Gov't session

PM says gov't to be evaluated by performance transparency

12.01.2012 u 15:36


The government will insist on transparent and clear business operations, Prime Minister Zoran Milanovic said at a government session on Thursday at which his cabinet adopted a decision on the terms of using official cars, mobile phones, business credit cards, regular flights, expense accounts, and of approving business trips.

Milanovic said that regardless of how something was arranged and what a decision said, it was all up to the members of the government and others to whom the decision applied. "How we behave, spend, how we justify that, how transparent we are. That's how we will be evaluated and not by what this decision says, which is justifiably of public interest."

The decision divides officials into three groups.

The first group comprises members of the government; the second the PM's chief of staff, deputy ministers, the government's secretary-general and the chief of the state office; while the third comprises the directors of the tax and customs departments, the police director, the PM's deputy chief of staff, the chief state inspector, the government's deputy secretary-general, the chief state treasurer, assistant ministers, the government spokesperson, and the director of the state administration.

Those in the first and second groups are entitled to use an official car with a driver round the clock, while those in the third group are entitled to it only on official occasions.

Deputy PM Neven Mimica said this would provide for reducing the number of ministry cars by at least 40.

He said the decision alone was not enough and that it would be followed by decisions within the public procurement system, primarily regarding operative leasing in order to reduce ownership and maintenance costs.

Under the decision, all state officials are entitled to official mobile phones which have to be interconnected. Mimica said interconnecting mobile phones in the entire state administration was "the next project in the combined public procurement system" to reduce costs.

"All public procurement will have to be online," said Milanovic. He added that "a credit card mustn't be a privilege. It's a tool of transparent payment and money trail, and modern states are practically excluding cash payments."

State officials from the second group are entitled to official credit cards, as are state officials cleared by leading bodies.

Finance Minister Slavko Linic told reporters after the session the government planned to save about a billion kuna on material expenses.

The government also adopted a regulation under which daylight saving time begins at 2 a.m. on March 25 and ends at 3 a.m. on October 28.

The government approved HRK 496,000 for the holding of a referendum on Croatia's accession to the European Union.