MUNICIPALITIES SINK IN DEBTS, MAYORS REQUIRE FISCAL DECENTRALIZATION

The municipalities’ indebtedness results from their irrational performance and unrealistic planning of the budgets.   By Gjurgjica Bojchovska and Ljubica Ivanova   In the Republic of Macedonia many of the municipalities are sinking in debt and have blocked accounts. It is a huge problem for the municipalities because they are unable to successfully perform the legally entrusted competences and provide quality services to the citizens. About 20 municipalities have continuously blocked bank accounts, some of them for decades. Among the reasons for this situation are the irrational performance and unrealistic planning of their budgets, as well as overstaffing in municipal administrations. Much of the budget funds are spent on the employees’ salaries and contributions.   THE MOST INDEBTED ARE OHRID, TETOVO, KARPOSH AND KUMANOVO Ohrid, Tetovo, Karposh and Kumanovo are the most indebted of the larger municipalities. Although, at...

Too many advisers in administration: real necessity or accommodating party soldiers?

Authors: Angela Rajchevska, Bjanka Stankovikj, Kristina Atovska   The country allocates 266 thousand Euros a year for hiring special external advisers who are to advise ministers and other holders of state functions in order to perform their tasks more efficiently.   SCOOP came to this amount spent on 34 “special advisers” engaged in only 13 ministries.   Article 27 of the Law on Administrative Officers, the levels within the categories of administrative officers, additionally describes them with title, including: B1 – State Adviser, B1 – Adviser whereas Article 22 of the Law on Public Sector Employees provides for up to 3 special advisers in the Cabinet of Ministers.   “The former are employed under the law and they have to pass certain exams for the working position, it is about career officers. Others have been admitted, whether they are...

Ministers or kings: Education without limit, Interior has no rulebook for representation expenses

Angela Rajcevska, Bjanka Stankovik, Angela Petrovska   The Rulebook that SCOOP received under the Law on Free Access to Information was signed on 17.8.2016. According to the Rulebook, the Minister has an unlimited monthly amount, the Deputy Minister 100,000 MKD and the State Secretary 15,000 MKD per month. In the previous story on the costs of the state officials’ cards in Macedonia SCOOP found that Pishtar Lutfiu, during his term from 5 April 2016 to 1 June 2017, spent over 20,000 Euros from the budget of this ministry for restaurant services. For the Ministry of Interior there is no need for a rulebook Will the newly elected government continue to squander public money? SCOOP tried to answer this question by requesting insight into the representation rulebooks of the ministries. “Ministry of Interior does not register by-laws or internal acts...

Officials squandered on expensive food, drinks and hotels – paid by the citizens

authors: Bjanka Stankovich, Angela Petrovska and Angela Rajchevska   DOCUMENTACION   Apart from the regular local elections and the early parliamentary elections, nothing significant happened in the Republic of Macedonia in 2013 and 2014. Due to the global financial crisis in this period, neither foreign direct investments had grown significantly, nor had any significant financial or diplomatic success been noticed in these two years. However, in these two years about 100 thousand Euros were spent only for hotel accommodation abroad with the official cards from the Ministry of Finance. Bank statements from the official cards do not state who the invoices belongs to, but it can be seen that officials most often spent money on travel, that is, for accommodation in luxury hotels and lunches in restaurants abroad. From this ministry in 2011, 10,899 Euros were spent on hotels,...

Top 10 richest mayors weigh 13 million Euros

authors: Bjanka Stankovich, Angela Petrovska and Angela Rajchevska   In the upcoming local elections, in the race for the municipalities’ first people, the parties have proposed their candidates. In 55 out of 82 municipalities, the lists of candidates have the names of well-known mayors. Only in the other 27 municipalities there are new candidates. SCOOP processed the data on the assets of the candidates who will run again for mayors in these 55 municipalities. The information is reported to the State Commission for Prevention of Corruption. The richest mayor in the Republic of Macedonia is Ratko Dimitrovski, current and future candidate for mayor of Kocani, with nearly 4 million Euros. He is known as the owner and manager of the printing house “Europe 92” for the opening of which he received a donation from the Open Society Foundation. In...

Kancheska overnight at Hilton, Sheraton and Ritz and shopping at “Versace”

DOCUMENTATION Four thousand and three hundred Euros from the personal card of former Minister of Culture to goverment of Republic of Macedonia, Elizabeta Kanchevska Milevska were transferred to the account of the famous hotel chain Hilton in just one day. However, not from her private account, but from the account of the budget filled by the citizens of the Republic of Macedonia. Yet Hilton was not the only destination of the ex-minister, who was a frequent guest of the renowned Sheraton and Ritz hotels in the European and world metropolises. A sum of 300 Euros was paid per night in these hotels. The card was used for everything, from the purchase of a coffee machine-Nespresso, through shoppinh at Zara Home in Thessaloniki, the famous Greek shopping center “Notos Galleries”, then “Baldinini” in Venice, Moncler UK LTD in London. She...

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