Background and goal
The Government Accountability Initiative (GAI) is a four year, USAID-funded project strengthening capacities and connections of key Serbian stakeholders to increase government accountability at the national and local levels. Its chief counterparts are the State Audit Institution, the Anti-Corruption Agency (ACA), local self-governments (LSGs), and Civil Society Organizations (CSOs). The project was awarded in February 2018, and is implemented by Checchi and Company Consulting, Inc.
GAI will support LSGs’ efforts to increase the inclusiveness of public decision-making regarding public resource allocations and to encourage and incentivize LSGs to operate in a more accountable, transparent and responsive manner. GAI will implement interventions both through direct technical support to a select number of LSGs, as wells as organizing national level activities in the areas with greatest potential to increase transparency and accountability, such as local budgeting, public procurements, public services delivery, anti-corruption plans, whistleblower protection.
GAI plans to implement activities that will support LSGs in promoting and establishing effective and efficient whistleblowing systems, as one of the very important areas for strengthening anti-corruption efforts and accountability. According to Serbian Whistleblower Protection Law (enacted on December 4, 2014, implemented since June 5, 2015) and the Rulebook on Whistleblowing, adopted by the Ministry of Justice, LSGs are obliged to introduce systems for internal and external whistleblowing that will ensure secure receipt of reports and appropriate follow up actions. Given that the regulatory framework relating to whistleblowing is relatively new in Serbia, local self-governments will need support to implement relevant legal requirements and educate staff in municipalities and local enterprises on the rules and procedures for whistleblowing and whistleblower protection. GAI’s goals are to improve whistleblower protection in Serbian LSGs by developing a functional model for whistleblower protection and building the capacity of local self-government staff and managers of whistleblower protection programs.
The expert will undertake the following tasks:
- Develop a functional model for introduction of whistleblower protection systems at the LSG level in Serbia. The model should rely on international best practices while considering concrete legal and organizational specifics of local self-governments in Serbia (mainly regulated by the Law on Local Self-Government and by other relevant legislation);
- Develop training materials for regional workshops on whistleblowing for management and persons-in-charge for whistleblower programs in LSGs;
- Deliver training on whistleblower protection in regional municipal workshops in cooperation with local experts; and
- Provide technical assistance to selected LSGs.
The total level of effort for the task is up to 40 days of work, including:
- 7 days, including two travel days, on-site for preparatory work in local self-governments
- 10 days off-site to develop a model and training materials
- 23 days on site, including travel days, to work with selected LGs and for delivery of workshops
The work is anticipated to be completed during the period September 1, 2018 – February 28, 2019.
- A model for introduction of sound whistleblowing system in local self-governments;
- Curricula with training materials for workshops for internal whistleblower report recipients and managers;
- Deliver three regional workshops in cooperation with local partner;
- A trip report including overview of technical assistance provided to individual LSGs and recommendations for next steps
This position is for an expert at the Senior level (8-15 yrs. experience). In addition:
- Specific experience – substantial knowledge of/experience with policies and practice in whistleblowers protection is required
- Regional experience – experience in Serbia is highly desired/preferred.
 National legislative framework provide the same obligations and mostly general directions for introducing whistleblower protection for entire public sector, i.e. for all types of different public institutions. From the other hand, local self-governments, as only one type of public institutions, have some specifics and complexity that make them very different than the other types of public institutions (such as ministries, other central level institutions, hospitals, schools, public enterprises etc.). These specifics and complexity (for example, existence of four different organs in “local self-government unit”– assembly, council, mayor and administrations, existence of offices for free legal aid and/or local ombudsman and other local services that can overlap with protection of whistleblowing etc.) requires specific and more concrete models for organizing whistleblower protection that in other public sector entities.