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The Protector of Citizens has requested Lajkovac City Administration to urgently conduct public procurement procedure for selecting the provider of child personal assistant services and to take actions to enable every child from that municipality, who is in need of it, to commence using this service before the start of the forthcoming school year.

Lajkovac Municipality should notify the Protector of Citizens on acting upon the Recommendation and to submit the pertinent evidence within 15 days.

In the investigation to control legality and regularity, initiated upon citizens’ complaint, the Protector of Citizens determined that the Administration of Lajkovac Municipality made omissions in its work because it failed for two years to take all necessary activities to provide personal assistant service to children, which caused harm and violated the child's right to education and additional assistance and support in education and upbringing.

In the response to the Protector of Citizens, the Administration of Lajkovac Municipality stated that due to emergency circumstances caused by COVID-19 virus the public procurement procedure for selecting the service provider has not been initiated during 2020. However, to this day, the Administration has not launched the public procurement procedure even though it allocated funds for the purpose; realized two trainings related to child personal assistant service and initiated several other public procurement procedures.

The Protector of Citizens has emphasized that the existing epidemic must not serve as an excuse for not conducting a public procurement procedure for the selection of a child personal assistant service provider as children’s rights cannot be restricted, especially since in such situations they are the most vulnerable and sensitive category that is more gravely than others affected by untimely actions and harmful consequences.