The Commissioner for Information of Public Importance and Personal Data Protection ordered the Ministry of Finance to provide "Danas" daily newspaper with information on the number of persons employed in the public sector since the Law amending the Law on the Budget System entered into force (7 December 2013), as well as information on the number of persons employed in the same period and institutions where they have been employed.
Noting that public support and scrutiny is one of the key assumptions for the success of measures taken with the aim to rationalise the public sector, Commissioner Rodoljub Sabic said:
"The public is obviously ready to offer its full support to rationalisation measures and activities aimed at creating a more efficient and more responsible public administration apparatus. Garnering public support will also be crucial for the success of such measures. But a necessary precondition for this is full transparency of information on the number of employees and on the budget funds allocated for their hiring.
In that regard, I would also like to recall that previous alleged attempts of staff rationalisation and the effects of such efforts, if any, were not accompanied by appropriate publicly available information.
Although the laws which put a cap on the number of employees in national and local administrations, passed as early as in 2009, provide among other things for the establishment of registers with specific information on the number of employees and expenses associated with them, which should have been published on the official website of the Ministry of Finance, this has not been done. Indeed, journalists and citizens have never had more than partial access to such information from certain authorities, and even then only after filing complaints with the Commissioner for Information and after his intervention.
This most recent in a succession of attempts at a solution in fact also reaffirms the belief that such information must be proactively made available to the general public through regular and updated posting on official websites of all authorities without specific requests, as well as in the form of pooled registers which should be maintained by the Ministry of Finance according to the law."