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    • Training on advanced database search

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    • Date: 25 September 2013
      Searching through online databases, possibilities for appearance of corruption in the privatization process, advanced internet searches were some of the topics during the two-day training for researchers held in the library of the BCSP.
      Investigative journalism techniques were a topic of a presentation held by CINS
      Investigative journalism techniques were a topic of a presentation held by CINS

      A two-day training began with the presentation of Stevan Dojčinović and Bojana Jovanović from the Center for Investigative Journalism in Serbia (CINS), about searching through online databases. They underlined the fact that the incredible stories lie in the sphere of public information available to everybody. As an Internet database that are commonly used to find relevant information, they pointed out the sites of Serbian Business Registers Agency, the Central Securities Depository and clearing house, the Privatization Agency, the Belgrade Stock Exchange, Portal of Serbian courts, the National Bank of Serbia. By searching this databases everyone can find out who is the owner of the specific company, ith material and non-material investments, financial reports, company branches and its legal representatives.

      Ivan Zlatić, former Secretary of the Anti-Corruption Council spoke about corruption in the privatization process. He pointed out that apart from state officials, ministers and people involved in the process, no one could say that cases of corruption are just anomalies. All others would agree with the fact that corruption is a system phenomenon. He analyzed the phenomenon of corruption in three dominant models of privatization-the sale of 70% of the capital, taking on the stock market and bankruptcy. He pointed out that corruption should not be recognized as any deviation from the contract, as all of the contracts for the sale of 70% are systemic unenforceable. He described privatization as a political process initiated in order to achieve socio-economic goals and deviations from those goals is corruption.

      The second day of training began with the presentation of Dragana Peco from CINS about advanced internet search and the use of modern technologies in order to organize data. She showed the participants how to search the large amount of data which can be found on the Internet, in order to get results they are looking for. After that, her speech was dedicated to ways to organize the collected data and the use of tables and charts for this purpose.

      Slobodan Georgiev from the Balkan Investigative Reporting Network (BIRN), spoke to participants of training on how to read the budget. He believes that the discussion of the budget should be a discussion of policy analysis and objectives which should be behind the numbers in the budget. In Serbia, the deadline for the introduction of such, the program budget is the year 2015, and the current situation, according to him, is characterized by wasting large amounts of money on the wrong things, as a result of inertia and ignorance. He pointed out that the money available to the state of Serbia can be used much better, if the objectives were clearly determined.

      Aleksandar Djordjevic from BIRN, while speaking of the public procurement process, pointed out the fact that during the 2012th 2.5 billion euros was spent on the public procurements. He pointed out that the question is not whether but how to spend that money. He stressed that public procurement is one of the key generators of corruption in the society, which effect is reducing the number of bidders, and therefore the decline in economic activity. Aleksandar spoke about the benefits of the new law on public procurement and as a significant he pointed out availability of bidding documents, a stronger role of the Public Procurement Office and the introduction of the Citizens’ Overseer.

      This training dedicated to the techniques and tools used by investigative journalists is the second seminar which was organized in order to raise the research capacity of the organization within the project Partnership for Integrity in Security Sector in Serbia. Participants of the training were BCSP researchers, representatives of the SHARE defense organization and the Center for Research, Transparency and Accountability (CRTA).

      This training is part of the project Partnership for Integrity in Security Sector in Serbia, made possible by the support of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) under the “Civil Society Forward” program, implemented by the Institute for Sustainable Communities.
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