UNDP - Serbia
Biljana Ledenican Portfolio Manager for Inclusive Political Processes, UNDP Serbia Project: Strengthening the Oversight and Transparency of the Parliament
19 years of working experience with UNTAES, OSCE and UNDP. Joined UNDP in 2001, since 2006 worked with parliamentarians in Serbia and the Region on developing inter-parliamentary cooperation on transitional justice, oversight and cooperation with independent scrutiny bodies (State Audit, Commissioner for Information, Ombudsman, Anti-corruption Agency, Commissioner for Equality, Public Procurement Commission and Administration) outreach, local level assemblies and most recently on strengthening financial oversight with the State Audit Institution and the Finance Committee as well Ministry of Finance Treasury. Contributed to developing UNDP’s new and cutting-edge initiatives in parliamentary development: • Introduced innovative mechanisms for oversight and transparency: Portal for monitoring public finance spending, two-way communication with citizens on local assembly’s website, introduces public hearings in local assemblies. • Supported piloting and introduction of public hearings in the National Assembly and local assembly Rules of Procedure. By provision of policy advice and support for hearings, UNDP was identified as the main partner and the EU Progress Report on Serbia praised the precipitous rise in public hearings (Amongst 48 public hearings held in the Parliament, UNDP supported around 46). Both scrutiny and legislative hearings contributed to the catalytic changes in the Serbian society and contributed to oversight over the Executive power, higher quality of legislative solutions and cultural changes fostering public participation and social accountability. • Supported 20 mobile committee sessions in the Serbian Parliament since 2009 DGTTF funded initiative that had direct impact on the legislator to introduce and define such sessions in the 2010 Rules of Procedure. Since 2013, 18 mobile committee sessions were supported with a high degree of results in terms of the Executive power responsiveness on committees’ requests. Effective oversight performed through mobile committee sessions, public hearings and other forms introduced and supported by the Project allowed for greater vertical accountability and improved relations between MPs and citizens. • Initiated and supported organisation and the work of the GOPAC National Chapter. The soft assistance initiative was, according to the GOPAC CEO, ‘the breakthrough considering previous attempts that could not raise the interest amongst MPs’. • Piloted various joint committee sessions for cooperation and oversight: Committee on EU Integration of Serbian and Croatian Parliaments; National Assembly and local assemblies’ joint committee session on defense and internal affairs etc. MA in Environment, Development and Policy. University of Sussex, Global Studies, through Joint Japan/World Bank Graduate Scholarship Program.