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Public finance management – budget in the environment and climate action sector

The Ministry of Environmental Protection, the responsible institution assessed within the Environment and Climate Action Policy Sector, only partially presented information subject to the monitoring process of this Report. The Ministry provided information on its budget spendings for 2020 and 2021, including a quarterly budget spending report for 2022. These reports were not published within the Ministry’s website page dedicated to the budget but within the page created for the obligatory information booklet, which contains basic information on the work of this institution. On the other hand, the economic classification of expenses within the budget spending reports has been provided only to a specific degree – up to the group types of expenses, while specific subgroups of expenses, such as analytical or sub-analytical accounts, are not visible.

Classification of expenses according to specified subgroups determined by the Rulebook on the Standard Classification Framework and Chart of Accounts for the Budget System, would provide a better insight into each budget item and its spending. The reports included the programme classification, categorizing expenses within key programmes, programme activities and projects. On the other hand, and regarding to organisational classification of expenses, the reports do not contain information on the spending of the Agency for Environmental Protection, which is an administrative body within the Ministry. An overview of planned capital expenditures of the Ministry of Environmental Protection for 2021 can only be found in the Law on the Budget for 2021, while information on the implementation status and spending on capital projects is not available. Moreover, the Ministry did not publish its programme budget for 2022 nor the programme budget implementation report for 2021. For this reason, a formal request for access to information of public importance has been sent to the Ministry asking it to provide information relevant for this Report. No answer has been provided in the moment of this Report’s writing and a complaint procedure was initiated before the Commissioner for Information of Public Importance and Personal Data Protection.

The author is Uroš Jovanović, Civic Initiatives.

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