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Ombudsperson’s Report with Recommendations addressed to the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology

The Ombudsperson has published today the Report with Recommendations addressed to the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology (MEST), relating to the failure of this institution to review the complaint filed by the party within legal time frame regarding the discharge from the position of Prorector for Budget, Finance and Infrastructure by the Steering Council of the University of Prizren “Ukshin Hoti” in Prizren.

The purpose of this Report is to draw MEST’s attention regarding the right of the party to be informed about the complaint lodged in May 2015, against the decision of the Steering Council of the University of Prizren (UPZ) through which she has been discharged from the above given position.

The Ombudsperson in his Report observes that, the length of procedures has occurred as a result of MEST’s failure to handle the complainant’s complaint as foreseen by the Law on Administrative Procedure (LAP). Furthermore, in the Report is ascertained that the Commission for Complaints and Submissions in MEST, again in disagreement with LPA, treats the complaint of the party as a complaint filed on her behalf by the Ombudsperson.

In legal analyses provided in this Report is clarified that the Ombudsperson is not a party and neither is a representative of complaining party and also does not compile submissions on behalf of parties neither does represent them at court or administrative proceedings: Therefore, the Ombudsperson observes that the failure of the Ministry to respond and the administrative act through which the Commission for Submissions and Complaints announces itself incompetent regarding the review of the complaint, has been mistakenly addressed to the Ombudsperson instead to be addressed to the party in this legal – administrative case, falling in full contradiction with Article 18, paragraph 1 of LAP No. 02/L-28, which expressly determines; “a) the public administration body, to which the request is wrongfully submitted shall in the course of 2 days upon receipt, reach a decision declaring its non-competence over the matter”.

Law on Higher Education as well as the Statute of UPZ “Ukshin Hoti”, also anticipate that the complaint is initially addressed to the Ministry and then to the competent court, thus the party was right when she addressed MEST and required that her case is reviewed while MEST did not review the case leaving the responsibility regarding this issue to the Commission for Complaints and Submissions, and as a consequence, the party was denied accomplishment of her right, through unreasonable and excessive delay of the procedure for review and decide upon the case. Ombudsperson points out that the right of the party for an administrative hearing without delay is guaranteed also by LAP where the timeframe from 30 days has been precisely determined for promulgation of administrative acts. The fact that the party in this case even after 18 months of initiation of complaint, did not receive any response, proves an evidence of denial of justice, guaranteed by the Constitution and Law. This comprises also violation of the international standards set out, specifically of Article 6, related to Article 13 of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR).

Pointing out that the delay and inefficiency of procedures bring about situations which are in contradiction with the principle of the rule of law, a principle which is sanctioned by the highest legal acts as well as international legal instruments, which Kosovo authorities are under the obligation to respect without exception. The Ombudsperson recommends to the MEST to guarantee the review of complaints to all parties within a reasonable time, to announce absolutely invalid the administrative acts promulgated by the Commission for Complaints and Submissions as well as in compliance with the law at force, in the concrete case to promulgate an administrative act based on Law on Administrative Procedure.

Full Report with Recommendations is available for the public in OI official web page as well as is distributed to media.

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