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The Protector of Citizens determined that the Ministry of Education, Science and Technological Development made an omission in its work by allocating competition funds for programs relevant for education in 2021 that associations implement, without having previously decided on one of the associations’ objection on the funds allocation decision.

In the investigation to control work regularity and legality, initiated upon the citizens’ complaint, the Protector of Citizens determined that the Ministry of Education, Science and Technological Development did not make a substantiated decision on one of the participants’ objection, but it sent an e-mail to the complainant via the Ministry’s e-mail address without an authorized person’s signature.

The Protector of Citizens believes that in this case the sending of a notification cannot replace the adoption of an administrative act upon the objection of the participants in the Public Competition, that the notification sent by the Ministry in response to the objection does not contain a decision on whether the association's objection is rejected, dismissed or sustained, it does not include rationale or instruction on legal remedy, it cannot be determined who the enacting authority is and it does not contain the signature of an authorized person.

In the recommendation to rectify the omission, the Protector of Citizens has requested that the Ministry without delay, in the form of a decision, including rationale and instruction on the legal remedy, decide on the association’s objection to the List of evaluation and ranking of the programs applied in the Public competition for the allocation of funds for stimulating programs or the lacking share of funds for financing programs of public interest important for education that associations implement in 2021.

The Protector of Citizens further requests the Ministry to consider, depending on whether it rejects, dismisses or sustains the objection, the possibility of passing an appropriate Act that would supplement the Decision on the selection of programs of public interest implemented by associations in 2021.

The line ministry, according to the recommendation of the Protector of Citizens, in its future work should make sure that when deciding on the association's objections, it always makes a substantiated decision in the procedures for selecting programs to be financed from the budget, in accordance with the principles of good governance and administrative procedure.

The Ministry should inform the Protector of Citizens within 30 days about its acting on the recommendation, along with the submission of relevant evidence on the matter.