June, but hopes that there will be criminal charges. Muaremi also said that other investigations are underway for “Skopje 2014” and that for some cases they already have cooperation with the SPO.

Ivanov’s Office: We handle budget funds in a responsible and transparent manner

Skopje, 22 June, 2018 - 14:51 (META) 

For the past nine years, President Gjorge Ivanov’s Office has handled budgetary funds in the most responsible, conscientious and transparent manner, said the President’s Office in response to the Government’s statement.

“Regarding this issue, we emphasize that all public procurements by the President’s Office are carried out in the most transparent manner and in accordance with all legal regulations and are subject to public record. This can be confirmed by the audit reports carried out on the operation of the President’s Office by the State Audit Office. In order to provide objective information to the public, the President’s Office, as always, has made all information regarding financial operations and the spending of public money for official purposes, fully available, and will continue to do so in the future”, reads the statement.

The Office adds that “since there are already mechanisms for checking the financial performance of state institutions in place; the President’s Office has no legal obligation to accept additional “tools”.

Cost of ministers’ expenses from state institution buffets to be made public

Skopje, 2 March, 2018 - 18:25 (META) 

The current Government plans not only to publish the full adopted agenda of Government sessions, but to publish materials and records from the sessions, said Robert Popovski, the minister without portfolio in charge of communications, accountability and transparency, at today’s meeting with representatives from the media and non-governmental organizations, where they discussed current policies and processes related to the transparency and work of the Government.

Regarding the publication of the documents that are necessary for submitting a request for free access to information, so far, they have been published by ministries, and this list has been extended to other institutions, while the municipalities and those institutions that the Government does not have direct jurisdiction over, recommendations for publishing these documents were sent to citizens and the media to be able to submit such requests more easily.

“All expenses incurred by ministers, deputy ministers and state secretaries in the period from June the 1st to December the 1st, means the first 6 months. We had a dilemma whether the buffet in the Government, the buffet in the Ministry of Traffic and Communications, etc., are subject to publication and, yes they are, so in the end, we can see how much water and how many coffees we have drank. This is our job and our responsibility”, said Popovski.

Declassification of information is underway, and the Government is working on the case, however, Popovski said that there are problems as well, because the Government faces issues such as when and from what date the declassification begins.

Šekerinska: Stoltenberg’s visit is a message itself

Skopje, 15 January, 2018 - 17:45 (META) 

The NATO Secretary General’s visit to Macedonia, Jens Stoltenberg is a message in itself, said Minister of Defense Radmila Šekerinska on the occasion of Stoltenberg’s visit to Macedonia on Wednesday and Thursday.

“This means that in the past six months, we managed to bring Macedonia back to the Euro-Atlantic path and managed to neutralize all the bad news, which have been continuously going through in Macedonia in recent years. We see the visit as an opportunity to present Macedonia in a different light, as a country that solves its own problems, which works on its own priority, and who realizes that membership in NATO and the EU means greater security and greater prosperity for the citizens”, added Šekerinska.

She emphasized that in the defense department, there is something to praise. We have received data on an increased defense budget, with already increased our participation in the NATO mission in Afghanistan, and with new policies of transparency and integrity.