STA, 2 December 2021 - The government has submitted to parliament a bill amending the financing of municipalities act whose goal it says is to streamline the procedure to award funds to the local communities with Roma settlements. The amendments also expand the list of state-subsidised services provided by joint municipal administrations.
A release issued after the government session on Thursday said one of the changes concerned the provision on the co-financing of municipalities with Roma populations which the government says has been open to misinterpretation.
Apart from the systemic solution applying to all municipalities with recorded Roma settlements, the proposed amendment would secure an additional amount of 100% to the municipalities located in development regions whose at risk of development index is 125 or more.
The indicator comprises more than a dozen indices and is used to monitor regional development based on the national average. The figures above 100 show a development lag to the average.
In response to the Human Rights Ombudsman's call to select a ministry that will conduct oversight of municipalities with Roma communities that have not yet set out detailed programmes and measures in compliance with the Roma community act and local government act, the government called on the municipalities with Roma communities to consistently meet their obligations.
Another change in the bill on municipalities financing expands the list of tasks performed by joint administrations of several municipalities that are co-funded from the state budget.
The release says that the introduction of new technologies leads to new services on behalf of residents, which also creates the need for new staff qualified to manage and provide the new tasks of joint administrations. By subsidising that staff the state would help boost the municipalities IT-wise and in providing new services to the residents.