Learn more

composite
64
64

Serbia

In law
86
In practice
57

Political finance is highly regulated in Serbia. Direct public funding is available for parties, and in practice, it is allocated equitably and in a transparent fashion. Indirect funding, in the form of access to advertising in public media, is also awarded, but opposition parties are typically consigned to unfavorable timeslots in contravention of the law. The use of other state resources, including staff, vehicles, and buildings, is prohibited. In practice, however, such resources are regularly abused during campaigns. Contributions are highly regulated, but no limits check the amount of spending that can legally occur. In practice, despite the limits on donations that are in place, the evidence indicates that violations occur. Where reporting is concerned, parties are required to submit regular financial reports both during campaigns and on an annual basis. In practice, filed reports are quite detailed, though in-kind contributions are sometimes not represented properly. Filed information is available online, but not in machine readable formats. Third party actors are not regulated. The Anti-Corruption Agency (ACA) is responsible for oversight of political finance. The ACA is independent, and its appointees are selected in merit-based, public competitions. Its staff and budget, however, are too small for it to conduct complete oversight. The ACA carried out some investigations of political finance issues after the last elections, but complete information on those investigations is unavailable. When it imposes sanctions, parties usually comply, but repeat offenders exist.

  • expand button!

    Direct and Indirect Public Funding

    More about category
    composite
    84
    • expand button!
      Direct Public Funding
      More about category
      • expand button!
        1
        Score
        YES
        In law, there is direct public funding for electoral campaigns.More about indicator

        The Law on Financing Political Activities (LFPA) lays down provisions for elections on all levels, including parliamentary, presidential, provincial and local elections. The Serbian election system is proportional on the parliamentary level, therefore political parties, coalitions and citizens' groups are eligible to take part in the elections. Regarding presidential elections, a political party, coalition or citizen's group can nominate a candidate for president. Individual candidates cannot run as individuals in the elections, they must form a citizen's group (by collecting 10 signatures) and as a group submit their election list.

        Election campaign costs are laid down in articles 20-21 of LFPA. Article 20 stipulates: "Funds from public sources for covering election campaign costs are allocated in the year of regular elections in the amount of 0.1% of the Republic of Serbia budgetary expenditure, of the autonomous province budgetary expenditure and/or of the local government budgetary expenditure for the budget year. In the case of early elections the relevant authorities are required to provide the equivalent funds as for regular elections."

        Article 21 stipulates: "Funds specified in article 20 hereof in the amount of 20% are allocated in equal amounts to submitters of proclaimed election lists who at the time of submission declared would use the funds from public sources to cover election campaign costs. These funds are paid within five days from the date of proclaiming of election lists. The remaining portion of funds specified in article 20 hereof (80%) is allocated to submitters of election lists pro rata to the number of won seats, within five days from the date of proclaiming of election results, regardless of whether the funds from public sources were used to cover election campaign costs.

        In case of elections held according to majority system (presidential and provincial level), the funds specified in article 20 hereof in the amount of 50% are allocated in equal amounts to proponents of candidates who declared at time of filing of candidacy to use funds from public sources to cover election campaign costs. These funds shall be paid to proponents of candidates within five days from the date of determination of final list of candidates. The remaining portion of funds specified in article 20 hereof (50%) is allocated to the proponent of the winning candidate within five days from the date of proclaiming election results, regardless of whether the funds from public sources were used to cover election campaign costs. In case of runoffs for elections, the remaining portion of funds specified in article 20 hereof (50%) are allocated in equal amounts to proponents of candidates participating in election runoff, within five days from the date of proclaiming election results of the first election round, regardless of whether the funds from public sources were used to cover election campaign costs."

        Regular work of political entities is laid down in articles 16-17. Article 16 stipulates that funds from public sources appropriated for financing regular work of political entities whose candidates have been elected members of parliament, deputies and/or councilors are set at the level of 0.15% of the Republic of Serbia budgetary expenditure, territorial autonomy budgetary expenditure and/or local government budgetary expenditure. Article 17 stipulates that funds specified in article 16 are allocated to political entities winning seats in representative bodies in proportion to the number of votes calculated according to the method defined in paragraph 2 of this article. The number of votes of a political entity is taken a basis for allocating funds and is calculated by multiplying the number of votes of all voters up to 5% of valid votes with a coefficient of 1.5, and the number of votes over 5% of valid votes of all voters with a coefficient of 1. Funds specified in article 16 hereof granted to a political entity participating in elections as a coalition are divided pursuant to the coalition agreement. The ministry in charge of financial affairs and/or the relevant autonomous province authority, and/or the local government authority, transfers the pro rata portion to political entities every month, before the 10th of the month for the preceding month.

        If the submitters of election lists and/or nominators of candidates declaring to use funds from public sources for covering election campaign costs fail to provide election bonds within the deadline set forth under the law, the portion of funds allocated to such submitters of election lists and/or nominators of candidates is transferred to the remaining portion of funds specified in article 20 hereof (80%). Funds for election campaign from public sources are allocated by the ministry in charge of financial affairs and/or the relevant authority of autonomous province or local government.


        Peer reviewer comment: Agree.

        Note that the National Assembly RS on the 8th of November, 2014, adopted amendments to the Law on financing political activities. (“Official Journal RS”, No. 123/2014). Election campaign are laid down in articles 20-21 of LFPA. Article 20 stipulates: "Funds from public sources for covering election campaign costs are allocated in the year of regular elections in the amount of 0.07% of the Republic of Serbia budgetary tax revenue, tax revenue of autonomous provinces and local government units for the budget year. In the case of early elections the relevant authorities are required to provide the equivalent funds as for regular elections."

        Scoring Criteria

        A YES score is earned where there is direct public funding for both political parties and individual candidates to campaign. A 100 also applies where only one of the two actors can be elected and, therefore, only one is entitled to direct public funding.

        A MODERATE score is earned where per law only one of the two actors (either political parties or individual candidates) is allocated direct public funding to campaign, even though both can be elected.

        A NO score is earned where no such law exists.

        Sources

        The Law on Financing Political Activities (“Official journal RS”, No. 43/2011), articles 20, 21 & 16, 17. http://www.acas.rs/images/stories/1577-11.pdf | http://www.osce.org/serbia/80544?download=true

        Reviewer's sources: The Law on Financing Political Activities ("Official journal RS", No. 43/2011 & 123/2014), article 20. http://www.acas.rs/images/stories/zakoni/Zakon.pdf

      • expand button!
        2
        Score
        YES
        In law, there is a transparent and equitable mechanism to determine direct public funding for electoral campaigns.More about indicator

        Election campaign costs are laid down in articles 20-21 of LFPA. Article 21 stipulates: "Funds specified in article 20 hereof in the amount of 20% are allocated in equal amounts to submitters of proclaimed election lists who at the time of submission declared they would use the funds from public sources to cover election campaign costs. These funds are paid within five days from the date of proclaiming of election lists. The remaining portion of funds specified in article 20 hereof (80%) is allocated to submitters of election lists pro rata to the number of won seats, within five days from the date of proclaiming of election results, regardless of whether the funds from public sources were used to cover election campaign costs.

        In case of elections held according to majority voting (presidential and provincial level), the funds specified in article 20 hereof in the amount of 50% are allocated in equal amounts to proponents of candidates who declared at time of filing of candidacy they would use funds from public sources to cover election campaign costs. These funds shall be paid to proponents of candidates within five days from the date of determination of final list of candidates. The remaining portion of funds specified in article 20 hereof (50%) is allocated to the proponent of the winning candidate within five days from the date of proclaiming election results, regardless of whether the funds from public sources were used to cover election campaign costs. In case of runoffs for elections, the remaining portion of funds specified in article 20 hereof (50%) are allocated in equal amounts to proponents of candidates participating in election runoff, within five days from the date of proclaiming election results of the first election round, regardless of whether the funds from public sources were used to cover election campaign costs."

        Scoring Criteria

        A YES score is earned where: 1) direct public funding for political parties and individual candidates' electoral campaigns is allocated through a clearly defined calculation mechanism that is transparent and equitable, and 2) there are clearly defined eligibility criteria.

        A MODERATE score is earned where direct public funding for political party and individual candidates' electoral campaigns is allocated through a clearly defined calculation mechanism that is transparent and equitable, but eligibility criteria are not clearly defined.

        A NO score is earned where no such law exists.

        Sources

        The Law on Financing Political Activities (“Official journal RS, No. 43/2011), articles 20-21. http://www.acas.rs/images/stories/1577-11.pdf | http://www.osce.org/serbia/80544?download=true

      • expand button!
        3
        Score
        100
        In practice, to what extent is the mechanism to determine direct public funding for electoral campaigns transparent, equitable and consistently applied?More about indicator

        The mechanism to determine direct public funding for election campaigns is laid down in LFPA and is fully respected in practice. Political entities all receive the amounts they are entitled to by law, the system is transparent and objective, it is based on the principle of proportionality and no significant problems have been reported regarding this issue.

        The Anti-corruption Agency treats all political entities equally and monitors the enforcement of LFPA. The state budget includes the total sum for funding political activities and this sum is distributed based on the calculation laid down by LFPA. Regarding campaign finance, all political entities running in the elections receive the amounts calculated in accordance with the provisions in the law. The distribution of funds in the 2014 elections was done in accordance with the law, everything was transparent and all political entities treated equally.

        However, the problem political entities encounter is that these funds are available after the Republic Electoral Commission finalizes the list of political entities running in the elections, and the political entities receive the first 20% of the public funds after REC closes the list. The election campaign is already underway, therefore they need to take loans from banks for the campaign. Also, in order to receive funds from the state budget the political entity needs to post an electoral bond and this also usually requires taking a loan from the bank. Banks with foreign capital do not want to give loans to political entities, while domestic banks have state capital. This creates problems for the opposition because representatives of ruling parties make the decision whether the loans will be approved.

        Another obstacle political entities encounter is the financing of the verification of signatures for submitting their list to REC. Political entities must pay for the verifications, this is considered a cost related to the campaign, yet they need to submit 10.000 verified signatures to REC and only after REC officially proclaims their list, can they open an account dedicated to campaign financing.

        Sources from political parties are extremely unhappy with the system stating it forces political entities into criminal activity in order to be able to run in the elections.

        Scoring Criteria

        A 100 score is earned where: 1) electoral campaigns allocations are always defined through a clearly defined transparent and equitable calculation mechanism, and 2) the defined eligibility criteria are applied consistently.

        A 50 score is earned where: 1) electoral campaign allocations are usually defined through a clearly defined transparent and equitable calculation mechanism but exceptions exist, or 2) the eligibility criteria are usually applied but exceptions exist.

        A 0 score is earned where: 1) political campaign allocations are rarely or never defined through a clearly defined transparent and equitable calculation mechanism, or 2) the defined eligibility criteria are rarely applied.

        Sources

        Phone interview with Goran Veselinovic, member of Serbian Progressive Party, August 5, 2014

        Interview with Nemanja Nenadic, Program Director of Transparency Serbia, August 5, 2014 in the Media Center

        Interview with Djordje Vukovic, Program Director of CESID, August 5, 2014 in CESID offices

        Interview with Nemanja Cocic, Advisor in the Anti-corruption Agency, August 7, 2014 in ACA offices

        Interview with Vukosava Crnjanski, Director of CRTA NGO, August 7, 2014 in CRTA offices

        Interview with Zoran Gavrilovic, Director of Anti-corruption Program in BIRODI, August 8 2014 in BIRODI offices

        Interview with source who requested anonymity, August 16, 2014, Belgrade

        Interview with Kenan Hajdarevic, member of the Presidency and former MP of the Liberal Democratic Party, August 22, 2014, LDP offices

        The names of anonymous sources are known to Global Integrity and Global Integrity has agreed not to disclose them.

      • expand button!
        4
        Score
        100
        In practice, to what extent does the entity in charge of public funding make disbursement information publicly available?More about indicator

        The entity in charge of public funding disbursement is the Ministry of Finance of the Republic of Serbia. Within the Sector for the Budget there is a sub-unit named the Group for the System of Financing Political Activities and Enforcing the Strategy and Integrity Plans in charge of political finance. This Group deals with both political finance for the regular work of political parties, as well as election campaign finance.

        Complete information on the disbursement of funds for the election campaign is available to the public immediately following the disbursement for the March 2014 elections. However, as one source stated, due to the fact that political parties would not like the amount of funding to be posted on the website of the Ministry of Finance, the information is available to the public only through applications for access to information of public importance in accordance with the Law on Access to Information of Public Importance (Official Journal RS, No. 120/2004). According to this law an interested party can submit an application for access to information of public importance to any institution funded from the state budget. The institution has the duty to provide the requested information at the cost of photocopying in hard copy.

        Scoring Criteria

        A 100 score is earned where: 1) complete information on the disbursements is published less than a month after disbursement, and 2) the information is available on the Internet for free or in hard copy at photocopying cost.

        A 50 score is earned where: 1) the information published is incomplete or published more than two months after disbursement, or 2) obtaining the information costs more than photocopying.

        A 0 score is earned where: 1) disbursement information is published more than four months after disbursement, or 2) no disbursement information is published or released upon request.

        Sources

        Interview with Djordje Vukovic, Program Director of CESID, August 5, 2014 in CESID offices

        Interview with Ruzica Stojiljkovic, Head of Unit for Control of Financing Political Entities, August 7, 2014 in ACA offices

        Phone interview with a source who requested anonymity, August 6, 2014

        Interview with Stanojla Mandic, Deputy Commissioner for Information of Public Importance, August 14, 2014, Commissioner’s office

        The names of anonymous sources are known to Global Integrity and Global Integrity has agreed not to disclose them.

    • expand button!
      Indirect Public Funding
      More about category
      • expand button!
        5
        Score
        YES
        In law, use of state resources in favor of or against political parties and individual candidates is prohibited.More about indicator

        In the LFPA section on Prohibition on Financing, Article 12 stipulates: "It is prohibited to finance a political entity by public institutions, public enterprises, companies and entrepreneurs engaged in services of general interest, institutions and companies with state capital share, other organizations discharging administrative authority unless set forth otherwise by law. Financing a political entity by a natural person or legal entity engaged in activities of general interest pursuant to contract with organs of the Republic of Serbia, autonomous province and local government and public services founded by them is prohibited throughout the validity of such contract and for a period of two years subsequent to termination of contractual relations."

        Regarding the equally available exceptions, LFPA stipulates in article 6: "It is obligatory to grant services and goods from public sources to all political entities under equal terms."

        The Law on the Anti-corruption Agency in article 29 stipulates: "An official may not use the public resources and public meetings that he attends in capacity of official for promotion of any political parties, and/or political entities."

        The Law on Public Property stipulates in article 2: "Public property is the ownership right of the Republic of Serbia - public property, ownership right of an autonomous province - provincial property ownership right of a unit of local self-government - municipal, or rather city property."

        In article 3 the law stipulates: "Public property are things that the state administration and other bodies of the Republic of Serbia, autonomous provinces and units of local self-governments use, in accordance with law.

        Scoring Criteria

        A YES score is earned where there is an explicit ban on the use of state resources in favor of or against political parties and individual candidates. A YES is also earned where there are clearly defined exceptions, which are accessible to all actors equally.

        A MODERATE score is earned where an explicit ban exists but it only applies to one of the two actors, even though both can be elected. A NO score is earned where no such law exists.

        A NO score is also earned where the law exists, but allows discretionary exceptions.

        Sources

        The Law on Financing Political Activities (“Official journal RS, No. 43/2011), article 12. http://www.acas.rs/images/stories/1577-11.pdf | http://www.osce.org/serbia/80544?download=true

        Law on the Anti-corruption Agency (Official Journal RS, No. 97/08), article 29. http://www.acas.rs/sr_cir/zakoni-i-drugi-propisi/zakoni/zakon-o-agenciji.html / http://www.osce.org/serbia/35100?download=true

        Law on Public Property (Official Journal RS, No. 92/11), article 3. http://www.paragraf.rs/propisi/zakonojavnoj_svojini.html

      • expand button!
        6
        Score
        25
        In practice, to what extent are no state resources used in favor of or against political parties and individual candidates' electoral campaigns?More about indicator

        During the March 2014 election campaign abuses of state resources was visible. High-level appointees, mostly ministers in the government misused their positions as state officials and promoted their political parties during state events. The Anti-corruption Agency made public statements warning the officials not to abuse their positions during the campaign and the officials did reduce similar activities.

        Some news reports stated use of resources belonging to public enterprises, such as trucks of the Electric Company being used for putting up posters, use of local government officials work emails to send out invitations for rallies, using state-owned vehicles, providing free of charge health check-ups in state medical centers, etc.

        Trucks of the Electric Company, which is a public enterprise and should not participate in any pre-election activities, were used to place posters of the ruling party. White papers were taped over the inscription of the trucks, so it would not be visible they are property of the Electric Company. Following news report on this incident, the Director of the Electric Company stated that employees will be sanctioned. However, this director was fired very soon for poor work performance.

        Health check-ups were organized by the ruling party clearly abusing the law. Not only is charity work prohibited, but use of state resources also. Health check-ups took place in state owned health centers, doctors who receive salaries from the state budget performed the check-ups, and the equipment is also considered public property.

        The Anti-corruption Agency has findings of abuse of state resources and is currently investigating these cases.

        There are numerous allegations on the abuse of state resources through public enterprises, however without solid evidence. Some of the allegations are: Public enterprises are managed by members of ruling parties, the employees are mostly hired based on party affiliation, during election campaigns these employees do not work for the enterprise, but rather on election campaigns; Some public enterprises turn into campaign offices, using all their resources, equipment, phones, vehicles, staff, etc.; fictitious contracts are concluded between public enterprises and various companies providing services in election campaigns (marketing, printing, media buying, etc.) to ruling parties and are not shown in the campaign finance reports because the funds the parties do not pay these bills and the money is not transferred through the official bank account for the campaign; billboards with posters of the ruling party have still not been taken down months after the elections, even though all promotional material must be taken down immediately after the elections and political advertising is not allowed outside election campaigns. The public generally believes these allegations, however, they are allegations without solid proof, therefore should not be considered as facts.

        Scoring Criteria

        A 100 score is earned where there is no evidence of authorities using state resources in favor of or against political parties and individual candidates. A 100 is also earned where there are clearly defined exceptions and are equally accessible to all actors.

        A 50 score is earned where: 1) documented evidence indicates occasional use of state resources in favor of or against political parties and individual candidates, or 2) clearly defined exceptions are not equally accessible to all actors.

        A 0 score is earned where documented evidence indicates regular use of state resources in favor of or against certain political parties and individual candidates.

        Sources

        Phone interview with Predrag Blagojevic, Editor in Chief of Juzne vesti news portal, August 2, 2014

        Interview with Nemanja Nenadic, Program Director of Transparency Serbia, August 5, 2014 in the Media Center

        Interview with Djordje Vukovic, Program Director of CESID, August 5, 2014 in CESID offices

        Interview with Maja Sreckovic, Advisor in the Anti-corruption Agency, August 7, 2014 in ACA offices

        Interview with Ivana Savic, Manager of the Follow the Money Program of CRTA NGO, August 7, 2014 in CRTA offices

        Interview with Zoran Gavrilovic, Director of Anti-corruption Program in BIRODI, August 8, 2014 in BIRODI offices

        Report on Monitoring Election Campaign Financing 2014, Transparency Serbia from June 2014 http://www.transparentnost.org.rs/images/stories/materijali/13062014/Nalazi%20monitoringa%20izborne%20kampanje%202014%20grad%20Beograd%20sa%20osvrtom%20na%20parlamentarne%20izbore,%2013.06.201412.pdf

        Web-site of Juzne vesti news portal report on trucks of the Electric Company misused in campaign on March 4, 2014 http://www.juznevesti.com/Politika/I-kamioni-Elektrodistribucije-u-izbornoj-kampanji.sr.html

        Serbian Progressive Party web-site advertising free health check-ups http://zemun.sns.org.rs/lat/novosti/vesti/besplatni-lekarski-pregledi

        Interview with source who requested anonymity, August 16, 2014

        Interview with Kenan Hajdarevic, member of the Presidency and former MP of the Liberal Democratic Party, August 22, 2014, LDP offices

      • expand button!
        7
        Score
        YES
        In law, political parties and individual candidates have free or subsidized access to equitable air time for electoral campaigns?More about indicator

        Serbian law grants equal amounts of free airtime for advertising on public media to all registered candidates and parties during election campaigns. By Article 51 of the Law on Election of Representatives, representatives of the public broadcasters will agree with each of the political parties and candidates on the amount of airtime that will be provided. Private media is obliged to offer the same terms to all candidates and parties, and to provide no more than five minutes to each eligible actor.

        The Law on the Election of Representatives stipulates in article 5: "Citizens have the right to be informed by the mass media about both the electoral programs and activities of submitters of the electoral lists, as well as about candidates on the electoral lists. The mass media are due to ensure equal accessibility of information about all submitters of electoral lists, as well as about all candidates on these electoral lists. Electoral promotion through both the mass media and public gatherings, as well as publication of estimated electoral results are forbidden in the period of 48 hours before the day of holding of elections, as well as during the election day until the closing of polling places."

        Article 49 stipulates: "Radio an television broadcasting organizations whose founder is the Republic of Serbia are bound, from the day of calling for elections, in their political-informative programs which can be seen or heard throughout the territory of the Republic, to ensure the presentation of the submitters of the electoral lists and of the candidates from the electoral lists, as well as the exposition and explanation of the electoral programs of the submitters of said lists, in accordance with this Law.

        Organizations described in paragraph 1 of this Article are not allowed, under any circumstances whatsoever, to enable the presentation of candidates and the exposition and explanation of programs of submitters of electoral lists in the commercial, entertainment or any other program."

        Article 50 stipulates: "Editors and anchormen of political-informative and specialized broadcasts of organizations described in Article 49 of this Law are bound during the election campaign to independently and impartially present all candidates, and the anchormen of broadcasts must have an impartial attitude to all the presented political, social and ethical-cultural programs of political parties whose candidates are being introduced.

        In accordance with paragraph 1 of this Article, and pursuant to the Article 5 paragraph 2 of this Law, broadcasts shall be organized which shall ensure the public confrontation of the electoral programs of submitters of electoral lists and candidates from these lists."

        Article 51 stipulates: "Two representatives of each public broadcasting organization broadcasting radio and television program whose founder is the Republic of Serbia, Government of Republic of Serbia as well as political parties which have their representatives in the National Assembly of the Republic of Serbia, shall by accord determine both the number and duration of the broadcasts for presentation of political parties, political organizations, or groups of citizens which intend to take part in the elections.

        The accord as described in paragraph 1 of this Article shall be reached not later than five days after the day of making the decision of calling for elections and shall be made public without delay.

        The mass media as described in paragraph 1 of this Article, together with the representatives of both the founders and submitters of the electoral lists, shall determine further regulations for the presentation of the submitters of the electoral lists, electoral programs and candidates from the electoral lists."

        The Law on Broadcasting stipulates in article 106: "All advertising of political organizations shall be prohibited outside election campaigns. During an election campaign, registered parties, coalitions and candidates may advertise on the basis of equal representation and without discrimination."

        Article 78 stipulates: "(6)With the aim of achieving public interest in the broadcasting sector, public broadcasting service carriers shall provide during election campaigns free-of-charge and balanced broadcasts of promotions of political parties, coalitions and candidates for republic, provincial or local elections, whose candidacies have been accepted, whereas these broadcasters may not broadcast a paid election promotion and, pursuant to their general by-laws, may refuse to broadcast programs and propaganda spots if these do not serve the election campaign."


        Peer reviewer comment: Agree. The researcher is correct, as the General Binding Instructions for Broadcasters in the Election Campaign (see below), makes clear:

        "In the case of broadcasting election-paid terms broadcaster is obliged to under the same conditions to all electoral lists, or presidential candidates or lists of national councils, provide space for up to five minutes one time during the day per electoral list, or presidential candidate. If electoral list, or presidential candidate is not interested in the term that he was this instruction provided under the same conditions, the broadcaster has no right to assign another electoral list, or presidential candidate. Exceptionally, in the context of the pre-election paid term may be issued a special report in up to 30 minutes which is dedicated to one list or candidate (eg, transmission or record of a campaign rally or convention). Certain electoral list, or candidate is entitled to only one thirty-minute report during the election campaign, except that in the day of broadcasting of such report is not entitled to a five-minute favor"

        "Radio and television stations may broadcast election spots under the same commercial and technical conditions, and without discrimination".

        Scoring Criteria

        A YES score is earned where: 1) free or subsidized access to air time for electoral campaigns is granted in a transparent, equitable way, and 2) there are clearly defined eligibility criteria.

        A MODERATE score is earned where free or subsidized access to air time for electoral campaigns is granted in a transparent, equitable way, but eligibility criteria are not clearly defined.

        A NO score is earned where no such law exists.

        Sources

        Law on the Election of Representatives (Official Journal RS, No. 35/2000), Article 5, 49, 50, 51 http://www.paragraf.rs/propisi/zakonoizborunarodnihposlanika.html | http://www.lexadin.nl/wlg/legis/nofr/eur/lxweser.htm

        Law on Broadcasting (Official Journal RS, No. 42/2002), Article 78, 106 http://www.paragraf.rs/propisi/zakonoradiodifuziji.html | http://www.wipo.int/wipolex/en/text.jsp?fileid=208848#LinkTarget647

        Reviewer's sources: General Binding Instructions Radio Broadcasting Agency of radio and television stations (broadcasters) in the election campaign for the local, provincial and national parliamentary elections, the elections for President and elections for national councils of national minorities (Official Journal RS, No. 18/2012) http://www.rra.org.rs/latinica/opste-obavezujuca-uputstva-saveta-rra

      • expand button!
        8
        Score
        50
        In practice, to what extent is free or subsidized access to air time provided in a transparent, equitable way to political parties and individual candidates for electoral campaigns?More about indicator

        According to the Law on the Election of Representatives (Official Journal RS, No. 35/2000) and the Law on Broadcasting (Official Journal RS, No. 42/2002) all political entities (political parties, coalitions and citizens' groups) running in the elections have the right to free and equal representation on the public service broadcasters. This was approximately 45 minutes - 1 hour per political entity in the March 2014 elections.

        There were a few complaints filed to the Radio Broadcasting Agency by small parties not being represented equally after which the Radio Broadcasting Agency conveyed their concerns to Radio Television Serbia and the party received air time on the public broadcasting service.

        Opposition parties claim they got their free access to air time on public service broadcasters, however, late in the evening at 11 pm.

        As stipulated by article 51 of the Law on the Election of Representatives, the time slots are determined in accordance with the agreement the public broadcasting company signs with political parties that are represented in the National Assembly. The agreement is not made public. Political parties that are not members of the Parliament do not participate in the preparation of this document, however if they are running in the elections, they were provided with air time. According to the instructions of the Radio Broadcasting Agency, which are legally binding, air time shall be available to all actors contesting the elections equally in principle. However, editors have the freedom to allocate more time to parties with a greater chance of succeeding in the elections, but without discrimination towards/against certain parties, candidates, and organizations.

        According to the official Report on monitoring the 2014 pre-election campaign of the Radio Broadcasting Agency, the regulatory body for broadcasting, all broadcasters acted in accordance with law and all actors were equally represented. However, it is clear from the report that the ruling parties were represented more than the opposition. The Republic Broadcasting Agency and the Radio Television Serbia, the public broadcasting service, claim it is normal for big parties to receive more air time than smaller ones. Big parties have more events each day of the campaign, as opposed to small parties who have less events that do not take place each day of the campaign.

        According to an independently conducted media monitoring report by BIRODI (Bureau for Social Research) "Television stations often blurred the line between public officials’ activities and their election campaign activities that indirectly helped the parties they represent. The general trend of positive reporting about political actors points out the fact that the media in Serbia are still under strong influence by political parties and the government." This was a common occurrence during the election campaign and government officials were in the regular news more often than outside the campaign period, giving them quite an advantage in the election race and occupying air time for free which opposition parties did not have access to.

        Regarding regular advertising on all private broadcasters, they followed a business approach granting bigger discounts to political entities purchasing more advertisements as opposed to a smaller quantity of advertising space. All broadcasters at least double the prices during election campaigns for political advertising. Due to the discounts and buying advertising time through media buying agencies, it is not possible to precisely calculate whether all actors had equal access to advertising.

        Scoring Criteria

        A 100 score is earned where: 1) free or subsidized access to media advertising is always provided in a transparent and equitable way, and 2) the defined eligibility criteria are applied consistently.

        A 50 score is earned where: 1) free or subsidized access to media advertising is usually provided in a transparent and equitable way, but exceptions exist, or 2) the eligibility criteria are not always applied.

        A 0 score is earned where: 1) there's rarely free or subsidized access to air time for political campaign, and 2) access exists but is not provided in a transparent, equitable way.

        Sources

        "Report of the Radio Broadcasting Agency on monitoring broadcasters during the 2014 pre-election campaign " March 2014 http://www.rra.org.rs/uploads/useruploads/izvestaji-o-nadzoru/IZBORI-presek-29-01-28-02.pdf

        "Main findings in TV stations monitoring during the election campaign", March 2014, BIRODI http://www.birodi.rs/predstavljeni-glavni-nalazi-monitoringa-medija-tokom-predizbornog-perioda/

        "Early Parliamentary Elections 16 March 2014 OSCE/ODIHR Limited Election Observation Mission Final Report", OSCE/ODIHR website, May 2014, http://www.osce.org/odihr/elections/serbia/118968?download=true

        Interview with Zoran Gavrilovic, Director of Anti-corruption Program in BIRODI, August 8 2014 in BIRODI offices

        Phone interview with Zoran Stanojevic, Journalist in Radio Television Serbia (Public Broadcasting Corporation of Serbia), August 11, 2014

        Interview with Dragan Lukic, Executive Director of Radio Broadcasting Agency, August 14, 2014, RBA office

        Interview with Mario Brudar, Deputy Head of Unit for Media Monitoring and Analysis of Radio Broadcasting Agency, August 14, 2014, RBA office

  • expand button!

    Contribution and Expenditure Restrictions

    More about category
    composite
    90
    • expand button!
      General Rules on Electoral Campaign Contributions
      More about category
      • expand button!
        9
        Score
        YES
        In law, cash contributions are banned.More about indicator

        Cash contributions are banned, however the LFPA does allow limited cash contributions. Donations can be given only through current bank accounts and cannot be in given in cash, with the only exception being membership dues not exceeding 1,000 RSD (11.40 USD).

        LFPA stipulates in article 9: "A donation is a pecuniary amount, other than membership dues, that a natural person or legal entity voluntarily give to a political entity, a gift, as well as services provided without compensation or under conditions deviating from market conditions."

        "A political entity is required to accept payment of pecuniary amount specified in paragraph 1 of this article only from the donor’s current account."

        LFPA stipulates in article 8: "A member of a political party is required to effect payment of membership dues only from his/her current account."

        As an exception to paragraph 2 of this article membership dues not exceeding 1,000 RSD (11.40 USD) on an annual level may be paid in cash or by postal / bank order. When membership dues are paid in cash the authorized officer of a political party is required to issue a receipt to the member for received dues. The receipt is signed by the member paying the membership dues and the authorized person of the political party. The authorized officer of a political party is required to pay membership dues received in cash into the account of the political party within seven days from the day of issuing of receipt".

        Scoring Criteria

        A YES score is earned where cash contributions are banned and all financial contributions must be made via the banking system.

        A MODERATE score is earned where cash contributions are allowed up to a maximum limit, regardless of the limit.

        A NO score is earned where no such law exists.

        Sources
        1. Law on Financing Political Activities (Official Journal RS, No. 43/2011), Article 8 http://www.acas.rs/images/stories/1577-11.pdf | http://www.osce.org/serbia/80544?download=true
      • expand button!
        10
        Score
        YES
        In law, there is a ban on anonymous contributions.More about indicator

        Anonymous donations are prohibited and the LFPA stipulates in article 12: "It is prohibited to finance a political entity by anonymous donors."

        According to LFPA political entities cannot be financed by anonymous donors, all contributions must be registered with a clear indication of who the donor is, natural or legal person, with full identification (social security number or identification number, address and amount of contribution).


        Peer Reviewer comment: Agree. The LFPA stipulates in article 13 with respect to unauthorized fundraising:
        "It is forbidden to conceal the identity of the contributor, or the amount of contibutions."

        Scoring Criteria

        A YES score is earned where the law stipulates that anonymous contributions are banned.

        A MODERATE score is earned where the ban exists, but it applies only to one actor (whether political parties or individual candidates). A MODERATE score is also earned where small anonymous donations are allowed up to a maximum threshold equal to or less than the equivalent to US$300.

        A NO score is earned where no such law exists.

        Sources
        1. Law on Financing Political Activities (Official Journal RS, No. 43/2011), Article 12 http://www.acas.rs/images/stories/1577-11.pdf | http://www.osce.org/serbia/80544?download=true

        Reviewer's sources: Law on Financing Political Activities (Official Journal RS, No. 43/2011), Article 13, http://www.acas.rs/images/stories/1577-11.pdf

      • expand button!
        11
        Score
        YES
        In law, in-kind donations to political parties and individual candidates must be reported.More about indicator

        LFPA covers all types of contributions and in article 27 it stipulates: "A political entity with representatives in representative bodies and registered political parties are required to keep bookkeeping records of all revenues and expenditures. A political entity with representatives in representative bodies and registered political parties are required to keep separate records of donations, gifts and services extended without compensation, and/or under conditions deviating from market conditions and records of property."

        Article 2 of the Rulebook stipulates: "Political entities maintain records of all donations received from the legal and natural persons, and international political associations for the regular work of the election campaign. Records shall be kept by listing the contributor, the type of contribution (financial contribution, gift, services provided without compensation or under conditions that differ from the market) and chronologically."

        Article 7 of the Rulebook stipulates that the revenues of a political entity in election campaigns shall be reported in the prescribed form including data regarding: - services and goods from public sources - stating the name of the body or organization that provided the service or goods provided; value of goods or services; description of services or goods, the date of receipt, the activity for which he received a service or good given the name and number of the document based on which data is entered. - total amounts of contributions made by international political organizations, legal and natural persons both monetary and in-kind contributions, citing the contributors name, address, all relevant identification data."

        Scoring Criteria

        A YES score is earned where all in-kind donations must be reported to the oversight authority.

        A MODERATE score is also earned if the requirement to report such information exists, but applies only to one actor (whether political parties or individual candidates).

        A NO score is earned where no such law exists.

        Sources

        Law on Financing Political Activities (Official Journal RS, No. 43/2011), Article 27 http://www.acas.rs/images/stories/1577-11.pdf | http://www.osce.org/serbia/80544?download=true

        Rulebook on the records of donations and property of political entities, annual financial reports and reports of expenditure in election campaigns (Official Journal RS, No. 72/11), Article 2, Article 7 http://www.acas.rs/sr_cir/zakoni-i-drugi-propisi/ostali-propisi/pravilnici.html

      • expand button!
        12
        Score
        YES
        In law, loans to political parties and individual candidates must be reported.More about indicator

        Article 9 of LFPA stipulates what is considered a donation and it refers to loans: "A donation is also a credit, loan and other services provided by a bank or other financial organizations in the Republic of Serbia given under conditions deviating from market conditions, as well as write-off of debt."

        Article 29 of LFPA stipulates which costs shall be reported: "The report on election campaign costs contains information on origin, amount and structure of raised and spent funds from public and private sources."

        Article 7 of the Rulebook stipulates: "Revenues from donations shall include credits and loans - stating the name of a commercial bank or other financial institution that approved the credit / loan; amount of approved funds; amount of money spent; the amount of funds transferred to the account for regular work; the type and value of collateral loan / loan; of the loan / loan notes and especially for loans and loans made under conditions that differ from the market, especially for loans and loans that are granted under market conditions."

        In conclusion, all loans must be reported in the reports on election campaign financing.

        Scoring Criteria

        A YES score is earned where all loans must be reported to the oversight authority.

        A MODERATE score is earned where loans must be reported, but the requirement applies only to one actor (whether political parties or individual candidates).

        A NO score is earned where no such law exists.

        Sources

        Law on Financing Political Activities (Official Journal RS, No. 43/2011), Articles 9, 29 http://www.acas.rs/images/stories/1577-11.pdf // http://www.osce.org/serbia/80544?download=true

        Rulebook on the records of donations and property of political entities, annual financial reports and reports of expenditure in election campaigns (Official Journal RS, No. 72/11), Article 7 http://www.acas.rs/sr_cir/zakoni-i-drugi-propisi/ostali-propisi/pravilnici.html

    • expand button!
      Limits on Contributions and Expenditures during Electoral Campaign Periods
      More about category
      • expand button!
        13
        Score
        YES
        In law, contributions from individuals are limited to a maximum amount.More about indicator

        Article 10 of the LFPA prescribes the maximum amount an individual can donate to a political entity for regular work:

        "Maximum value of donation on an annual level that a natural person may give to political entities for regular work shall not exceed 20 average monthly salaries." The average monthly salary per annum in 2013 was 43,948.00 RSD or 516.00 USD (average exchange rate in 2013 was 85.1731 RSD per 1 USD). So by this calculation, a natural person could only give 878,960.00 RSD or 10,320.00 USD per year in 2013.

        The LFPA stipulates that the maximum amount an individual can donate for an election campaign is equal to the limit for regular work of a political entity. LFPA stipulates in article 22: "Natural persons and legal entities may give donations in a single calendar year in which elections are held, in addition to donations for regular work, also for election campaign costs up to maximum stipulated amount for the annual level specified in this law, regardless of the number of election campaigns in a calendar year."

        Scoring Criteria

        A YES score is earned where: 1) individuals may not contribute more than a maximum amount established by the law.

        A MODERATE score is earned where a maximum amount exists, but it applies only to contributions for one actor (whether political parties or individual candidates). A MODERATE score is also earned where individuals are forbidden from making any contribution.

        A NO score is earned where no such law exists.

        Sources

        Law on Financing Political Activities (Official Journal RS, No. 43/2011), Article 10, Article 22 http://www.acas.rs/images/stories/1577-11.pdf | http://www.osce.org/serbia/80544?download=true

        The Statistical Office of the Republic of Serbia website, accessed on October 3, 2014, http://webrzs.stat.gov.rs/WebSite/Public/PageView.aspx?pKey=24.

        The Association of Accountants and Auditors of Serbia/Accounting Practise/Average wage per employee in the Republic of Serbia, available at http://praksa.rs/aktuelni_podaci.php?open=21

        National bank of Serbia/Average exchange rates of the dinar against the world's leading currencies http://www.nbs.rs/internet/english/scripts/kl_prosecni.htm

      • expand button!
        14
        Score
        YES
        In law, contributions from corporations are limited to a maximum amount.More about indicator

        In article 10, the LFPA prescribes the maximum amount a corporation can donate to a political entity for regular work:

        "The maximum value of donation at annual level that a legal entity may give to political entities for regular work shall not exceed 200 average monthly salaries." The average monthly salary per annum in 2013 was 43,948.00 RSD = 516.00 USD (average excange rate in 2013 was 85.1731 RSD per 1 USD). Thus the actual contribution restriction for corporations in 2013 was 8,789,600.00 RSD or 103,200.00 USD.

        The LFPA stipulates that the maximum amount a corporation can donate for an election campaign is equal to the limit for regular work of a political entity. LFPA stipulates in article 22: "Natural persons and legal entities may give donations in a single calendar year in which elections are held, in addition to donations for regular work, also for election campaign costs up to maximum stipulated amount for the annual level specified in this law, regardless of the number of election campaigns in a calendar year."

        In article 12, the LFPA stipulates the prohibition of financing political entities: "It is prohibited to finance a political entity by public enterprises, companies and entrepreneurs engaged in services of general interest, institutions and companies with state capital share, other organizations discharging administrative authority; the gaming industry; importers, exporters and manufacturers of excise goods, legal entities and entrepreneurs with due, and unsettled, public revenue obligations, unless set forth otherwise by this Law. Financing a political entity by a natural person or legal entity engaged in activities of general interest pursuant to contract with organs of the Republic of Serbia, autonomous province and local government and public services founded by them is prohibited throughout the validity of such contract and for a period of two years subsequent to termination of contractual relations."

        Scoring Criteria

        A YES score is earned where: 1) corporations may not contribute more than a maximum amount established by the law.

        A MODERATE score is earned where a maximum amount or ban exists, but it applies only to contributions for one actor (whether political parties or individual candidates). A MODERATE score is also earned where corporations are forbidden from making any contribution.

        A NO score is earned where no such law exists.

        Sources

        Law on Financing Political Activities (Official Journal RS, No. 43/2011) http://www.acas.rs/images/stories/1577-11.pdf | http://www.osce.org/serbia/80544?download=true

        The Association of Accountants and Auditors of Serbia/Accounting Practise/Average wage per employee in the Republic of Serbia, available at http://praksa.rs/aktuelnipodaci.php?open=21
        National bank of Serbia/Average exchange rates of the dinar against the world's leading currencies http://www.nbs.rs/internet/english/scripts/kl
        prosecni.html

      • expand button!
        15
        Score
        YES
        In law, contributions from foreign sources are banned.More about indicator

        LFPA stipulates in article 12 that donations from foreign sources are banned: "It is prohibited to finance a political entity by foreign states; foreign natural persons and legal entities, except international political associations. Donations from international political associations may not be in money."


        Peer reviewer comment: Agree. Article 12 goes on to state that, if contributing to Serbian political entities, international political societies may only assist in the professional work, training sessions, seminars,etc. Financial assistance is forbidden.

        Scoring Criteria

        A YES score is earned where it is forbidden for political parties and individual candidates to receive contributions (financial or in-kind) from foreign sources.

        A MODERATE score is earned where: 1) the ban exists but it applies only to one actor (whether political parties or individual candidates), or 2) contributions from foreign sources are allowed to a maximum amount.

        A NO score is earned where no such law exists.

        Sources

        Law on Financing Political Activities (Official Journal RS, No. 43/2011), Article 12 http://www.acas.rs/images/stories/1577-11.pdf | http://www.osce.org/serbia/80544?download=true

      • expand button!
        16
        Score
        YES
        In law, contributions from third-party actors (unions, foundations, think tanks, political action committees, etc.) are limited to a maximum amount or banned.More about indicator

        LFPA states that it is forbidden for third-party actors to finance political entities. Article 12 stipulates: "It is prohibited to finance a political entity by trade unions, associations and other non-profit organizations. Financing of a political entity by an endowment or foundation is prohibited. Donations from international political associations may not be in money."

        Article 6 of the Law of Endowments and Foundatiouns stipulates: "The goals and activities of endowments and foundations must not be directed at achieving specific political interests, as well as direct participation in the election campaign or raise funds for the election campaign of a certain political party, coalition or candidate, and the funding of political parties, coalitions and candidates."

        Third-party actors do not appear as contributors for campaign finance in Serbia. The only possible means of contributing through third-party actors is from an international political association, however the contribution may not be in money, but rather in-kind. In that case, the donating associations do not report on these kind of contributions to the oversight authority in Serbia. Political entities that receive such contributions must report all in-kind contributions which includes these donations. The information is made publicly available only through reports on election campaign financing the political entities running in the elections file 30 days after the elections to the Anti-corruption Agency.

        Scoring Criteria

        A YES score is earned where: 1) third-party actors may not contribute more than a maximum amount established by the law, or 2) are forbidden from making any contribution.

        A MODERATE score is earned where: 1) the maximum amount or ban exists only for the majority of third-party actors, but not all, or 2) the maximum amount or ban exists, but applies only to contributions for either political parties or individual candidates.

        A NO score is earned where no such law exists.

        Sources

        Law on Financing Political Activities (Official Journal RS, No. 43/2011), Article 12 http://www.acas.rs/images/stories/1577-11.pdf | http://www.osce.org/serbia/80544?download=true

        The Law of Endowments and foundatiouns (Official Gazette RS, No. 88/2010 & 99/11), Article 6 http://paragraf.rs/propisi/zakonozaduzbinamaifondacijama.html

      • expand button!
        17
        Score
        NO
        In law, election campaign spending by political parties and individual candidates is limited to a maximum amount.More about indicator

        The only law governing political finance is the LFPA and it does not set a limit for political entities (political parties, coalitions and citizens’ groups) running in the elections on spending during election campaigns. Political entities have the duty to show in the campaign finance reports the entire expenditure of the campaign, but there are no restrictions laid down in the law on the amount a political entity can spend during the campaign.


        Peer reviewer comment: Agree. In his 2011 report on Serbian political finance, Magnus Ohman makes several points salient to this indicator. As stated on page 7 of his report, "One of the major changes in the new law [passed in 2011] was the removal of limits on how much political parties are allowed to spend. Previous legislation contained fairly strict spending limits on political entities, though it was expressed as a limit on the amounts that entities could raise in total. In the previous system, private funds raised in relation to election campaigns could not exceed the public funds provided by more than 20 percent and 100 percent respectively, subsequently guaranteeing that the public funds would account for at least 46 percent and 33 percent respectively of entities’ campaign and regular funds."

        Scoring Criteria

        A YES score is earned where it is forbidden for political parties and individual candidates to spend more than a certain amount in a political campaign.

        A MODERATE score is earned where the maximum amount exists, but it applies only to one actor (whether political parties or individual candidates).

        A NO score is earned where no such law exists.

        Sources

        Law on Financing Political Activities (Official Journal RS, No. 43/2011) http://www.acas.rs/images/stories/1577-11.pdf | http://www.osce.org/serbia/80544?download=true

        Reviewer's sources: Ohman, Magnus (2011) The Sebian Law on Financing Political Activities, Legal Provisions and Recommendations for Inforcement. IFES Washington http://www.idea.int/political-finance/country.cfm?id=190

      • expand button!
        18
        Score
        --
        Open Question: Do the national laws regulating political finance also apply to sub-national units? If not, to what extent do sub-national units have laws regulating political finance?More about indicator

        The only law governing political finance is the Law on Financing Political Activities (Official Journal RS, No. 43/2011). It applies to all levels of elections, national, presidential, provincial and local. The law has been in force since 2011 and covers all levels equally, there is no difference between the national and sub-national level. LFPA defines the manner of distributing funds from the state budget for election campaigns, and the system for parliamentary and local elections differs from the system for distributing public funds for presidential and provincial elections. The Law regulates the sources and methods of financing, records and control of political activities of political parties, coalitions and groups of citizens.

        Scoring Criteria

        Please describe the applicability of national political finance regulations at the sub-national level, being sure to answer: 1) whether national laws are applicable to sub-national campaigns; 2) if not, to what extent do sub-national units have similar laws regulating political finance; and 3) whether there are any reports of problems arising from gaps in this framework.

        Sources

        Law on Financing Political Activities (Official Journal RS, No. 43/2011) http://www.acas.rs/images/stories/1577-11.pdf | http://www.osce.org/serbia/80544?download=true

        Interview with Djordje Vukovic, Program Director of CESID, August 5, 2014 in CESID offices

        Interview with Ruzica Stojiljkovic, Head of Unit for Control of Financing Political Entities, Anti-corruption Agency, August 7, 2014 in ACA offices

        Svetlana Zorbic, National Legal Officer in the Permanent OSCE Mission to Serbia, August 12, 2014, OSCE Permanent Mission offices, August 12, 2014, OSCE Permanent Mission offices

      • expand button!
        19
        Score
        --
        Open Question: What are the predominant sources of funding for electoral campaigns?More about indicator

        The largest portion of funding is provided from the state budget: public funding. There are also significant contributions from private sources, but public funding is predominant.

        The LFPA stipulates that: "A political entity may not realize income from promotional, and/or commercial activity." This means political entities cannot engage in business or trust.

        In reality political entities (political parties, coalitions and citizens’ groups) receive public funding after the proclamation of election results. This means, if the political entities do not have their own sources, they take out loans form banks for election campaign financing. Banks often do not want to give loans to political entities, especially smaller parties, which makes it difficult for small parties or citizens' groups and especially newcomers to run in the elections. Nevertheless, if they manage to get a loan approved, the issue of returning the loan is quite interesting. Political entities are required to open separate bank accounts for campaign financing, however, when they take loans from banks, how are these loans returned? The bank accounts for election campaign are closed after the elections, the remaining funds are transferred to the account for regular work of political entities, however loans are paid back from the bank account for regular work in installments. The public funding for regular work that political entities who have entered the Parliament receive is intended for funding the regular work of these entities. The law does not define this issue in detail, therefore, it is open to interpretation how the loans are paid back, whether public funds for regular work are used to pay the installments and whether this is actually a violation of the law or not.

        Another interesting issue concerns the interpretation of LFPA by the the Ministry of Finance, the authority in charge of distributing public funds. LFPA requires political entities (political parties, coalitions and citizens’ groups) to lay down election bonds for obtaining the funds from the state budget. For the March 2012 parliamentary elections, political entities that did not lay down the entire amount for the election bond (roughly around 100,000 USD), but rather provided a smaller amount, received funds appropriate to the amount of the bond they laid down. This is open interpretation of the law and the CSO sector has raised this issue.


        Peer reviewer comment: Agree. For 2012 elections, according to The First Report on Oversight of Political Entities 2012 Elections Campaigns Cost, of the total reported income of all political entities at all election levels, income from public funds were 61,6%. as per the structure income, parliamentary elections were primarily financed from public funds 53%, followed by credits and loans 29,9%; As per the structure income, provincial elections were primarily financed by contributions from natural persons to political entities 49,6% and from public funds 33,4%; As per the structure of income, the elections for town assemblies were primarily financed from public funds 39,6% and contributions from natural persons to political entities 25,4%.

        For 2014 elections,according to The Monitoring of 2014 Elections Campaign, incomefrom public funds 754 million RSD (USD 8.9 million). This is similar to the volume of financing as 2012, if you looked at a parliamentary elections. Donors are listed as a source for RSD 328 million of revenue (USD 3.8 million) of which 1/4 waste on legal entities. Other fund from party accounts cited by RSD 81 million (USD 953 thousends). AIK Bank loans were used three list, with a total value of RSD 440 million (USD 5.5 million).

        Scoring Criteria

        Please describe the important sources of funding for electoral campaigns, being sure to answer: 1) where does the preponderance of funding come from - public, individual, corporate, or other; 2) to what extent do individual candidates self-finance; and 3) do political parties have other methods of generating campaign funds, such as owning their own businesses or trusts.

        Sources

        Interview with Nemanja Nenadic, Program Director of Transparency Serbia, August 5, 2014 in the Media Center

        Interview with Djordje Vukovic, Program Director of CESID, August 5, 2014 in CESID offices

        Interview with Ivana Savic, Manager of the Follow the Money Program of CRTA NGO, August 7 2014 in CRTA offices

        Reviewer's sources: 1. Republic of Serbia Anti-Corruption Agency, The First rReport on Oversight of Political Entities, 2012 Election Campaign Costs, Belgrade, May 2013, http://www.acas.rs/images/stories/izvestaji-troskovi-izbori/TheFirstReportonOversightofPoliticalEntities2012ElectionCampaignsCostswithAnex1-5.pdf
        2. Monitoring of Financing Elections Campaign 2014, Transparency Serbia, June 2014 http://www.transparentnost.org.rs/images/stories/materijali/13062014/Nalazi%20monitoringa%20izborne%20kampanje%202014%20grad%20Beograd%20sa%20osvrtom%20na%20parlamentarne%20izbore,%2013.06.2014
        12.pdf
        3. National bank of Serbia, Average exchange rate, June 2014
        http://www.nbs.rs/internet/english/scripts/kl
        prosecni.html

      • expand button!
        20
        Score
        --
        Open Question: Have there been documented instances of violations of contribution or expenditure limits or any of the laws mentioned above (Section 2)?More about indicator

        In accordance with the LFPA there are contribution limits. Natural persons can donate up to 20 average monthly salaries for an election campaign. A legal person can donate up to 200 average monthly salaries. If we look at the financial reports on campaign finance there haven't been any violations regarding the contributions. However, the problem that occurs in Serbia is that the donors are sometimes companies that have 1 or 2 employees, there have been some cases of companies donating even though they had declared bankruptcy previously. Individuals that have low or no salaries, donate quite a significant amount. Students, with no income appear in the reports as donors of significant sums. Therefore, this is an issue that raises attention on how these donors manage to contribute in spite of their "official" situation. Also, the contributions from many individuals are often the exact same sum. There is a report that states most individuals contributed exactly 40.000 RSD (435 USD) each, totaling in over 110 million RSD (1,196,231 USD), with only a few donations not being the round sum of 40.000 or 30.000 RSD.

        This indicates that individuals are probably being used as a way to circumvent the system and appear as donors, because some have no or low income. Other reports show, for example, much higher contributions per individual, however they differ and therefore do not raise as much suspicion. Sources explain that money is collected through means not permitted by law and later portrayed as donations from individuals.

        LFPA does not set any limits for expenditure, the only criteria in the law is that all expenditure is shown in the reports. Nevertheless, there is a general public opinion that political entities do not show all expenditure in their reports.

        Another problem are also in-kind contributions. The law doesn't define how these contributions are to be calculated, man-power, using equipment, services, nothing is laid down, therefore it is a legal gap that can be misinterpreted, but most often ignored. This results in incomplete financial reports for both contributions and expenditure.

        There have been some allegations, without solid evidence, that actual donors prefer to remain anonymous. Therefore, political entities find ways to circumvent the legal provisions and distribute the donations they receive through natural and legal persons. A corporation that officially provides funding for an election campaign must provide a statement that it has settled all obligations relative to public revenues, as well as a statement that it is not engaged in or has been engaged over the past two years in contracted activities of general interest. A legal person, as a donor, is required to also submit data on its ownership structure. A donor is required to forward a statement that it has not exceeded the donation ceiling not later than three days from the date of giving the donation. At the end of the year, a legal person who is as a donor, must pay taxes on the donation. This does not encourage corporations to donate to political entities.


        Peer reviewer comment: Agree. Many more detailed examples of facts indicating violations of the law, too numerous to list here, including failure to submit report on election costs, failure to return unspent funds, and irregularities regarding donor registration, contributions and the bank accountr of political parties, among others, can be found in the Anti-Corruption Agency's report on the 2012 elections.

        Scoring Criteria

        Please list and describe all documented instances of: 1) violation of contribution limits, 2) violation of expenditure limits, and 3) financial contributions that circumvent the regulatory framework. The objective of this question is to learn more about the local context, so please explain the cases in as much detail as relevant.

        Sources

        Interview with Djordje Vukovic, Program Director of CESID, August 5, 2014 in CESID offices

        Interview with Zoran Gavrilovic, Director of Anti-corruption Program in BIRODI, August 8 2014 in BIRODI offices

        Interview with Vukosava Crnjanski, Director of CRTA NGO, August 7 2014 in CRTA offices

        Interview with Nemanja Nenadic, Program Director of Transparency Serbia, August 5, 2014 in the Media Center

        Interview with Branko Cecen, Director of Center for Investigative Journalism of Serbia (CINS), August 12, 2014 CINS offices

        Reviewer's sources: Republic of Serbia Anti-Corruption Agency, The First rReport on Oversight of Political Entities, 2012 Election Campaign Costs, Belgrade, May 2013, http://www.acas.rs/images/stories/izvestaji-troskovi-izbori/TheFirstReportonOversightofPoliticalEntities2012ElectionCampaignsCostswith_Anex1-5.pdf

        "Political Parties Financing - Legislation and Practices in the Balkans", Podgorica 2013, Center for Development of Serbia, Center for Democratic Transition - Montenegro and others, http://issuu.com/cdtcrnagora/docs/cdten_final/20

  • expand button!

    Reporting and Public Disclosure

    More about category
    composite
    66
    • expand button!
      Reporting Requirements to the Oversight Entity
      More about category
      • expand button!
        21
        Score
        YES
        In law, political parties and individual candidates report itemized contributions and expenditures both during and outside electoral campaign periods.More about indicator

        LFPA is the only law covering the area of political finance in Serbia. This law lays down requirements for political entities (political parties, coalitions and citizens’ groups) that have entered the Parliament and therefore receive funding from the state budget for regular work to submit annual financial reports. Article 28 stipulates: "A political entity with representatives in representative bodies and registered political parties are required to submit to the Anti-corruption Agency an annual financial report, as well as a report on donations and assets, together with the opinion of an auditor certified in accordance with accounting and audit regulations not later than 15 April of the current year for the preceding year."

        The Rulebook stipulates in article 6: "(1) The annual financial report is prepared in form I-1. (8) Form I-1 consists of 4 parts: I General Data, II Revenues of the political entity, III Expenditure of the political entity and IV Property, capital and dues of the political entity."

        Form I-1 consists of very detailed itemization of both revenues and costs of political entities.

        LFPA lays down the duty to submit financial reports on election campaign costs. Article 29 stipulates: "A political entity participating in election campaign is required to submit to the Agency a report on election campaign costs within 30 days from the date of publication of final election results. The report on election campaign costs contains information on origin, amount and structure of raised and spent funds from public and private sources."

        The Rulebook stipulates in article 7: "(1) The annual financial report is prepared in form I-2. (5) Form I-2 consists of 4 parts: I General data, II Revenues of political entities in election campaign, III Costs election campaign and IV Election bond."

        Form I-2 consists of very detailed itemization of both revenues and costs of political entities.


        Peer reviewer comment: Agree. Political entities must maintain records of all donations received from individuals and legal entities or international political associations for financing both the regular work and election campaign. Records are kept by providers of contibutions, types of contibutions (cash contibutions, gift, services provided without compensation or under conditions that differ from the market) and chronologically. Discharge of the dept is also recorded as cash contribution. Records of contibutions (cash and in-kind) are kept in chronological order, based on accurate and reliable documentation, such as: reports on account balance, bank accounts and record books, inventory list, contracts, invoices, handover records, confirmation of receipts, calculations, donors' written statements, service providers' written statements, etc. These records are maintained in electronic and written form, which must be identical and cover the period from 1 January to 31 December.

        Scoring Criteria

        A YES score is earned where political parties and individual candidates are required to report itemized contributions and expenditures to the oversight authority, both during and outside electoral campaign periods.

        A MODERATE score is earned where: 1) the requirement applies for itemized contributions, but not for itemized expenditures, or 2) it applies only during the electoral campaign but not outside it. A MODERATE score is also earned where the requirement exists, but it only applies to one actor (whether political parties and individual candidates).

        A NO score is earned where no such law exists.

        Sources

        Law on Financing Political Activities (Official Journal RS, No. 43/2011) Articles 28, 29 http://www.acas.rs/images/stories/1577-11.pdf | http://www.osce.org/serbia/80544?download=true

        Rulebook on the records of donations and property of political entities, annual financial reports and reports of expenditure in election campaigns (Official Journal RS, No. 72/11) http://www.acas.rs/sr_cir/zakoni-i-drugi-propisi/ostali-propisi/pravilnici.html

      • expand button!
        22
        Score
        MODERATE
        In law, political parties and individual candidates are required to report their financial information on a monthly basis during the electoral campaign.More about indicator

        LFPA lays down the duty to submit financial reports on election campaign costs. Article 29 stipulates: "A political entity participating in election campaign is required to submit to the Anti-corruption Agency a report on election campaign costs within 30 days from the date of publication of final election results. The report on election campaign costs contains information on origin, amount and structure of raised and spent funds from public and private sources."

        There is no obligation for political entities to submit financial information on a monthly basis, only one report is required which is due 30 days from the date of publication of final election results.

        The Law on Election of Deputies stipulates in Article 25: "The President of the Republic calls elections for deputies. The Decision on Calling Elections determines the day of elections and the day time frame for performing election activities."

        Article 26 stipulates: "From the day the elections are called to the day of elections there cannot be less than 45 or more than 60 days."


        Peer reviewer comment: Agree. In addition, LFPA Article 32 stipulates: "During the election campaign, the political entity is obliged, upon request and within the time specifiedby the Agency, which may not be longer than three days to submit data to the Agency to perform the duties precribed by this law."

        Scoring Criteria

        A YES score is earned where political parties and individual candidates must report monthly their financial information to the oversight authority during the electoral campaign.

        A MODERATE score is earned where the requirement exists on a quarterly basis. A MODERATE score is also earned where the requirement only applies to one actor (whether political parties or individual candidates).

        A NO score is earned where no such law exists.

        Sources

        Law on Financing Political Activities (Official Journal RS, No. 43/2011), Article 29 http://www.acas.rs/images/stories/1577-11.pdf | http://www.osce.org/serbia/80544?download=true

        Law on Election of Deputies (Official Journal RS, No. 35/2000), Articles 25, 26 http://www.paragraf.rs/propisi/zakonoizborunarodnihposlanika.html

        Reviewer's sources: Law on Financing Political Activities (Official Journal RS, No. 43/2011), Article 32 http://www.acas.rs/images/stories/1577-11.pdf

      • expand button!
        23
        Score
        MODERATE
        In law, political parties and individual candidates are required to report their financial information on a quarterly basis outside of electoral campaign periods.More about indicator

        LFPA is the only law covering the area of political finance in Serbia. This law lays down requirements for political entities who have entered the Parliament and therefore receive funding from the state budget for regular work to submit annual financial reports.

        Article 28 stipulates: "A political entity with representatives in representative bodies and registered political parties are required to submit to the Anti-corruption Agency an annual financial report, as well as a report on donations and assets, together with the opinion of an auditor certified in accordance with accounting and audit regulations not later than 15 April of the current year for the preceding year."


        Peer reviewer comment: Agree. LFPA Article 32 stipulates: "In the performance of its duties the Anti-corruption Agency shall have the right to direct and unhindered access toaccounting records and documentation and financial reports of political subject, as well as to engage appropriate experts and institutions. The Agency shall also be entitled to direct and unhindered access to accounting records and documentation of endowments or foundations established by the political party. Political entitie shall, at the request of the Agency, within the deadline set by the Agency, which may not be longer than 15 days, submit all the documents and information that the Agency needed to perform duties prescribed by this law."

        Scoring Criteria

        A YES score is earned where political parties and individual candidates must report quarterly their financial information to the oversight authority outside of electoral campaign periods.

        A MODERATE score is earned where the requirement exists on a yearly basis. A MODERATE score is also earned where the requirement only applies to one actor (whether political parties or individual candidates).

        A NO score is earned where no such law exists.

        Sources

        Law on Financing Political Activities (Official Journal RS, No. 43/2011), Article 28 http://www.acas.rs/images/stories/1577-11.pdf | http://www.osce.org/serbia/80544?download=true

        Reviewer's sources: Law on Financing Political Activities (Official Journal RS, No. 43/2011), Article 32 http://www.acas.rs/images/stories/1577-11.pdf

      • expand button!
        24
        Score
        50
        In practice, to what extent do political parties and individual candidates report itemized financial information monthly?More about indicator

        Political entities (as they are referred to in LFPA) do not report on their finances on a monthly basis. The LFPA requires all entities that receive public funding (the entities that entered the Parliament) for their regular work to submit an annual report (due by 15 April of the following year). Each political entity running in the elections (regardless of whether they receive public funding for the election campaign) is required to submit a reports within 30 days from the election date. The reports must include all funding, public, private and in-kind contributions. The election campaign for the March 2014 elections lasted 1,5 months.

        All the reports the entities submitted were itemized in accordance with the standardized format provided in the sub-law defining the outlook of the report. This format contains 2 sections: revenues and expenditure. The expenditure consists of costs of promotional material, costs of rallies, TV and radio advertising costs, internet - banners and web-sites, other advertising costs and other costs (postal charges, equipment, marketing agency costs, etc.). The contributions include, public sources, public in-kind contributions, private sources from natural and legal persons.

        Although the reports are mostly filed by all political entities, the general public opinion is that they do not include all contributions and expenditure. Particularly in-kind contributions are problematic, and the reason could be that the law doesn't clearly define how to assess the value of in-kind contributions (how much would it cost if an individual provided a vehicle for a political party during the campaign).

        Scoring Criteria

        A 100 score is earned where: 1) political parties and individual candidates report on their financial information monthly, and 2) the reports include both itemized contributions and itemized expenditures.

        A 50 score is earned where: 1) the reports are occasionally general rather than itemized or don't contain all accounts, or 2) the reporting frequency is quarterly.

        A 0 score is earned where: 1) political parties and individual candidates rarely or never file reports, 2) the reports are filed but are rarely or never itemized or refer only to either contributions or expenditures, or 3) the reporting frequency is less than quarterly.

        Sources

        Interview with Nemanja Nenadic, Program Director of Transparency Serbia 05 August 2014

        Interview with Djordje Vukovic, Program Director of CESID 05 August 2014

        Interview with Ruzica Stojiljkovic, Head of Unit for Control of Finance of Political Entities 07 August 2014

      • expand button!
        25
        Score
        75
        In practice, to what extent do financial reports by political parties and individual candidates include all types of contributions?More about indicator

        Financial reports that political entities submit for election campaign financing are prepared in a standardized format prescribed by law. It is very detailed and requires both monetary and in-kind contributions to be indicated. Some reports show in-kind contributions, while others don't. The donors are identified not only by their address but also by personal ID numbers for citizens, and by addresses, tax ID numbers and registration numbers for corporations.

        According to various sources, not all contributions are reported, particularly in-kind contributions. The monitoring authority, the Anti-corruption Agency stated that they have a problem that arises when a political party does not pay a bill for services to a corporation, and then later, after the campaign is over, the corporation forgives the party this debt. It is very difficult to find such a circumvention.

        Values of in-kind contributions are often portrayed inadequately, there is no criteria in the law for calculating such values.

        There are allegations, that have not been proven, that public enterprises (which are forbidden by law to finance election campaigns) are used in various ways. Not only equipment, but sometimes staff, vehicles, telephones, premises, the entire enterprise is turned into election campaign headquarters. These are only allegations, but nevertheless, there has been proof of using vehicles and equipment of public enterprises for campaigning, which is clearly abuse of state resources.


        Peer reviewer comment: Agree. For a more detailed analysis of the inspection of the reports on election campaign expenses and annual financial reports, consult the ACA's report on the 2012 elections.

        Scoring Criteria

        A 100 score is earned where: 1) reports include an itemized list of all contributions indicating their type (in-kind, cash where allowed, etc.) and amount (estimated value for in-kind contributions), and 2) contain donors' names and addresses (or other personal identifier).

        A 50 score is earned where only one of the two conditions listed in the 100 criteria is met.

        A 0 score is earned where neither condition is met.

        Sources

        Phone interview with Predrag Blagojevic, Editor in Chief of Juzne vesti news portal, August 2, 2014

        Interview with Nemanja Nenadic, Program Director of Transparency Serbia, August 5, 2014 in the Media Center

        Interview with Djordje Vukovic, Program Director of CESID, August 5, 2014 in CESID offices

        Interview with Predrag Knezevic, Advisor in the Anti-corruption Agency, August 7, 2014 in ACA offices

        Interview with Vukosava Crnjanski, Director of CRTA NGO, August 7 2014 in CRTA offices

        Interview with Zoran Gavrilovic, Director of Anti-corruption Program in BIRODI, August 8 2014 in BIRODI offices

        Reviewer's sources: Republic of Serbia Anti-Corruption Agency, The First Report on Oversight of Political Entities, 2012 Election Campaign Costs, Belgrade, May 2013, http://www.acas.rs/images/stories/izvestaji-troskovi-izbori/TheFirstReportonOversightofPoliticalEntities2012ElectionCampaignsCostswith_Anex1-5.pdf

        Comments on The first report on cost control political subjects of the election campaign in 2012, which was released by the Anti-Corruption Agency May 31, 2013th, Trancparency Serbia http://www.transparentnost.org.rs/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=467&Itemid=41&lang=sr#2013

        "Monitoring Election Campaign 2014", Transparency Serbia http://www.transparentnost.org.rs/images/stories/materijali/13062014/Nalazi%20monitoringa%20izborne%20kampanje%202014%20grad%20Beograd%20sa%20osvrtom%20na%20parlamentarne%20izbore,%2013.06.201412.pdf

    • expand button!
      Availability of Electoral Campaigns' Financial Information to the Public
      More about category
      • expand button!
        26
        Score
        YES
        In law, financial information from political parties and individual candidates must be available to the public.More about indicator

        All reports on campaign financing that are submitted to the Anti-corruption Agency are posted on the web-site of the Agency. LFPA stipulates in article 29: "The report on election campaign costs are published on the web site of the Anti-corruption Agency."

        Also, article 10 notes that political entities must publish their donations recieved (if they are greater than one average monthly salary) on their web sites: "Donations exceeding at annual level one average monthly salary are published. A political entity is required to publish each donation referred in paragraph 3 of this article on its web site within eight days from the date the value of donation has exceeded the amount of one monthly average salary."

        Also, article 28 requires political entities to publish their annual financial statements: "Political entities referred in paragraph 1 of this article are required to publish within eight days of submission of the annual financial statement to the Agency, the statement on their web site and forward it for publishing in the “Official Gazette of the Republic of Serbia”."

        Scoring Criteria

        A YES score is earned where in law financial information of political parties and individual candidates must be made available to the public, whether online or digitally within two days of request.

        A MODERATE score is earned where financial information must be made available to the public, but no requirement exists regarding cost, format or number of days within which it must be made available.

        A NO score is earned where no such law exists.

        Sources

        Law on Financing Political Activities (Official Journal RS, No. 43/2011), Article 10, 28 and 29 http://www.acas.rs/images/stories/1577-11.pdf | http://www.osce.org/serbia/80544?download=true

      • expand button!
        27
        Score
        50
        In practice, to what extent can citizens easily access the financial information of all political parties and individual candidates?More about indicator

        Citizens have access to financial reports political entities (political parties, coalitions and citizens’ groups). Some political parties post their financial reports on their own web-sites, however these reports are not in machine-readable format - these are mostly annual financial reports and financial audits, and are downloadable PDF files. Very rarely there are campaign finance reports and they are not complete, only fragments. Some reports on campaign finance are posted on the Anti-corruption Agency web-site and these versions are not in machine-readable format. Reports of some political entities that ran in the March 2014 elections also cannot be found on the ACA web-site.

        According to LFPA, political entities have the duty to submit financial reports on their regular work (annual reports) and election campaign finance (for each election) which are posted on the web-site of the Anti-corruption Agency. In practice this duty is generally fulfilled and is done within the prescribed deadline (30 days from the proclamation of election results). The reports are itemized and the Agency processes all the data in the reports and in the case of the March 2014 elections will publish a full report on the election campaign reports in October 2014.

        However, the reports on the Agency's web-site are not in a machine-readable format. They can be checked and copied one section at a time, but they cannot be used or processed in a simple way. This makes any processing of the data more difficult because it is necessary to copy the data before actually using it.

        The Rulebook stipulating the manner of submitting the reports states that the reports are to be filed both electronically and in hard copy. The reports in electronic format are submitted in prescribed forms I-1 and I-2 in the application software of the Agency and it is necessary to use a generated program code.

        It remains unclear why such a manner was chosen for report submission, the data is inevitably available to the public, however any further use of this data is not easily accessible for processing.

        Scoring Criteria

        A 100 score is earned where: 1) all relevant financial information is freely available online, 2) it can be obtained digitally within two days of requesting it, and 3) it is in a machine readable format (for example in csv or xml format).

        A 50 score is earned where: 1) information is available but in some cases is incomplete or lacking detail, 2) obtaining complete information takes up to a month, or 3) it's not necessarily digital or in machine readable format.

        A 0 score is earned where: 1) the information is not publicly available, or 2) obtaining it takes more than three months, or 3) the cost of obtaining it is prohibitive for the regular citizen.

        Sources

        Web-site of the Anti-corruption Agency, Register of election campaign reports, http://acas.rs/sr_cir/registri.html. Accesed on September 18, 2014.

        Web-site of the Democratic Party, Financial reports, http://www.ds.org.rs/o-nama/finansijski-izvestaji. Accesed on September 18, 2014.

        Interview with Zoran Gavrilovic, Director of Anti-corruption Program in BIRODI, August 8 2014 in BIRODI offices

        Phone interview with Predrag Blagojevic, Editor in Chief of Juzne vesti news portal, August 2, 2014

        Interview with Nemanja Nenadic, Program Director of Transparency Serbia, August 5, 2014 in the Media Center

      • expand button!
        28
        Score
        100
        In practice, to what extent is financial information published in a standardized format?More about indicator

        According to LFPA and the Rulebook on the records of donations and property of political entities, annual financial reports and reports of election campaign financing are to be submitted both electronically and in hard copy. The reports in electronic format are submitted in prescribed forms I-1 and I-2 which are standard forms that include a break down of all contributions and expenditure. In practice, all political parties use the standardized format prescribed by law which is mandatory for all political entities. Therefore,all the reports are the same level of detail input.

        Form I-1 consists of 4 sections: I General data, II Revenues of the political entity, III Expenditure of the political entity and IV Property, capital and obligations of the political entity.

        Form I-1 consists of 4 sections: I General data, II Revenues in the election campaign, III Expenditure in the election campaign and IV Election bond.


        Peer reviewer comment: Agree. Comparing Annual Financial Reports for 2013, for two political parties (Democratic Party / DP and Serbian Progressive Party / SPP), the form of reporting is the same according to the Law on Political Parties Financing and Rulebook.

        For example, if we compare the section "Revenues of the Political Party," we can compare results for public sources: - DP had income of 315M RSD (USD 3,7 million), while SPP had income of 335 million RSD (USD 3,9 mil); -Individual contributions for DP were 100 million RSD (USD 1,2 mill.), and for SPP 18 million RSD (USD 211 thousand); - Contribution of legal entities for DP were 156000 RSD (USD 1,8 thousand), and for SPP 3 million RSD (USD 35 thousand).

        The Annual Financial Report for 2013 for the party "Nova Srbija" (New Serbia) cannot be opened.

        Reports are published on web sites as PDF files.

        Scoring Criteria

        A 100 score is earned where financial information for all political parties and individual candidates is available to the public in a standardized format.

        A 50 score is earned where only part of the information is published in a standardized format. A 50 score is also earned where the information is standardized, but it doesn't cover all political parties and individual candidates.

        A 0 score is earned where financial information is not available in a standardized format.

        Sources

        Web-site of the Anti-corruption Agency, Register of election campaign reports, http://acas.rs/sr_cir/registri.html. Accessed on September 18, 2014.

        Interview with Zoran Gavrilovic, Director of Anti-corruption Program in BIRODI, August 8 2014 in BIRODI offices

        Phone interview with Predrag Blagojevic, Editor in Chief of Juzne vesti news portal, August 2, 2014

        Interview with Nemanja Nenadic, Program Director of Transparency Serbia, August 5, 2014 in the Media Center

        Reviewer's sources: Rulebook on the records of donations and property of political entities, annual financial reports and reports of expenditure in election campaigns (Official Journal RS, No. 72/11) http://www.acas.rs/sr_cir/zakoni-i-drugi-propisi/ostali-propisi/pravilnici.html

        Financial Reports of Democratic Party http://www.ds.org.rs/o-nama/finansijski-izvestaji Financial Reports of Serbian Progressive Party http://www.sns.org.rs/dokumenti/godisnji-finansijski-izvestaj-za-2013 Anti-cooruption Agency / Financing of Political entities http://www.acas.rs/sr_lat/finansiranje-politickih-subjekata.html

      • expand button!
        29
        Score
        50
        In practice, to what extent do mainstream journalism media outlets use political finance data in their reporting?More about indicator

        Political finance, particularly official political finance data, is not covered in sufficiently in the media according to experts in political finance in Serbia. There is some reporting on this subject, however, not a lot, and the information is only partial, there is no in depth reporting. Nevertheless, the Anti-corruption Agency says that they receive plenty of calls from journalists about the subject. LFPA stipulates that political entities (political parties, coalitions and citizens' groups) submit reports on campaign finance 30 days from the day the official results of the elections are proclaimed and around this time, there is some reporting.

        During the election campaign there is some coverage on the public funding political entities receive and slightly more on abuse of state resources. A good aspect of reporting on abuse of state resources in the March 2014 election campaign is that the Anti-corruption Agency reacted to some news stories and initiated investigations.

        News outlets reported on campaign finance reports in the sense of reporting from an interview with the Director of the ACA with the Tanjug (the Serbian National News Agency). This interview was covered by the following media outlets: B92, Blic daily, Politika daily, Naslovi.net news portal. Very randomly reporters investigate this topic and conduct research that involves using political finance data.

        If anything, news media only briefly addresses the financial reports submitted by parties. They often rely on TI-Serbia's work on the subject, and do little or no original analysis. There is no interest in political finance, and reporters have scarce knowledge of the subject. With the exception of the abuse of state resources, little coverage occurs.


        Peer reviewer comment: Agree. The research and analyses of NGOs are the main source of information about election spending and political finance. According to the Independent Journalists Association of Serbia, most of the media failed to engage in any kind of critical and analytical reporting on such issues. Instead, the media are just the presenters of information on activities of political parties and their candidates. There are no analyses of the offered answers.

        Scoring Criteria

        A 100 score is earned where at least three independent mainstream journalism media outlets have used officially published political party or individual candidate financial information as part of their reporting.

        A 50 score is earned where one independent mainstream journalism media outlet has used officially published financial information as part of its reporting.

        A 0 score is earned where no mainstream journalism media outlet has used officially published financial information as part of its reporting.

        Sources

        Interview with Nikola Tomic, Journalist in daily Danas, August 15, 2014, Danas offices

        Interview with Branko Cecen, Director of Center for Investigative Journalism of Serbia (CINS), August 12, 2014 CINS offices

        Interview with Zoran Gavrilovic, Director of Anti-corruption Program in BIRODI, August 8 2014 in BIRODI offices

        Interview with Maja Sreckovic, Advisor in the Anti-corruption Agency, August 7, 2014 in ACA offices

        "Parties receive 7 million Euros from the budget", Blic daily web-siite, January 28, 2014, http://www.blic.rs/Vesti/Politika/437970/Za-njih-nikad-nema-krize-Strankama-iz-budzeta-7-miliona-evra

        "This is how parties will finance their election campaings", Blic daily web-siite, February 8, 2014, http://www.blic.rs/Vesti/Politika/441035/OTKRIVAMO-Ovako-ce--stranke-platiti--kampanju

        Reviewer's sources: Serbia 2014 Progress Report, European Commission http://ec.europa.eu/enlargement/pdf/keydocuments/2014/20140108-serbia-progress-reporten.pdf

        Report on pressures on & control of media in Sebia made by the Anti-Corruption Council. 2011. http://www.antikorupcija-savet.gov.rs/Storage/Global/Documents/mediji/IZVESTAJ%20O%20MEDIJIMA%20PRECISCEN%20ENG..pdf

      • expand button!
        30
        Score
        50
        In practice, to what extent were there no news reports or other documented incidents of violation or abuse of political finance laws?More about indicator

        The violations of the law on political finance during the March 2014 campaign were mostly abuse of state resources for political promotion. Some incidents were reported, however, by Blic, a daily newspaper, which reported at the very beginning of the campaign a scheme on how political parties get money from banks with state ownership: directors of public enterprises, who are politicians are members of the board in banks with state ownership. A public enterprise lays down the deposit for a loan and gets a lower interest rate, and then the difference between the lower interest rate and the regular interest rate is used to sign a fictitious contract on marketing services (that don't exist) between the bank and the public enterprise and the money goes to the political party.

        Even though there were reports on violations of the law, there wasn't much coverage.


        Peer reviewer comment: Agree. Media reports on political finance abuses are mostly related to: - Failure to submit financial statements by the statutory deadline; - Outstanding debts to banks, public companies, advertising agencies, etc.

        Most TV channels rarely provide information on the financing of election campaigns and the expenditure of funds.

        Scoring Criteria

        A 100 score is earned where there were no news reports or other documented incidents of violation or abuse of political finance laws during the most recent national election.

        A 50 score is earned where there were news reports or other documented incidents of no more than two cases of violation or abuse of political finance laws during the most recent national election.

        A 0 score is earned where there were frequent news reports or other documented incidents of violation or abuse of political finance laws during the most recent national election.

        Sources

        "Proceedings against the Minister of Energy" story, Blic daily web-site, February 12, 2014, http://www.blic.rs/Vesti/Politika/442032/Postupak-protiv-ministarke-Mihajlovic

        "Political parties organized free health check-ups", Danas daily web-site, March 23, 2014, http://www.danas.rs/danasrs/politika/strankeorganizovaleiginekoloskepreglede.56.html?news_id=278504

        "This is how parties will finance their election campaings", Blic daily web-siite, February 8, 2014, http://www.blic.rs/Vesti/Politika/441035/OTKRIVAMO-Ovako-ce--stranke-platiti--kampanju

        Phone interview with Predrag Blagojevic, Editor in Chief of Juzne vesti news portal, August 2, 2014

        Interview with Larisa Rankovic, Journalist for Thruthometer, August 7 2014 in CRTA offices

        Reviewer's sources: Whose money is going into the campaign: Parties are going to deal whith debts up to my neck , Blic daily web-site, February 2, 2014 http://www.blic.rs/Vesti/Tema-Dana/440743/S-cijim-parama-idete-u-kampanju-Stranke-idu-na-izbore--u-dugovima-do-guse

      • expand button!
        31
        Score
        75
        In practice, to what extent were there no news reports or other documented incidents of vote-buying?More about indicator

        Although there have not been any proven incidents of vote buying during the March 2014 elections, vote-buying was reported in the news prior to elections when stories came out how certain political parties offered students money for their votes. Due to the fact that this criminal offense is very difficult to prove, there haven't been any charges for vote buying in 2014.

        On Election day, March 16, some political parties of the opposition stated there was vote buying in the Autonomous Province of Vojvodina in the north of Serbia. These allegations consisted of many photos of people wearing light blue caps on their heads standing in front of various polling stations on Election day. There was no evidence these people were actually giving money to voters, however the suspicion was pretty high and there was fair coverage in the news on "People wearing blue caps".

        The conclusion is that allegations exist, journalists report on it, but there is no definitive proof.


        Peer reviewer comment: Agree. It has become customary that during the election campaign, political parties, discredit and accuse each other of vote-buying. It is also common that after the elections the allegations have no substance.

        Scoring Criteria

        A 100 score is earned where there were no news reports or other documented incidents of vote-buying during the most recent national election.

        A 50 score is earned where there were news reports or other documented incidents of no more than two cases of vote-buying during the most recent national election.

        A 0 score is earned where there were frequent news reports or other documented incidents of vote-buying during the most recent national election.

        Sources

        "Who are the people in blue caps" story in the Blic daily web-site, March 16, 2014, http://www.blic.rs/Vesti/Politika/450028/Ko-su-ljudi-s-plavim-kacketima-u-blizini-biralista

        "Parties buying votes of high-school students" story on Radio Television Vojvodina web-site, March 4, 2014 http://www.rtv.rs/srci/vojvodina/novi-sad/stranke-kupuju-glasove-srednjoskolaca466991.html

        "Elections shadowed by vote-buying" report on web-portal Naslovi.net, March 16, 2014, http://www.naslovi.net/2014-03-16/beta/izbore-obelezila-kupovina-glasova/9294844

        Reviewer's sources: "Photo: Again, bying votes in Novi Sad?",March 16, 2014, Radio 021, Novi Sad, daily web-site http://www.021.rs/Novi-Sad/Vesti/FOTO-Ponovo-kupovina-glasova-u-Novom-Sadu.html

        "Whether there was vote-buying in Zrenjanin?", March 16, 2014, Radio Television of Vovjodina http://www.naslovi.net/2014-03-16/rtv/da-li-je-bilo-kupovine-glasova-u-zrenjaninu/9294686

        "Buying votes fell into oblivion", Vesti online, web-portal, September 17, 2012, http://www.vesti-online.com/Vesti/Srbija/254907/Kupovina-glasova-pala-u-zaborav

      • expand button!
        32
        Score
        50
        In practice, to what extent do civil society organizations use political finance data?More about indicator

        Civil society organizations in Serbia do not use political finance data much.

        Transparency Serbia is the key political finance watchdog organization in Serbia--it is the only organization that really deals with political finance. This organization conduct various analysis for election campaign financing, monitors media coverage and provides estimates of election campaign expenditure. TI Serbia concentrates on political finance and presents this data on their web-site, makes public statements and preprares various reports on fighting corruption.

        Other organizations do work tangentially connected to political finance and elections. CESID, Center for Free Elections and Democracy is a NGO for election observation and monitoring. CESID mostly focuses on education and prepares manuals for implementatin of election legislation. CESID monitors the elections and provides parallel vote counting, and as an organization that focuses on training, provides guidelines for adequate enforcement of legislation.

        BIRODI, Bureau for Social Research is a think tank for research and analysis in the civil and public sector. BIRODI monitors the media and prepares reports that are available to the public. They present their work through their web-site, press conferences and similar. BIRODI conducted media monitoring during the March 2014 election campaign and is very impartial in its results.

        These organizations conduct independent research, monitoring and analysis related to elections. All are recognized as corruption watchdogs and are sometimes invited to participate in law drafting, preparing strategic documents, etc.

        The Center for Development of Serbia is another important organization that monitors the transparency of political parties in Serbia and in the Balkan region along with 5 other organizations from Montenegro, Macedonia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo and Croatia. It provides comparative analyses and presents results to the public via regional internet portal and within publications. The CDS website, however, doesn't have any updated information on official political finance information.

        Theres is a very low interest of the CSO sector for political finance. The issue of obtaining funding for such research is becoming more difficult and for the March 2014 elections it was quite difficult to obtain funding even for media monitoring.

        Scoring Criteria

        A 100 score is earned where at least three civil society organizations have used officially published political party or individual candidate financial information as part of their advocacy or awareness work.

        A 50 score is earned where one civil society organization has used officially published financial information as part of its advocacy or awareness work.

        A 0 score is earned where no civil society organization has used officially published financial information as part of its work.

        Sources

        Interview with Nemanja Nenadic, Program Director of Transparency Serbia, August 5, 2014 in the Media Center

        Report on Monitoring the 2014 Election Campaign Financing, Transparency Serbia web-site, June 2014, http://www.transparentnost.org.rs/images/stories/materijali/13062014/Nalazi%20monitoringa%20izborne%20kampanje%202014%20grad%20Beograd%20sa%20osvrtom%20na%20parlamentarne%20izbore,%2013.06.201412.pdf

        Center for Development of Serbia website, accessed in December, 2014. http://www.razvojsrbije.org/ http://www.moneyandpolitics.me/

        Interview with Djordje Vukovic, Program Director of CESID, August 5, 2014 in CESID offices

        Interview with Zoran Gavrilovic, Director of Anti-corruption Program in BIRODI, August 8 2014 in BIRODI offices

      • expand button!
        33
        Score
        --
        Open Question: Have there been political finance legal reforms or reform bills presented to the legislature in the last 10 years?More about indicator

        The first relevant law on financing of political parties in the Serbian legal system was introduced in 2003, the Law on Financing Political Parties (Official Journal RS, No.72/2003) and laid down democratic standards of regular funding of political entities as well as financing of election campaigns. The new law set the primary step in establishing rules and limits of funding from public and private sources, methods and level of spending funds for regular work for the election campaign. Control of this type of expenditure was determined for the first time.

        Very soon, the shortcomings of this law surfaced, particularly the difficulties of enforcing it, pressure from both the public and media increased continuously, mostly because it was not serving as effective control of the collecting or spending of the funds for political financing. Moreover, political parties themselves contested the statutory provisions within the law because they were in contradiction to other provisions contained in the same law. As the problems and complaints increased, so did the public perception of corruption in party financing. This was further enhanced by the fact that the control was to be performed by two bodies - the Republic Electoral Commission and the Board for Finances of the Serbian Parliament, both of which were composed mainly of representatives of political parties, which did not provide any security or trust in the system. The public opinion was that reporting of political parties on their financing did not reflect the real situation, because it was quite obvious that campaigns they conducted were expensive and extensive, and that during the course of the campaigns, a lot more money was spent than a party was allowed to legally collect. In addition, the parties competed for voters by providing various services to the public during the election campaign which included donating to charity, giving out various types of equipment and material, free medical examinations and similar that was not permitted from the perspective of the law. This situation was gradually becoming counterproductive to the parties, because during the time between elections there were constant mutual accusations of falsified reports or justifications of the legality of acquiring assets, where the main topic was the confidentiality of donors, or rather the fact that the parties did not want to reveal the names of their donors. The public assumed additional doubts about the hidden connections of tycoons and parties in power.

        However, this law did have a positive side and if it had been fully enforced it would have enabled stable financing of political parties from the state budget and therefore facilitated the operating of parties that won seats in the representative bodies. This was also conciliation for transparency of political financing, because this issue became a legitimate one and was under scrutiny by the media. Nevertheless, without the support of the competent authorities and organizations for civil society, the chances for eliminating the very apparent shortcomings of the system could not be tackled. Amendments to this Laws were passed in October 2008, and the jurisdiction to control political finance was transferred to the Anti-corruption Agency, however this did not help in improving the perception of continuous corruption in this sphere. The Agency inherited all the problems and almost had no practical experience in law enforcement.

        All these problems made it possible for the authorities to pass a decision on drafting a new law on political finance. The draft underwent several expert assessments of the Venice Commission of the Council Europe, ODIHR and the OSCE, as well as assessment experts of the European Commission. The Law on Financing Political Activities (Official Journal RS, No 43/2011) was passed in June 2011.

        This new legal framework allows political activity for all political entities under equal terms, particularly when it comes to funding from public sources, and unlimited income from private sources (limits exist per donor – 20 average salaries for natural persons and 200 average salaries for legal persons) that should be drawn in by a party’s political attractiveness. Therefore, the state provided equal opportunities for all interested political actors while maintaining competitiveness among them. It continues to lay down the rule that spending of funds for both regular work and campaign activities shall be done from separate bank accounts specified to be for campaign finance or regular activities. The law sets requirements for registered political parties to keep books on expenditure and submit reports, defining the detailed regulating of this area to the Rulebook on the records of donations and property of political entities, annual financial reports and reports of expenditure in election campaigns (Official Journal RS, No. 72/11). Political parties have the duty to keep all financial records and separate records of all contributions, gifts as well as services extended without compensation, and/or under conditions deviating from market conditions and records of property. Currently amendments to this law are in public debate. These amendments strengthen the powers of the Anti-corruption Agency to enforce the Law on Financing Political Activities.

        The Liberal Democratic Party requested amendments to the draft of the Law on Financing Political Activities during the debate in Parliament. These amendments consisted of changing the duty to open a separate account for election campaigns after the Republic Electoral Commission finalizes the list of political entities running in the elections. In order to submit an electoral list to REC it is necessary to collect 10.000 signatures of support and verify them which is not such an insignificant amount of money (500.000 RSD, approximately 5.630 USD) and it is not possible to accept donations for the campaign before opening the account for campaign financing. Political entities have difficulties in providing this amount and reporting it in the campaign finance report, this is an expenditure for the campaign, however it cannot be paid through the specified account because this account, according to law, can be opened only after the lists have been submitted. These amendments were not adopted.

        The Serbian Radical Party also requested amendments to the draft of the Law on Financing Political Activities during the debate in Parliament that would prohibit political entities to take loans from banks and financial institutions, however this amendment was not adopted.

        A very interesting observation regarding the final draft of the law that was adopted in 2011 is that in the Third Round Evaluation Compliance Report on Serbia GRECO states satisfaction in the area of transparency of party funding.

        Peer reviewer comment: Agree. Laws and regulations, enacted in the last in the last ten years, which regulate the activities of political parties and governing the control and financing of political activities, in addition to the Law on financing political activities are: - Law on Anti-corruption Agency; - Law on Free Acces to Information of Public Importance; - Law on Political Parties; - National Anti-corruption Strategy 2005-2010; - National Anti-corruption Strategy 2013-2018; - Rulebook of the observers of the election campaigns; - Rulebook on the records of donations and property of political entities, annual financial reports and reports of expenditure in election campaigns

        Scoring Criteria

        Please list and describe all documented instances of: 1) political finance reforms, including bills passed, executive orders signed, court rulings and any other legal act that had a direct effect on existent political finance regulation, and 2) all legal reform attempts presented to the legislature even if they were not approved. Please describe the political context that produced the reforms or reform attempts.

        Sources

        Third Round Evaluation Compliance Report on Serbia, GRECO, March 6, 2013, http://www.coe.int/t/dghl/monitoring/greco/evaluations/round3/GrecoRC3(2012)16SerbiaEN.pdf

        Interview with Predrag Knezevic, Advisor in the Anti-corruption Agency, August 7, 2014 in ACA offices

        Interview with Djordje Vukovic, Program Director of CESID, August 5, 2014 in CESID offices

        Interview with Kenan Hajdarevic, member of the Presidency and former MP of the Liberal Democratic Party, August 22, 2014, LDP offices


        Reviewer's sources: Rulebook on the records of donations and property of political entities, annual financial reports and reports of expenditure in election campaigns (Official Journal RS, No. 72/11) & Rulebook on the records ofdonations andproperty of political entities, annual financial reports andreports of expenditure in election campaigns (Official Gazzete RS, 72/11) http://www.acas.rs/sr_cir/zakoni-i-drugi-propisi/ostali-propisi/pravilnici.html

        Law on Free Acces to Information of Public Importance (Official Gazzete of RS, No. 120/04, 54/07, 104/09, 36/10) http://www.poverenik.rs/en/pravni-okvir-pi/laws-pi.html

        Law on Political Parties (Official Gazzete of RS, No 36/09) http://www.legislationline.org/documents/id/15592

        National Anti-Corruption Strategy http://polis.osce.org/library/details?docid=4118&langtag=&qs=

  • expand button!

    Third Party Actors

    More about category
    composite
    0
    • expand button!
      Applicability of the Law to Third-Party Actors
      More about category
      • expand button!
        34
        Score
        NO
        In law, third-party actors (foundations, think tanks, unions, political action committees, etc.) report itemized contributions received and expenditures to an oversight authority and the information is made publicly available.More about indicator

        Serbian law prohibits third party actors from contributing directly to election campaigns. No evidence suggests that these prohibitions are circumvented.

        LFPA tightly regulates funding for political entities and in-kind contributions, and article 12 notes: "It is prohibited to finance a political entity by... trade unions, associations and other non-profit organizations, churches and religious communities..." The same article also prohibits "the financing of a political entity by endowments or foundations."

        Further, Article 6 of the Law of Endowments and Foundations stipulates: "The goals and activities of endowments and foundations must not be directed at achieving specific political interests, as well as direct participation in the election campaign or raise funds for the election campaign of a certain political party, coalition or candidate, and the funding of political parties, coalitions and candidates."

        Serbian law does not regulate independent expenditures of third party actors.

        Scoring Criteria

        A YES score is earned where: 1) third-party actors are required to report to the oversight authority itemized contributions received and expenditures related to their support of electoral campaigns, and 2) the information must be publicly available.

        A MODERATE score is earned where third-party actors are required to report itemized contributions received and expenditures related to their support of electoral campaigns, but the information is not required to be publicly available. A MODERATE score is also earned where regulations exist, but only apply to electoral campaigns of one actor (whether political party or individual candidate).

        A NO score is earned where no such law exists.

        Sources

        Law on Financing Political Activities (Official Journal RS, No. 43/2011), article 12 http://www.acas.rs/images/stories/1577-11.pdf | http://www.osce.org/serbia/80544?download=true

        The Law of Endowments and foundatiouns (Official Gazette RS, No. 88/2010 & 99/11), article 6 http://paragraf.rs/propisi/zakonozaduzbinamaifondacijama.html

      • expand button!
        35
        Score
        0
        In practice, to what extent do third-party actors (foundations, think tanks, unions, political action committees, etc.) report itemized contributions received and expenditures to an oversight authority?More about indicator

        Third party actors are not required to report on any contributions or independent expenditures. Therefore, in practice, no reporting on finances was submitted.

        Third party actors do not actively fund political campaigns. In the 2014 elections there haven't been any third-party actors doing visible political promotion.

        Scoring Criteria

        A 100 score is earned where all third-party actors report to an oversight authority both itemized contributions received and itemized expenditures.

        A 50 score is earned where third-party actors report to an oversight authority either itemized contributions received or expenditures, but not both. A 50 score is also earned where the reports refer only to one type of third-party actor, but do not cover others.

        A 0 score is earned where third-party actors rarely or never report itemized contributions received or expenditures.

        Sources

        Interview with Nemanja Nenadic, Program Director of Transparency Serbia, August 5, 2014 in the Media Center

        Interview with Djordje Vukovic, Program Director of CESID, August 5, 2014 in CESID offices

        Interview with Nemanja Cocic, Adviser in the Anti-corruption Agency, August 7, 2014 in ACA offices

      • expand button!
        36
        Score
        0
        In practice, to what extent can journalists and citizens easily access the financial information of third party actors, including the political spending of those actors in support of political parties and individual candidates?More about indicator

        Third party actors are not required to report any financial information to electoral authorities. Therefore they do not have any financial disclosures to make publicly available.

        Scoring Criteria

        A 100 score is earned where: 1) all relevant financial information is freely available online or in hard copy at the cost of photocopying, 2) it can be obtained within two days of requesting it, and 3) it is in a machine readable format (for example in csv or xml format).

        A 50 score is earned where: 1) information is available but in some cases is incomplete or lacking detail, 2) obtaining complete information takes up to a month, or 3) it's not necessarily in machine readable format.

        A 0 score is earned where: 1) the information is not publicly available, or 2) obtaining it takes more than three months, or 3) the cost of obtaining it is prohibitive for the regular citizen.

        Sources

        Interview with Nemanja Nenadic, Program Director of Transparency Serbia, August 5, 2014 in the Media Center

        Interview with Djordje Vukovic, Program Director of CESID, August 5, 2014 in CESID offices

        Interview with Nemanja Cocic, Advisor in the Anti-corruption Agency, August 7, 2014 in ACA offices

      • expand button!
        37
        Score
        --
        Open Question: Please describe how third party-actors (even if they are not regulated by your country's laws) obtain contributions and spend in support of political parties and/or individual candidates.More about indicator

        The entirety of contributions and expenditures in election campaigns in Serbia are done by political entities. Third-party actors do not operate or appear in election campaigns in Serbia.


        Peer reviewer comment: Agree. The reports of the independent state bodies and non-governmental organizations that control funding of political entities during the year and during the elections, make no mention of a third party - actors as potential financiers of certain activities to the needs of political entities or supporting them.

        Scoring Criteria

        To answer this question please: 1) list the types of third-party actors that exist in your country and describe how they work to influence campaigns, 2) explain how important such actors are or not in the context of campaigns, including whether their expenditures are substantial in relation to that of political parties and individual candidates, and 3) if documented evidence indicates they circumvent laws intended to regulate political finance, please explain how and include references to the evidence.

        Sources

        Interview with Nemanja Nenadic, Program Director of Transparency Serbia, August 5, 2014 in the Media Center

        Interview with Djordje Vukovic, Program Director of CESID, August 5, 2014 in CESID offices

        Interview with Ruzica Stojiljkovic, Head of Unit for Control of Financing Political Entities, August 7, 2014 in ACA offices

        Reviewer's sources: "The Oversight of the Financing of Political Entities, 2012", Anti-corruption Agency http://www.acas.rs/images/stories/TheOversightoftheFinancingofPolitical_Entities.pdf

        "The First Report on Oversight of Political Entities 2012 Election Campaigns Cost", Anti-corruption Agency, Belgrade, May 2013, http://www.acas.rs/images/stories/izvestaji-troskovi-izbori/TheFirstReportonOversightofPoliticalEntities2012ElectionCampaignsCostswith_Anex1-5.pdf

        "Monitoring Election Campaign 2014", Transparency Serbia, June 2014, http://www.transparentnost.org.rs/images/stories/materijali/13062014/Nalazi%20monitoringa%20izborne%20kampanje%202014%20grad%20Beograd%20sa%20osvrtom%20na%20parlamentarne%20izbore,%2013.06.201412.pdf

  • expand button!

    Monitoring and Enforcement

    More about category
    composite
    80
    • expand button!
      Monitoring Capabilities
      More about category
      • expand button!
        38
        Score
        YES
        In law, political finance information is monitored by an independent oversight authority.More about indicator

        The monitoring authority in charge of political finance is the Anti-corruption Agency. This Agency is independent and impartial according to the Law on the Anti-corruption Agency which establishes this authority. The ACA can carry out investigations, and may also request that the Supreme Audit Institution conduct audits.

        The Law on the Anti-corruption Agency stipulates in article 3: "The Agency is an autonomous and independent state body. The Agency is accountable to the National Assembly of the Republic of Serbia for performance of duties from its competences."

        In Article 5 the law stipulates the competences of the Anti-corruption Agency: "The Agency performs tasks in accordance with the law governing financing of political parties, and/or political entities."

        Article 28 of the LFPA stipulates: "A political entity with representatives in representative bodies and registered political parties are required to submit to the Anti-corruption Agency an annual financial statement, not later than 15 April of the current year for the preceding year."

        Article 29 stipulates: "A political entity participating in election campaign is required to submit to the Anti-corruption Agency a report on election campaign costs within 30 days from the date of publication of final election results."

        Article 32 stipulates: "Within the purview defined under this Law, the Agency has the right of direct and free access to bookkeeping records and documentation and financial reports of a political entity and to engage relevant experts and institutions. The Agency is also entitled to direct and free access to bookkeeping records and documents of an endowment or foundation founded by a political party.

        A political entity shall at the Agency’s request and within the time frame set by the Agency which may not exceed 15 days, submit to the Agency all documents and information necessary to the Agency to carry out tasks from its purview set forth under this Law.

        In the course of election campaign, a political entity is required upon the request of and within the time frame set by the Agency, which may not exceed three days, to submit information necessary to the Agency to carry out tasks from its purview set forth under this Law.

        Organs of the Republic of Serbia, autonomous province and local government, banks, as well as natural persons and legal entities financing political entities performing for and/or on their behalf particular services, are required to forward to the Agency at its request all data required by the Agency to discharge duties from its purview set forth under this Law.

        The obligation to provide information from para 4 of this Article supersedes any other restriction or limitation that may appear in any other regulation."

        Article 28 of the LFPA stipulates: "Upon completion of the control of financial reports of a political entity, the Agency may submit a request to the State Audit Institution to audit these reports in accordance with the law governing the competence of the State Audit Institution."

        Article 3 of the Law on State Audit Institution stipulates: "The State Audit Institution shall audit the financial reports on order to collect sufficient, adequate and reliable evidence to express an opinion on whether the auditee's financial reports provide true and fair review of its financial condition, results of operations and cash flows in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles and standards. Also, the State Audit Insitution revises party' operations based on the evidence of opinion on the regularity and effectivness of operations of public funds users, audits the operations in order to determine whether the financial transaction have been carried out in accordance with the law and other regulations, and revises operations expediently, which involves an examination of the spending of budget funds and other public funds in order to determine whether the means have been used in accordance with the principles of economy, efficiency and in accordance with the planned objectives."

        Scoring Criteria

        A YES score is earned where: 1) an independent oversight authority is mandated to monitor political finance information, and 2) the authority has investigation and audit powers.

        A MODERATE score is earned where the independent oversight authority is mandated to monitor political finance information, but doesn't have investigation or audit powers.

        A NO score is earned where no such law exists.

        Sources

        Law on the Anti-corruption Agency (Official Journal RS, No. 97/08), Article 3, 5 http://www.acas.rs/sr_cir/zakoni-i-drugi-propisi/zakoni/zakon-o-agenciji.html | http://www.osce.org/serbia/35100?download=true

        Law on Financing Political Activities (Official Journal RS, No. 43/2011), Article 28, 29 http://www.acas.rs/images/stories/1577-11.pdf | http://www.osce.org/serbia/80544?download=true

        Law on State Audit Institution ("Official Gazette RS, no. 101/2005, 54/2007 and 36/2010) http://www.dri.rs/images/pdf/eng/LAWONSTATEAUDITINSTITUTION.pdf

      • expand button!
        39
        Score
        YES
        In law, high-level appointments to the oversight authority are based on merit.More about indicator

        LACA stipulates in article 7: "The Board appoints and dismisses the Director of the Agency."

        Article 16 stipulates: "The Director may be a person who meets the general requirements for employment in state bodies, holds a degree in law and has minimum nine years of experience, is not convicted of a criminal offence making him unworthy of office of the Director. The Director may not be a member of a political party, and/or political entity and shall be subject to the same obligations and limitations that pertain to officials under this Act."

        Article 17 stipulates: "The Director is elected by public competition announced by the Board. The public competition is published in the Official Journal of the Republic of Serbia and at least one public media with state-wide coverage."

        The Director is chosen through a public competition published in the Official Journal. The procedure is entirely transparent and is completed according to law. The result is the election of the best candidate for the position of Director of the Anti-corruption Agency.

        LACA stipulates in article 8: "A person may be elected member of the Board who meets the general requirements for employment in sate administration bodies, holds university degree and has minimum nine years of experience and has not been convicted for a criminal offence making him unworthy to discharge the function of member of the Managing Board. A member of the Board may not be a member of a political party, and/or political entity and is subject to the same duties and prohibitions applicable to officials under this Act, except the ban specified in Article 30, paragraph 1 hereof."

        Article 9 stipulates that the board shall have 9 members, appointed in the following process: "Members of the Board shall be elected by the National Assembly following the nomination by: 1. the Administrative Committee of the National Assembly; 2. the President of the Republic; 3. the Government; 4. the Supreme Court of Cassation; 5. the State Audit Institution 6. the Protector of Citizens and Commissioner for Information of Public Importance, through joint agreement; 7. the Social and Economic Council; 8. the Bar Association of Serbia; 9. the Associations of Journalists of the Republic of Serbia, in mutual agreement."


        Peer Reviewe comment: Agree. LACA also states in Article 9: "A candidate for the Board shall not be from the ranks of the proposer, except when it comes to the Bar Association of Serbia or the Association of Journalists of the Republic of Serbia.

        Scoring Criteria

        A YES score is earned where: 1) high-level appointments must be based on merit in a public appointment process; and 2) appointees must be free of conflicts of interest due to personal loyalties, family connections, political party affiliations, business partners or other biases.

        A MODERATE score is earned where high-level appointments must be based on merit in a public appointment process, but the regulations don't forbid appointments involving conflicts of interest or other biases.

        A NO score is earned where no such law exists.

        Sources

        Law on the Anti-corruption Agency (Official Journal RS, No. 97/08), Article 7, 8, 9, 16, 17 http://www.acas.rs/sr_cir/zakoni-i-drugi-propisi/zakoni/zakon-o-agenciji.html | http://www.osce.org/serbia/35100?download=true

      • expand button!
        40
        Score
        100
        In practice, to what extent are high-level appointments to the oversight authority based on merit?More about indicator

        According to the Law on the Anti-corruption Agency (Official Journal RS, No. 97/08), the Director is elected based on a public competition providing full transparency and a merit-based selection procedure. The Board elects the Director from the best candidates in the public competition. The current Director was previously an employee of the Anti-corruption Agency, therefore was fully acquainted with the work of this independent body. The Director was elected as the acting Director 2,5 months and then elected the Director of the Agency. The previous Director was dismissed from the post by the Board because they were not satisfied with her work.

        The Board of the Agency is also independent and elected by the National Assembly of the Republic of Serbia at the proposal of nominations from the President of the Republic, the Ombudsman, journalists' association, Government, State Audit Institution, Supreme Court of Cassation, etc.

        The general opinion of political finance experts that this process is based on merit and the appointment of the Director is done in accordance with law. There is no evidence indicating that the members of the Board are biased or burdened by conflicts of interest. In the amendments to the LACA which are currently in public debate there is a proposal for the Board members not to be nominated by the President of the Republic and the Government in order to provide more guarantees of independence to the Board.

        Scoring Criteria

        A 100 score is earned where: 1) there is an advertised competition and public vetting process, 2) candidates with the most merit and without conflicts of interest or other biases are appointed.

        A 50 score is earned where the public competition is usually advertised and the vetting process public, but exceptions exist. A 50 score is also earned where candidates with the most merit and without conflicts of interest or other biases are appointed but exceptions exist.

        A 0 score is earned where there's rarely or never a public competition, or appointees are rarely selected on merit or without conflicts of interest or other biases.

        Sources

        Interview with Nemanja Nenadic, Program Director of Transparency Serbia, August 5, 2014 in the Media Center

        Interview with Djordje Vukovic, Program Director of CESID, August 5, 2014 in CESID offices

        Interview with Mato Mayer, Economic Transparency Advisor in OSCE, August 12, 2014, OSCE Permanent Mission offices

        Interview with Professor Zoran Stojiljkovic, member of the Boad of the Anti-corruption Agency, August 22, 2014, ACA offices

        Law on the Anti-corruption Agency (Official Journal RS, No. 97/08) http://www.acas.rs/sr_cir/zakoni-i-drugi-propisi/zakoni/zakon-o-agenciji.html | http://www.osce.org/serbia/35100?download=true

      • expand button!
        41
        Score
        YES
        In law, the independence of high-level appointees is guaranteed.More about indicator

        Members of the Board of the ACA, in law, enjoy security of tenure, cannot be removed without due process, and have the authority to review cases and issue decisions.

        LACA stipulates in article 3: "The Agency is an autonomous and independent state body. The Agency is accountable to the National Assembly of the Republic of Serbia for performance of duties from its purview."

        Article 10 stipulate: "The term of office of member of the Board is four years. The same person may be elected member of the Board twice at most."

        Article 13 stipulates: "A member of the Board shall be dismissed in case of dereliction of duty, if he/she becomes a member of a political party, and/or political entity, discredits the reputation or political impartiality of the Agency, if convicted for a criminal offence making him/her unworthy of the function of member of the Board or if determined that he has committed a violation of this Act. The procedure to determine whether there are grounds for dismissal of a member of the Board shall be conducted by the Board. The procedure referred to in para 2 of this article may be initiated following the proposal of the Chairman of the Board, at least three members of the Board, Director of Agency, and/or the nominator of the relevant member. Decision on dismissal is passed by the National Assembly at the motion of the Board. The Board may suspend its member who is subject to proceedings to establish whether grounds for dismissal exist."

        Article 14 stipulates: "The Board decides by majority of votes of all its members."

        Article 15 stipulates: "The Director shall represent the Agency, manage operation, organize and ensure lawful and efficient discharge of tasks of the Agency, issue decisions on the violation of this law and pronounce measures, give opinions and instructions for implementation of this law, prepare the annual report on operations of the Agency, drafts the proposal of budget funds for operation of the Agency, pass general and individual acts, decide on the rights, duties and responsibilities of the Agency staff, enforce decisions of the Board and perform other tasks determined by law."

        Article 18 stipulates: "The term of office of Director is five years. The same person may not be elected more than twice as Director."

        Article 20 stipulates: "The Director shall be dismissed in case of negligent performance of duties, if he/she becomes a member of a political party, and/or political entity discredits the reputation or political impartiality of the Agency, if convicted for a criminal offence making him unworthy of the function or if determined that he/she has committed a violation of this Act. The procedure to determine whether grounds exist for dismissal of the Director is conducted by the Board." The procedure is initiated following the motion of the Board Chairman or at least three members of the Board. The procedure specified in para 2 of this article is initiated following the motion of the Board Chairman or at least three members of the Board."

        Scoring Criteria

        A YES score is earned where: 1) appointees have the authority or mandate to review cases and issue decisions, 2) the law establishes security of tenure, and 3) removal or disciplinary actions are based on due process conducted by a peer panel or independent oversight body.

        A MODERATE score is earned where appointees have the authority or mandate to review cases and issue decisions, BUT one of the second two conditions mentioned in the YES criteria is not met.

        A NO score is earned where no such law exists.

        Sources

        Law on the Anti-corruption Agency (Official Journal RS, No. 97/08), Artice 3, 10, 14, 15, 18, 20 http://www.acas.rs/sr_cir/zakoni-i-drugi-propisi/zakoni/zakon-o-agenciji.html | http://www.osce.org/serbia/35100?download=true

      • expand button!
        42
        Score
        75
        In practice, to what extent is the independence of high-level appointees guaranteed?More about indicator

        Primarily the Law on the Anti-corruption Agency establishes and defines that the Agency is an independent authority. However, the Agency is not mentioned in the Constitution (Constitution was adopted in 2006 and the Agency was formed in 2009). This means that Members of Parliament passed this law and they can repeal it as well. The independence is disputable because of this issue, in addition to the fact that the Agency is funded from the state budget. This creates more dependence and therefore the impartiality cannot be full.

        From when the Agency was formed in 2009 it has earned more respect, particularly after a few rounds of elections. The independence of the high-level appointees is not questioned in public, and after the Board of the Agency dismissed the first Director Ms Zorana Markovic because it was not satisfied with her work, the perception of their independence has increased. This dismissal occurred in 2012, not during the study period, with a unanimous vote of the Board due to suspicions that Markovic was damaging the reputation of the institution. There is no evidence that board members are subject to political influence.

        The two journalists associations NUNS and UNS have had an on-going dispute between themselves for quite some time. They are currently not able to decide on a representative for the Board of the Agency from the journalists association. If the members of the Board were appointed solely under political influence, this would not be a problem, however, this dispute shows that the members are truly elected on the basis of merit.

        Scoring Criteria

        A 100 score is earned where all of the following conditions are met: 1) appointees review cases and issue decisions without fear or favor from other branches of government, and 2) appointees are granted security of tenure and 3) no appointees are removed, disciplined or transferred without due process by a peer panel or independent oversight body.

        A 50 score is earned where any of the following conditions apply: 1) appointees generally operate without fear or favor from other branches of government but exceptions exist, or 2) some but not all appointees are granted security of tenure, or 3) appointees are occasionally removed, disciplined or transferred without due process by a peer panel or independent oversight body.

        A 0 score is earned where at least one of the following conditions apply: 1) appointees operate with fear or favor from other branches of government, or 2) are not granted security of tenure, or 3) are usually removed, disciplined or transferred without observing due process by a peer panel or independent oversight body.

        Sources

        Phone interview with Predrag Blagojevic, Editor in Chief of Juzne vesti news portal, August 2, 2014

        Interview with Nikola Tomic, Journalist in daily Danas, August 15, 2014, Danas offices

        Interview with Branko Cecen, Director of Center for Investigative Journalism of Serbia (CINS), August 12, 2014 CINS offices

        Interview with Vukosava Crnjanski, Director of CRTA NGO, August 7 2014 in CRTA offices

      • expand button!
        43
        Score
        --
        Open Question: How does decision-making work in the oversight authority?More about indicator

        The Board of the Anti-corruption Agency typically has 9 members and each member is nominated by one of these institutions: the Administrative Committee of the National Assembly; the President of the Republic; the Government; the Supreme Court of Cassation; the State Audit Institution; the Ombudsman; the Social and Economic Council; the Bar Association of Serbia and the Associations of Journalists of the Republic of Serbia. Note that The Board has 8 members currently because the journalists associations cannot decide on a representative due to their issues unrelated to the ACA Board nominee. The Board decides by majority of votes of all its members. The work of the Board is managed by the Chairman, elected by the members of the Board. The Board appoints (following a public competition) and dismisses the Director of the Agency, decides on appeals against decisions of the Director pronouncing measures in accordance with the Law on the Anti-corruption Agency, adopts the annual report on operation of the Agency which it submits to the National Assembly, performs supervision over the work and property status of the Director and proposes budget funds for operation of the Agency and creates the strategy of work for the Agency.

        The Director of the Anti-corruption Agency manages the operation of the Agency, organizes and ensures lawful and efficient discharge of tasks of the Agency, issues decisions on the violation of the Law on the Anti-corruption Agency and pronounces measures, gives opinions and instructions for implementation of this law, prepares the annual report on operations of the Agency, drafts the proposal of budget funds for operation of the Agency, passes general and individual acts and enforces decisions of the Board.

        The staff of the Agency prepares all the materials and documents and the Director enforces it. The Board supervises the work of the Director. The Agency submits to the Magistrate's courts or public prosecutor's office charges for initiating misdemeanor or criminal proceedings. The appeals are submitted to the Board.

        There haven't been any significant problems in this collaboration inside the Agency, everyone works together well. The Anti-corruption Agency worked very well on covering the March 2014 elections. The only issue is the slow prosecution of the courts and public prosecutor.

        Scoring Criteria

        Please describe: 1) the composition of the decision-making body within the oversight authority, 2) the type of decisions it's allowed to make and makes in practice, and 3) in which cases majority is required. If there have been well substantiated complaints about the decision-making process being ineffective or politicized please explain.

        Sources

        Interview with Nemanja Nenadic, Program Director of Transparency Serbia, August 5, 2014 in the Media Center

        Interview with Svetlana Zorbic, National Legal Officer in the Permanent OSCE Mission to Serbia, August 12, 2014, OSCE Permanent Mission offices, August 12, 2014, OSCE Permanent Mission offices

        Law on the Anti-corruption Agency (Official Journal RS, No. 97/08) http://www.acas.rs/sr_cir/zakoni-i-drugi-propisi/zakoni/zakon-o-agenciji.html | http://www.osce.org/serbia/35100?download=true

      • expand button!
        44
        Score
        50
        In practice, to what extent does the authority have sufficient capacity to monitor political finance regulations?More about indicator

        According to the Anti-corruption Agency itself, they are understaffed in the Unit for Control of Financing Political Entities, there are only 10 employees in this unit. During elections, the Agency hires 160 monitors who were trained in 2012 for field work during election campaigns. The Agency is satisfied with the work of the monitors, however they are not technically well equipped to perform their tasks, therefore it is often time-consuming.

        The report on the election campaign financing for the March 2014 elections will be published in October. Political entities that ran in the elections had the duty to submit their report on campaign financing one month after the elections. This also shows that the Agency lacks capacities and there is some backlog.

        Other sources find that the Agency performs a lot of field research which leaves less time for desk review. The staff does not know how to prioritize their work and they concentrate more on the formal requirements being met (such as submitting the reports on political finance on time) rather than checking the content.

        Their work lacks pro-activity, however they do react to news stories and initiate investigations based on allegations from their competence. The Agency collaborates with the non-governmental sector, however if this cooperation were enhanced, the results could be drastically increased.

        Scoring Criteria

        A 100 score is earned where: 1) the authority has sufficient budget to monitor all incoming reports, and 2) it has sufficient staff to review all incoming reports.

        A 50 score is earned where: 1) the authority has insufficient budget to monitor all incoming reports, or 2) its staff can only review half of all incoming reports.

        A 0 score is earned where: 1) the authority can't fulfill most of its essential functions due to budget constraints, or 2) its staff only has the capacity to review 25% or less of all incoming reports.

        Sources

        Interview with Ruzica Stojiljkovic, Head of Unit for Control of Financing Political Entities, Anti-corruption Agency, August 7, 2014 in ACA offices

        Interview with Larisa Rankovic, Journalist for web-portal Thruthometer, August 7 2014 in CRTA offices

        Interview with Mato Mayer, Economic Transparency Advisor in OSCE, August 12, 2014, OSCE Permanent Mission offices

      • expand button!
        45
        Score
        50
        In practice, to what extent does the authority conduct investigations or audits when necessary?More about indicator

        The Anti-corruption Agency does conduct investigations that are beyond the scope of the regular tasks regarding assessing the reports political entities (political parties, coalitions and citizens' groups) submit. However, due to the lack of sufficient capacities, these investigations and audits are minimal. Nevertheless, the Agency does have quite enough time to conduct such investigations and audits and with adequate capacities this issue could be enhanced.

        The Agency has reacted to allegations in the media and initiated investigations, they also have the duty to initiate an investigation if a complaint is filed. The time frame for conducting investigations and filing charges is 5 years, therefore when requested by the researcher the ACA did not provide a specific number of investigations, nor did they offer any further detail regarding the investigations.

        The State Audit Institution did not conduct any audits/investigations after the 2014 elections.

        Scoring Criteria

        A 100 score is earned where the authority conducted at least three investigations or audits during the most recent electoral campaign.

        A 50 score is earned where the authority conducted at least one investigation or audit during the most recent electoral campaign.

        A 0 score is earned where the authority didn't conduct any investigation or audit during the most recent electoral campaign.

        Sources

        Interview with Svetlana Zorbic, National Legal Officer in the Permanent OSCE Mission to Serbia, August 12, 2014, OSCE Permanent Mission offices, August 12, 2014, OSCE Permanent Mission offices

        Interview with Branko Cecen, Director of Center for Investigative Journalism of Serbia (CINS), August 12, 2014 CINS offices

        Jovana Djurbabic, Communications Manager of CRTA NGO, August 7 2014 in CRTA offices

        Interview with Nemanja Cocic, Advisor in the Anti-corruption Agency, August 7, 2014 in ACA offices

        Interview with Professor Zoran Stojiljkovic, member of the Boad of the Anti-corruption Agency, August 22, 2014, ACA offices

      • expand button!
        46
        Score
        50
        In practice, to what extent does the authority publish the results of investigations or audits?More about indicator

        The Anti-corruption Agency conducts some investigations and audits outside the scope of their regular work. According to Agency staff, the ACA publishes statements on its web-site regularly. However, such statements cannot be found on the ACA website. Due to the fact that the Agency is understaffed in the Unit for Control of Financing Political Entities, it does not conduct or publish many such reports. Instead, all these investigations and audits are part of the Annual Report and the Final Report on the Elections (published in October 2014) the Agency prepares and publishes on its web-site.

        All investigative findings can be found in the Report on Financing Political Activities of the Election Campaign in the First Half of 2014. There are various tables and analysis on campaign financing, such as comparison of revenue and expenditure of political entities, comparison between the spending in the previous national elections in May 2012, etc. The data is detailed, it includes information on the election bonds posted as a guarantee for attaining public funding for election campaigns, loans from banks, debts of the political entities, abuse of state resources, charity work (which is forbidden) and similar. Charity work was monitored in particular and the findings are presented in the report.

        The report is not published within a month, because this report was published in October-6 months after the elections. Additionally, the statute of limitations for filing misdemeanor charges is 5 years leaving the ACA plenty of time to investigate, which they are obviously using to prolong as much as possible the filing of these charges.

        Scoring Criteria

        A 100 score is earned where the authority publishes reports of all its investigations or audits a month or less after their conclusion.

        A 50 score is earned where reports are available to the public more than a month after the conclusion of the investigation or audit.

        A 0 score is earned where reports are not available to the public or they become available after six months or more after conclusion of the investigation or audit. A 0 score is also earned where only summaries of the reports are publicly available.

        Sources

        Interview with Svetlana Zorbic, National Legal Officer in the Permanent OSCE Mission to Serbia, August 12, 2014, OSCE Permanent Mission offices, August 12, 2014, OSCE Permanent Mission offices

        Interview with Branko Cecen, Director of Center for Investigative Journalism of Serbia (CINS), August 12, 2014 CINS offices

        Jovana Djurbabic, Communications Manager of CRTA NGO, August 7 2014 in CRTA offices

        Interview with Nemanja Cocic, Advisor in the Anti-corruption Agency, August 7, 2014 in ACA offices

    • expand button!
      Enforcement Capabilities
      More about category
      • expand button!
        47
        Score
        YES
        In law, there are sanctions in response to political finance violations.More about indicator

        LFPA regulates the sources and manner of financing, records and control of financing activities of political entities (political parties, coalitions and citizens’ groups). Article 35 of LFPA stipulates: "Proceedings to establish violation of this Law and to pronounce measures in accordance with this Law are launched and conducted by the Anti-corruption Agency."

        In Section 7 of LFPA, starting with Article 38, the law stipulates: "Whoever gives, and/or provides for and on behalf of the political entity, funds for financing of the political entity contrary to the provisions of this Law with intent to conceal the source of financing or amount of collected funds of the political entity, shall be punished with imprisonment from three months to three years. If the offence involves giving or receiving more than one million and five hundred thousand dinars (17,100 USD), the offender shall be punished with imprisonment from six months to five years. Whoever acts violently or threatens violence, places in a disadvantageous position or denies a right or interest based on law to a natural person or legal entity on the grounds of giving a donation to a political entity, shall be punished by imprisonment of three months to three years. Funds referred in paragraphs 1 and 2 of this article shall be confiscated."

        Article 39 stipulates that a political party shall be fined for committing a misdemeanor laid down in the LFPA. Additionally, the responsible person of a political party or other political entity shall also be fined for the listed misdemeanors. Funds obtained through commission of misdemeanors specified in in LFPA shall be confiscated.

        Article 40 stipulates that a legal entity shall be fined if it commits an offence specified in LFPA. The responsible person of a legal entity shall also be fined for committing a misdemeanor specified in LFPA. An entrepreneur shall be fined for committing a misdemeanor specified in LFPA. A natural person shall be fined for committing a misdemeanor specified in LFPA.

        Article 42 stipulates: "In case of a conviction for a criminal offence specified in LFPA or if a political party or responsible person of a political entity is fined for misdemeanor specified in LFPA, the political entity shall lose the right to funds from public sources dedicated for financing of the political entity. Funds obtained through commission of specified misdemeanors shall be confiscated."

        Article 43 stipulates: "At the request of the Anti-corruption Agency and following launching of criminal proceedings for offences or misdemeanor proceedings specified in LFPA, the ministry with competence for financial affairs and/or the competent authority of autonomous province and/or local government, issues a decision for temporary suspension of transfer of funds from public sources to the political entity until issuing of final decision in criminal, and/or misdemeanor proceedings."

        Scoring Criteria

        A YES score is earned where: 1) the law clearly defines violations of political finance laws, and 2) there are clearly defined sanctions for specific violations.

        A MODERATE score is earned where violations are clearly defined but sanctions for specific violations are not.

        A NO score is earned where no such law exists.

        Sources

        Law on Financing Political Activities (Official Journal RS, No. 43/2011), Article 35, section VII http://www.acas.rs/images/stories/1577-11.pdf | http://www.osce.org/serbia/80544?download=true

      • expand button!
        48
        Score
        YES
        In law, the oversight authority has the power to impose sanctions.More about indicator

        LFPA stipulates in article 35: "Proceedings to establish violation of this Law and to pronounce measures in accordance with this Law are launched and conducted by the Agency ex officio. The Agency shall notify the political entity of the initiation of the proceedings referred to in para 1 of this article. The Agency may summon the authorized person as well as the person on whose complaint the proceedings were launched to obtain information as well as request forwarding necessary data in order to decide whether there is a violation of this Law."

        Article 36 stipulates: "Provisions of the law governing general administrative procedure shall appropriately apply to proceedings referred in article 35 hereof if not regulated by this Law."

        Article 37 stipulates: "The Agency issues a warning measure to a political entity in case it identifies during control deficiencies that may be corrected. If the political entity fails to act upon the measure before the deadline specified in the Agency’s decision expires, the Agency shall initiate misdemeanor proceedings."

        The Agency is independent in initiating proceedings for violations of LFPA and when there are findings and evidence of violations, the Agency files either to the Magistrate's courts the request to initiate proceedings or to the Public Prosecutor's Office to initiate criminal proceedings against the perpetrators. The Magistrate's courts and Public Prosecutor's Office continue the legal procedure from that point.

        Scoring Criteria

        A YES score is earned where: 1) the oversight authority has the power to impose sanctions, and 2) it can directly prosecute violators before the courts or is independent to send cases to public prosecution.

        A MODERATE score is earned where the oversight authority has the power to impose sanctions, but it can't directly prosecute violators before the courts or is not independent to send cases to public prosecution.

        A NO score is earned where no such law exists.

        Sources

        Law on Financing Political Activities (Official Journal RS, No. 43/2011), Article 35, 36 http://www.acas.rs/images/stories/1577-11.pdf | http://www.osce.org/serbia/80544?download=true

      • expand button!
        49
        Score
        50
        In practice, to what extent do offenders comply with sanctions imposed?More about indicator

        The offenders do comply with the sanctions and this is due to the fact that the main sanction for political entities (political parties, coalition and citizens' groups) is the loss or suspension of funds from the state budget. Due to the fact that pubic funding is the main source of political finance in Serbia, this is an excellent solution for sanctioning that forces political entities to comply with the law.

        The Anti-corruption Agency states that the number of violations is decreasing, nevertheless there are repeat offenders. The Agency initiates files charges for the violation of the law to the magistrate's courts or public prosecutor's office. However, the number of finalized proceedings is very low. for the March 2014 elections the Agency has filed charges and as in all other areas of the Serbian judiciary, the proceedings are very slow. A good development is that the statute of limitations has been extended from 1 to 5 years for misdemeanors, which were quite a big obstacle in the process until the recent amendment. The Liberal Democratic Party has been repeatedly sanctioned for violation of the duty of submitting election campaign reports at the local level. Their account has been blocked because they need to pay the fines imposed by the ACA. The reason LDP didn't submit these reports is because the party interprets the LFPA to say that they did not need to submit reports for each individual municipality where they ran in the elections if they didn't spend any money specifically for the elections in that particular municipality. They did use flyers, posters and other promotional material that they printed for the national level, therefore they felt that they did not use any funds for some local level elections.

        Another issue that was interesting for sanctioning political entities is the case when a political party seizes to exist, like in the case of the United Regions of Serbia. The person responsible within the political entity for submitting the campaign finance report can still be sanctioned, however, the political entity itself does not exist and cannot be sanctioned. The sanction for a political entity is much higher than for the individual authorized to submit the report.

        Scoring Criteria

        A 100 score is earned where: 1) offenders comply with the sanctions imposed without exception, and 2) they are not repeat offenders.

        A 50 score is earned where: 1) offenders usually comply with the sanctions imposed but exceptions exist, or 2) most are not repeat offenders but some exceptions exist.

        A 0 score is earned where: 1) offenders rarely comply with the sanctions imposed, or 2) most are repeat offenders.

        Sources

        "Analysis of Sanctioning the Violation of Anti-corruption Legislation in Serbia", Transparency Serbia report, February 2014 http://www.transparentnost.org.rs/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=443%3Anezadovoljavajue-sankcionisanje-krenja-antikorupcijskih-propisa-u-srbiji&catid=40%3Asaoptenje&Itemid=52&lang=sr

        Interview with Nemanja Nenadic, Program Director of Transparency Serbia, August 5, 2014 in the Media Center

        Interview with Zoran Gavrilovic, Director of Anti-corruption Program in BIRODI, August 8 2014 in BIRODI offices

        Interview with Ruzica Stojiljkovic, Head of Unit for Control of Financing Political Entities, Anti-corruption Agency, August 7, 2014 in ACA offices

      • expand button!
        50
        Score
        --
        Open Question: How strong is enforcement, and what impedes more effective enforcement?More about indicator

        The Anti-corruption Agency initiates an investigation for violations of the laws it is in charge of enforcing, collects evidence and if it finds grounds for initiating proceedings - submits all the materials and documentation either to magistrate's courts for misdemeanor charges or to the public prosecutor's office for criminal offenses. The judiciary is very slow in processing these, as well as any other cases, therefore the enforcement is not very effective. There is political pressure on the prosecuting authorities, and until recently, the statute of limitations was very short and many cases became obsolete. Many political entities (political parties, coalitions and citizens' groups) prefer to pay the fines rather than submit reports on political financing. The only other sanction apart from the fine is the loss of funding from the state budget. Some political parties seize to exist and then there is no possibility of sanctioning the political entity.

        The necessary reform in the area of political finance is providing the Agency with more powers to enforce the legislation it is in charge of. The amendments to the Law on Financing Political Activities grants some additional powers to the Agency, however the Agency would need more authority in initiating and prosecuting the violations of laws. The Agency also does not have access to the corporations that are shown as donors and their operations. Apart from the donors providing some basic documentation on its operation that is all the information the Agency receives. It cannot conduct in-depth investigations when it finds that a donor has declared bankruptcy and is still a donor, or has only 2 employees, yet provides an enormous amount of money as a donation. Finally, a corporation provides services to a political entity and a few months later there is debt relief by the corporation which means the corporation is a donor, however this fact does not show up in the financial reports political entities submit to the Agency.

        The fines could be higher due to the fact that political entities use funds from the state budget and should be punished drastically for any abuse of public funds.

        Political entities, or rather the authorized persons for submitting reports on campaign financing would need more training on how to prepare the reports due to the fact that there was a case in the 2012 general elections where a political party did not submit a few reports for campaign financing on the local level because they did not spend any money in these areas. The promotional material came from the financing for the republic level and there was no need for any expenditure on the local level. The Agency fined the party because it did not submit the reports for each of the elections on the local level even though the report would have a total of zero expenditure.

        In conclusion, better cooperation between the Agency and the magistrate's courts and the public prosecutor's offices, and greater independence for both the Agency (which is funded by the state budget and established by a law passed in the Parliament, meaning MPs from political entities can repeal this law at will, therefore the Agency should be defined int he Constitution) and the judiciary is needed.


        Peer reviewer comment: Agree. Several key reforms could strengthen the effective enforcement of political finance regulations in Serbia. They include: 1. Amendments to the financing of the Political Activities law to eliminate perceived loopholes ("financing by third parties," during the loan repayment and settlement of obligations, etc..), and to provide greater transparency of data and timely control;

        1. Amendments to the Criminal Code, the Law on the Budget System Law, media legislation, the Law on the Fight against Corruption and the Law on State Audit Institution to provide greater transparency of information, better planning control and sanctioning of offenses relating to the financing of the campaign (eg. buying votes, the abuse of public functions, veiled promotion of political actors in the media and the responsibility for the proper allocation of budget allocations);

        2. The Anti-Corruption Agency and public prosecution should do the following: disclose all instances of the illegal financing of campaigns, including the abuse of public office and vote-buying; provide protection for persons who report these violations; and thoroughly examine all the currently known cases of violations;

        3. The Anti-Corruption Agency should publish the full results of the inspections and initiate infringement procedures for all types of perceived violations;

        4. The Anti-Corruption Agency and the State Audit Institution should monitor outstanding loans and commitments made during the campaign period, in order to determine the ultimate source of financing of the campaign and any possible misuse of funds for financing regular activities of political parties.

        Scoring Criteria

        Please provide a general explanation of the effectiveness of enforcement, describing: 1) any conditions that may prevent effective enforcement, and 2) explain what are the most urgent areas of reform in the country's political finance system.

        Sources

        Monitoring the Sanctioning Violations of Anti-corruption Legislation in Serbia". Transparency Serbia, February 2014

        Interview with Nemanja Nenadic, Program Director of Transparency Serbia, August 5, 2014 in the Media Center

        Interview with Djordje Vukovic, Program Director of CESID, August 5, 2014 in CESID offices

        Interview with Predrag Knezevic, Advisor in the Anti-corruption Agency, August 7, 2014 in ACA offices

        Interview with Professor Zoran Stojiljkovic, member of the Boad of the Anti-corruption Agency, August 22, 2014, ACA offices

        Interview with Olivera Veljanovic, authorized person for submitting the report of political financing of the Liberal Democratic Party, August 22, 2014, LDP offices

        Phone interview with Vladimir Radomirovic Editor in Chief of whistle-blowing web-portal Pistaljka, August 23, 2014

        Reviewer's sources: Regional survey by Transparency International on the financing of election campaigns in Serbia, 2012. http://www.transparentnost.org.rs/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=327%3Aregionalno-istraivanje-transparency-international-o-finansiranju-izbornih-kampanja&catid=41%3Akonferencije&Itemid=53&lang=sr

Serbia has a unicameral legislature with a directly elected head of state. The National Assembly of the Republic of Serbia is a unicameral body consisting of 250 representatives. The election system is proportional with Serbia as one electoral unit.

The President of the Republic of Serbia is elected directly by a majority of votes. If none of the candidates receives a majority of the votes, the elections are repeated within 15 days and the candidates are the two candidates who received the most votes in the first round. The President has quite restricted competencies.

The mandate of the President is 5 years, and the mandate of the National Assembly is 4 years.

The key executive power lies in the hands of the Government i.e. Prime Minister.

The Serbian system recognizes political parties, coalitions and citizens' groups as eligible actors in elections, therefore financing of campaigns is provided only through political parties, coalitions and citizens' groups.

The most recent parliamentary elections took place in 16 March 2014.