Control Functions of the Independent State Institutions in the Security Sector in Kosovo: Ombudsperson, Auditor-General and Anti-Corruption Agency

Published by:

Kosovar Centre for Security Studies (KCSS)

 

Title:

Control Functions of the Independent State Institutions in the Security Sector in Kosovo:

Ombudsperson, Auditor-General and Anti-Corruption Agency

 

Authors:

Robert MUHARREMI, Florian QEHAJA, Mentor VRAJOLLI, Skënder PËRTESHI

 

Date:

15.07.2010

 

The Assembly of Kosovo established the Ombudsperson, the Auditor-General and the Anti-Corruption Agency as independent state institutions. They have a very important role to play in ensuring that checks and balances are applied and that rule of law is fully respected by all public authorities, including Kosovo’s new security institutions. While the legal, institutional and policy frameworks in place are in accordance with internationally recognized democratic standards, they still suffer from loopholes in their legal construction as a result of inexperienced legal drafting. Also, the implementation of these frameworks is still lagging behind, because of undue political interferences that seriously obstruct the impartial and effective functioning of these independent institutions. These interferences include:

• A lack of follow-up by government and parliament on the findings and recommendations submitted to them by the independent institutions;

• Attempts by the Government to influence their composition and their findings;

• Inadequate staffing and allocation of financial resources;

• Abuse of loopholes in the existing legislation as a result of poor legal drafting;

• Lack of political support from the government and the parliament;

• Insufficient assistance by the justice sector.

The Government and the Assembly of Kosovo must lead by example and publicly demonstrate unwavering support for the independent institutions. They must respect their independence as guaranteed by the Constitution and the law. Otherwise, if current practices continue, there will be no incentive for the security institutions to cooperate with the independent institutions. In any case, they have merely “soft powers” and also entirely depend on a very weak justice department to enforce actions. Because the security institutions are still in the early stages of their development and have not yet developed the institutional capability to be fully functional, they are still exposed to possible violations of human rights, to abuse of public funds and to negative influence through corrupt practices. It is therefore essential, that the independent institutions apply their legal control authority over the security institutions as soon as possible, in order to counterbalance possible weaknesses of the Government and the Assembly of Kosovo, so that they can ensure that the security institutions function within their constitutional limits.