USAID Judicial Reform and Government Accountability Project Completed

05 October 2016.
USAID Judicial Reform and Government Accountability Project Completed

Five-year Judicial Reform and Government Accountability Project (JRGA) is officially closed today at the Conference in "Aeroklub" in Belgrade.Official closing of the Project was also attended by the President of the State Audit Institution and Auditor General, Mr. Radoslav Sretenovic.

Judicial Reform and Government Accountability Project (JRGA) was launched on 3rd May 2011, with financial support of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). The Project was implemented at the territory of the Republic of Serbia, aiming to strengthen rule of law and independence of judicial bodies in the Republic of Serbia; to raise public awareness on reforms in the judicial sector and to strengthen capacity of the Government institutions, focusing on independent agencies, as well as civil society organizations, to recognize and prevent corruption.

The Project included two components: Judicial Reform and Accountable Government, while realization of goals and results within the two components was supported by allocation of non-repayable funds - grants.

Over the five years, cooperation between the State Audit Institution and JRGA Project was reflected in support and excellent expert assistance that the Institution received during conduct of performance audits and strengthening cooperation with the National Assembly. Owing to mutual cooperation, the Institution conducted four performance audits, which contributed to more efficient usage of budget funds and prevention of abuses. Each of these audits resulted in changes that auditees implemented even before we published our official reports, and each one was on front pages of the Serbian media. That means we dealt with topics important to our citizens, Mr. Sretenovic said.

JRGA also supported us in establishing much closer and efficient cooperation with other state authorities that our work results depend upon. We established coordination mechanism with misdemeanor courts and prosecutor's offices and, thanks to JRGA Project, we started with regular meeting with these institutions for the first time and we directly resolve open issues. Such coordination mechanism is something JRGA will leave as a practice, which we will definitely continue to implement, Mr. Sretenovic concluded.

US Ambassador, H.E. Mr. Kyle Scott, attended the conference and announced the possibility of new projects, which were subject of consultations with the Government of the Republic of Serbia. Reflecting on the work of SAI and Anti Corruption Agency, Mr. Scott stated that those institutions, tasked with supervision, sent clear message that the corruption would not be tolerated.

Speakers at the conference were also Minister of Justice, Ms. Nela Kuburovic, Head of the Anti-Corruption Agency, Ms. Tatjana Babic, President of High Judicial Council and Supreme Court of Cassation, Mr. Dragomir Milojevic, President of the Misdemeanor Court of Appeal, Mr. Zoran Pasalic and Head of the Judicial Academy, Mr. Nenad Vujic, that are at the head of institutions which received JRGA Project support, as well as USAID JRGA Project Leader, Mr. Laurence Vetter.