Tuesday, 12 January 2016
The Protector of Citizens has issued an Opinion to the Ministry of Interior in connection with the announced staff cuts at that Ministry. Nebojša Stefanović, Minister of Interior, announced in December 2015 that between 1300 and 1400 employees “who solicited bribes and engaged in corruption” would be dismissed by the end of the year.
The Opinion states it was found from the complaints received and the media coverage of the events that the relevant job classification rulebook had recently been amended to provide for “risk analysis” posts that had hitherto not existed and for which the complainants alleged there was no real need. It was also found that many employees had been transferred to those “risk analysis” posts in late 2015; however, the job classification rulebook was slated for an amendment in early 2016 which would see those posts dropped as a cost-cutting measure.
“If there are indeed 1400 ‘criminalised’ police officers currently on the force, addressing this matter by reorganisation and staff cuts is incompatible with the rule of law (especially if the measures involved are fictitious). Instead, this issue should and must be tackled exclusively by initiating relevant investigations, meting out punishment and dismissing those found guilty”, reads the Opinion of the Protector of Citizens.