Working visit of Mr. Svein Eriksen, Senior advisor of the Center for integrity in the Defence sector of the Kingdom of Norway and the Team Leader of the Project “Building Integrity in the Defence Sector“, Mr. Rajko Radević to the Public Procurement Administration of Montenegro

Podgorica, 27 October 2015 – Mr. Svein Eriksen, Senior advisor of the Center for integrity in the Defence sector of the Kingdom of Norway and the Team Leader of the Project “Building Integrity in the Defence Sector – Analysis of the institutional risk factors in Montenegro“.
The meeting was chaired by Director of the Administration, PhD Mersad Mujević.
Some of the discussion topics were the analysis of implementation of the Public Procurement Law, the work of the Administration, exemptions from the Law’s application, and all of them in the light of the newly-incorporated Directive in the field of defence and security into our Public Procurement Law.
Other very important issue was related to the “status“ of the Center itself as well as the Project, along with the presumed role of the PPA as a partner in the said Project.
On that occasion, Mr. Eriksen pointed out that the Center for Integrity in the Defence Sector (CIDS) was established in 2012 and has been in charge of promoting a good governance and professional integrity in the defence sector. Through its work with the Norwegian Government and international partners, the Center has built its competence, and thereby raised the awareness and provided practical methods of reducing the risks of corruption.
The staff of the Center are active members of several networks of scholars, experts and others involved in the field of integrity and fight against corruption. The members of the staff are highly experienced in the reforms of security sectors in various parts of the world, including South-East Europe and Western Balkans.
CIDS develops and manages Norwegian and international projects in close cooperation with Norwegian Ministry of Defence, NATO, other relevant institutions and partner countries.
Partners of the Center are: the program for building integrity of the NATO, DIFI – Agency for public administration and eGovernment, UK Defence Academy, Transparency International UK etc.
CIDS was established by the Norwegian Ministry of Defence in 2012, whith which it is interinstitutionally connected. The Center has been co-located by the Norwegian Institute for defence studies, which is a part of the Norwegian University College. Mr. Eriksen also spoke about the Project and stated that the first stage of the BI program for Montenegro has been completed.
DIFI completed its corruption risk assessment in the area of defence for Montenegro (hereinafter: needs analysis), which could be seen in the attached report prepared by DIFI, titled: “Montenegro: Building Integrity in the Defence Sector. An Analysis of Institutional Risk Factors“. This assessment was prepared in two purposes:
• identification of factors which at this moment cause or generate risks from corruption/unethical behaviour in defence sector,
• providing information necessary for developemnt of future projects and policies aimed at overcoming the identified risk factors.
We consider that the current assessment serves adequately to both purposes listed, and that it provides us with a sufficient informative basis for commencing the second stage of the BI program: design and implementation of projects and policies.
The existing project proposal deals with the key findings and recommendations from the needs analyses, especially the following recommendations: Public procurement and disposal of assets; The regime for conflict of interests; Free access to information; Administrative proceedings; Management and monitoring of corruption risks and the Upgraded integrity framework. Our suggestion is to overcome the mentioned challenges by a project with a three-year duration. The overall aim of the Project is to contribute to creation of a better framework for the public integrity and reduction of legal and institutional risks from corruption in the sectors of defence and security. This project is mainly directed towards the Ministry of Defence and the Ministry for Interior Affairs.
The needs analysis has been developed towards the Ministry of Defence. However, at request of the Montenegrin authorities, the existing project proposal includes also the Ministry for Interior Affairs. There are three key reasons for that.
Firstly, in both sectors of defence and security, we observed many same risks of corruption and abuse of powers. These risks are related to specific features mutual for both sectors, among others, the access to confidential information and the culture of secrecy.
Secondly, due to the approach the DIFI assumed upon development of the needs assessment, the findings of this document are valid for the major part of Montenegrin public administration. In the project proposal for the first stage of the BI Project (which was submitted to the Ministry for Foreign Affairs in March 2012) we have proposed the analysis of the Ministry of Defence as a part, or an integral component of a wider environment of the Montenegrin administration. That is exactly what we have done. We have studied the ways in which the range of mechanisms for improving integrity within the entire Montenegrin administration, have an impact on the Ministry of Defence. Due to a generic nature of these mehanisms, the same will produce identical effects in other state authorities. Therefore, the findings of this needs analysis are to a great extent valid also for the Ministry of Interior Affairs. For example, the inadequate general arrangements of public procurement cause the same type of problems in both ministries, for defence and for interior affairs. However, when it comes to the Ministry of Interior Affairs, it is necessary to collect some additional data related to the internal administrative arrangements for some of the mechanisms for promoting integrity which are included in the proposed project.
Thirdly, a holistic approach is dominating the BI Program, in accordance to which the MD and MIA are seen as integral parts of the whole state administration system, and not something different from it.
In addition to a number of discussions held with the key officials of the Ministry of Defence (including the Minister and his associates), the DIFI representatives discussed the contents of the proposed project with other interested parties in Montenegro as well, i.e. with the highest officials in the Ministry for Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Justice, Directorate for Anti-Corruption Initiative, as well as the Human Resources Management Authority and today with the Public Procurement Administration of Montenegro.
The Montenegrin ministries of defence, interior affairs and justice, as well as the directors of the HRMA and DACI, have accepted the project proposal in written communication with Norwegian authorities.
Mr. Eriksen invited the Public Procurement Administration to join the said Project as a partner.
Continuing the discussion, Mr. Mujević pointed out that, already in early 2014, the PPA adopted its Integrity Plan and prepared a first annual Report with measurable indicators; the adopted Code of Ethics of the PPA was also mentioned.
Commitment of the PPA to as better as possible realization of the Project will be supported through participation of the PPA representatives in the Working Group of this Project, where a special Decision containing a scope of work shall be adopted, in accordance with the competences prescribed by the Law.
The expert assistance was requested from the Center, in terms of organizing practical workshop which will help our general public regarding the correct application of the EU Directive in the field of defence and security.
The officials agreed about a certain type of technical assistance to the PPA.
Details will be negotiated later, and the public will be duly informed.
The meeting was also attended by the Assistant Director of the Administration Ms. Mara Bogavac, and Mr. Rajko Radević, Team Leader of the Project.
PR of the Public Procurement Administration