The Institute for Democracy “Societas Civilis” Skopje (IDSCS), the Center for Change Management (CCM) and the Center for Civil Communications (CCC) are reacting against the initiative for changes in the Law for Public Enterprises from a group of Members of Parliament. The proposed changes are introducing new position – deputy director.  We demand for the proposed changes in the Law for Public Enterprises to be revoked.

Amendments to a law of this nature need to be substantiated by a comprehensive analysis that will truly prove the need for such a position. The proposal that is on the agenda in the Assembly does not contain an adequate analysis.
The logic behind those changes is wrong. Namely, the existing criteria for selection of a director, and now a deputy director of a public enterprise, are low and allow employment of a management that does not necessarily have a higher experience than existing employees.

Hence, according to the existing law, in which the director, in his absence appoints an employee as a replacement, means a greater chance someone with greater experience to manage the enterprise.
At the same time, there is a systematic lack of transparency in the selection of directors, which additionally strengthens the risks of political clientelism.

Additionally, this initiative is entirely not in line with the efforts for reorganization and rationalization of the size of the public sector, announced by the Government of the Republic of Macedonia.

The financial implications for introducing such positions, could be assumed to be around 2 million euros annually, at the expense of the citizens of the Republic of Macedonia, considering there are 129 public enterprises in the country.

From the publicly available data, there are fewer than 10 employees in 22 of these 129 public enterprises. Taking into consideration that all these public enterprises, besides the director, have governing and supervisory board, this means that a greater number of selected and appointed persons than the number of employees who are carriers of the business. And now, instead of rationalization, that is, reducing the number of functions, a new additional function is introduced. All these data indicate that the proposal to introduce an additional function in public enterprises is irrational.

If we analyse the profitability of public enterprises, the quality of the services they provide, the satisfaction of the citizens from these services, the manner and procedure of election of members of the management and supervisory boards, as well as the quality of their work, we come to the conclusion that it is necessary to approach with qualitative and systematic resolution of problems with public enterprises, and not to introduce additional functions.

Due to all the foregoing, we call on political parties, and lawmakers to pay more attention to analyses and evidence based policy-making based.

The arbitrary proposals, without any support, and consultation with the stakeholders investigating the matter, are not in the interest of the Republic of Macedonia.

At the same time, we urge lawmakers to pay attention to overseeing the work of public enterprises, on the criteria under which management is elected, and on performance. These enterprises have significant financial resources, and their role affects the citizens in their everyday lives.

Simultaneously, we urge lawmakers to stop using the shortened procedure in Parliament so as to avoid analysis, debate and an inclusive process that involves other stakeholders when adopting laws.

Institute for Democracy “Societas Civilis” Skopje
Center for Change Management
Center for Civic Communications