Projects implementers who got the most citizens votes in the second phase of implementation of the campaign “Be responsible” were awarded with five grant contracts worth total of almost 250,000 Euros, at the press conference held today at the ECO UN building in Podgorica. The campaign “Be responsible. It depends on you. Gray Economy 0%” is implemented within the project “Involving citizens in combating the gray economy” run by the Montenegrin Ministry of Finance, Faculty of Electrical Engineering of University of Montenegro and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), with the support of the British Embassy Podgorica.
One year from the start of the “Be responsible” campaign, and thanks to the activism of citizens and conducted inspections, fines worth of more than over 1 million Euros were issued for not providing fiscal receipts, violations of consumer rights and irregularities in the beaches during the summer tourist season. Until 15 December 2014, Montenegrin Tax Administration raised 529,980 Euros which will be used to provide funding for projects of general public importance.
Projects that will, by the decision of the citizens, be financed by the money collected during the campaign “Be responsible” are:
Clean Montenegro in Seven Days, which has received the most support of the citizens;
Planning and Equipping Parks and Playgrounds for Children in Niksic;
Establishment of a Youth Centre in Podgorica;
Procurement of Medical Equipment for Resuscitation of Babies;
Procurement of Equipment for the Employment of People with Disabilities.
Five projects were approved previously, and at today’s event the funds raised from the gray economy were redirected in five new investments that are proposed and voted by the citizens themselves. The maximum amount of individual donations for each of the 10 approved projects is 50,000 Euros.
For the last six months, citizens have submitted 4,797 complaints on gray economy in Montenegro to the Tax Administration. And day by day, number of citizens using leading edge technology was growing, as evidenced by data of 2,420 active users and 1,100 Android users iOS apps “Be responsible”. Citizens also followed the campaign and actively participated through social networks Facebook and Twitter.
During the 2014, “Be responsible” campaign was awarded with two significant awards - first prize of the National Association of Government Communicators of the United States (NAGC) in the field of mobile communications and second prize at Open Government Partnerships.
The ceremony of delivery of the Grant Agreements was preceded by summarising the results of the campaign.
On this occasion, Montenegrin Minister of Finance Zugic said:
I must say that I am proud to live in a country where such a large number of citizens showed readiness to assume responsibility for the well-being of their own community. Recall that only same time last year, we announced the start of this campaign. Even with the most optimistic projections, we couldn’t expect that we will, just one year later, in the fight against the gray economy have thousands of Montenegrin citizens as allies, on whose complaints the inspection services responded immediately, investigating them and imposing appropriate sanctions for the irregularities.
Dean of Faculty of Electrical Engineering professor Zoran Veljovic said that the administration of the Electrical Engineering Faculty is extremely pleased for their role in the development of this successful project, and the fact that this institution contributed to the promotion of social responsibility and civic activism.
Head of the Department for Democratic Governance and Sector economy and Environment at UNDP Office in Montenegro, Sanja Bojanic said:
Be responsible” is a really great example of how people with their conscious and responsible behaviour can not only be a good example for others and the community, but to also directly contribute to problem solving and/or improve the lives of their fellow citizens.
Deputy Head of Mission at British Embassy Podgorica, Mr Lyndon Radnedge pointed out that the British Embassy is proud to have supported this project and to provide support to Montenegro in fulfilling its obligations under the Open Government Partnership:
In short, this Initiative says: Transparency + Participation = Accountability, Effectiveness, Efficiency. Both of our countries are active members – seeking partnerships and technological solutions to inspire and involve our citizens more and more in building a better future. This is a globally significant project – with Montenegro receiving international awards for innovation and effectiveness. It’s worth emphasising how exciting this is – in New York, in Washington, in London, across our global network people are looking at Montenegro and thinking “Wow, that’s really impressive”. So congratulations to everyone who’s been involved in making this happen.
For further information on this project, feel free to contact our Projects Section in Podgorica.
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