The Protector of Citizens is concerned that frequent inaccurate and unprofessional statements by various citizens' associations about this independent state institution’s work, the last of which refers to the untimely submission of the Protector of Citizens’ Annual Report to the National Assembly of the Republic of Serbia, could erode public confidence in these associations’ work and publically challenge their credibility.
“The 'Open Parliament' initiative, implemented by the Citizens' Association Center for Research, Transparency and Accountability CRTA, posted on its social media accounts that the reports of all three independent state institutions for 2020 had arrived in the National Assembly, but that the Protector of Citizens’ report was 2 days delayed. This arbitrary statement, made without any grounds, showcases the lack of elementary knowledge about legal procedures ", Pašalić believes.
Pašalić dismissed the claims about the delay of the report as inaccurate and pointed out that the Annual Report of the Protector of Citizens for 2020 had been submitted to the National Assembly of the Republic of Serbia by registered mail on the last day of the legal deadline, 15 March 2021.
"Even a cursory glance at Article 81, paragraph 2 of the Law on General Administrative Procedure would remind anyone who is acquainted with the Act that the day of delivery to the post office operator is considered as the day of submission to the authority it is addressed to if submitted by registered mail. I am concerned, as we are cooperating with many of them, that these citizens’ associations could ruin their credibility in the public, with their unprofessional and arbitrary interpretations that are not grounded on facts", said Pašalić.
The Protector of Citizens believes that ungrounded and unprofessional claims of citizens’ associations, which express themselves as protecting human rights, may mislead citizens and calls on the CRTA citizens' association to remedy the incorrect claims made on its accounts on Facebook and Twitter social networks in order for the public to be objectively and accurately informed.