VIDEO INTERVIEW | Robert Popovski: For officials to be accountable for every penny, institutions must be more transparent

Robert Popovski - national coordinator for responsible governance and transparency / Photo: Sloboden pechat - Dragan Mitreski

We need to change the mentality of the behavior. Citizens have the right to know more about the work of the institutions. Five years of the rule of this political set brought a serious positive turn regarding the openness of the institutions to the citizens. Until 2017, there was no question of openness, but the then government and institutions were rated as the last in the region in terms of transparency. Over the years, the situation has changed and now we are leaders in accountability in the work of institutions in the countries of the Western Balkans. However, those results on the one hand are significant, but on the other hand they are binding, because in my opinion they are not enough and much more work must be done on this topic. He emphasized this, among other things, during a guest appearance on the show "Morning Press" Robert Popowski the national coordinator for responsible governance and transparency in government.

- Our government is the only one that has an open budget. All transfers from the budget are public and every citizen can see them and they are replenished every fifteen days. However, you as a society cannot expect changes in behavior or a serious step forward if the political will of only one segment of society is one that wants to be transparent - said Popovski.

Talking about why it hasn't been renewed Accountability tool for public office holders' expenses on which citizens could see how much money Macedonian officials spent for official purposes, Popovski added that work is underway to restore this platform for transparency.

- Everyone who is an elected and appointed official has the responsibility to explain where he spent every penny. That tool was filled regularly and this current stoppage has both objective and subjective reasons. The objective conditions for the non-operation of this tool are the covid-crisis, the situation in Ukraine and others. All this reflects on the work of this tool. But the fact is that a report on this topic was published recently and I expect that the spending for the new government cabinet will be published very soon - said Popovski.

The coordinator for responsible governance and transparency Popovski stressed that we as a society must decide how we will deal with corruption.

- There is no concealment of bribery in this governing structure. If someone suspects something, he will prove himself before the institutions of the system. Maybe many people are accused unfairly, but there is a system and institutions where this is proven - Popovski pointed out. He added that if the key system, which is the justice system in the country, is on shaky legs, it will be difficult for other institutions to take on more corruption.

In the conversation in the studio, Robert Popovski also spoke about the latest report of the Agency for the Protection of the Right to Free Access to Information, in which some of the institutions were evaluated for their transparency and openness. Furthermore, it was also discussed about the use of social media by public officials and institutions, whether their current representation is sufficient or not, corruption, partisanship, but also about other topics.

Watch more of the conversation with Robert Popovski in the video below.

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