Changes to the Law on Public Enterprise are illogical, insufficient and wrong, warns civil sector


The proposed amendments to the Law on Public Enterprise, among other things, foresees public enterprises to appoint deputy directors instead of as before, in the absence of directors, to appoint them with certain employees already employed within the enterprise.

The Foundation Open Society – Macedonia, the Societas Civilis Institute for Democracy, the Center for Change Management (CMC) and the Center for Civil Communications, have responded against the changes to the law and demand they be withdrawn.

“Changes to laws of this character need to be backed up by a comprehensive analysis that will truly prove the need for such a function. The proposal on the agenda currently in Parliament does not have an adequate analysis. The logic behind this change is wrong. Namely, the existing criteria for appointing a director, and now a deputy director of a public enterprise, is low and allows for the employment of the management not to necessarily have more experience than existing employees. According to the applicable law, in which the director, in his absence, appoints an employee as a replacement, means a greater chance someone with greater experience to manage the company,” reads the response.

They add that there is systemic lack of transparency in the selection of directors that further strengthens the risks of political clientelism.

“This initiative is entirely in line with the efforts to reorganize and rationalize the size of the public sector, announced by the government. The financial implications for introducing such positions are around two million euros annually to the tax-payer, given that there are 129 public enterprises in the country. From data publicly available, there are less than 10 employees in 22 of these 129 public enterprises. Taking into account that all these public enterprises, besides the director, have an administrative and supervisory board, this means that the number of elected and appointed individuals is higher than the number of employees. And now instead of rationalizing, that is, to reduce the number of functions, a new additional function is going to be introduced, ” say the associations in their response.

They go on to say that, if the profitability of public enterprises is analyzed, the quality of services provided, the satisfaction of citizens from these services, the manner and procedure of the selection of management and supervisory boards, as well as the quality of their work, the conclusion is that it is necessary to take a qualitative and systematic approach to the solution of problems with public enterprises, and not to introduce additional functions.

In addition, the Open Society Foundation – Macedonia say it is an issue that this law should now cover a “problem” that has not yet been established or pointed out as a problem either by the government or the civil sector, nor is it mentioned in any EU reports.

“The alleged problem addressed by the Draft-Law (the need for a Deputy Director to run the current operation of the public enterprise in the absence of the Director, instead of an administrative employee nominated by the Director) is not a problem that has been detected by the Ministry of Information Society and Administration, nor by the institutions of the public sector or civil society that participated in the preparation of the Strategy, nor in the reports of the European Union and SIGMA.

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