Srđan T. Korać

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Institut za međunarodnu politiku i privredu, Beograd


Parliamentary control of public administration integrity: Post-industrial polyarchies and Serbia

The paper examines the extent to which parliaments are capable of an effective monitoring the ethical dimension of public administration performance, and to encourage indirectly strict compliance with ethical standards. The author analyses the competences, powers and practices of parliaments with the aim to examine to what extent the legislative branch is an effective external control mechanism of the public servants’ performance when it comes to the issue of ethics management. In addition, the author identifies the structural weaknesses of the parliamentary scrutiny mechanisms. The scope of the analysis is limited to a selected sample of post-industrial polyarchies with the parliamentary system of government, and Serbia as a sample of post-communist country in the process of setting up the ethical standards and practices in its public sector in the last decade. The research findings show that, in the period 2001–2015, the National Assembly has not used to the full extent its scrutiny powers to examine responsibility of cabinet ministers and public managers regarding the issue of improving the quality of ethics management in public administration. The author concludes that the effectiveness of scrutiny powers of the Serbian parliament has been oftentimes hampered by the political will to maintain fragile coalition governments at all costs, which means that the parliamentary majorities have had no real interest in a consistent oversight of (un)ethical performance of the executive.