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    • Serbia is far from professional private security

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    • Date: 21 February 2017

      Labor cost in private security sector in Serbia is the lowest of 34 European countries and it starts at 2 euros per hour, while in other countries the cost ranges from 8 up to 28 euros per hour, it was pointed out at the panel “Towards Professional Private Security Sector” which was organized by Belgrade Center for Security Policy (BCSP) on 21st February 2017 in Belgrade.

      “In order to make the Law on Private security in accordance with EU Directive 2014/24, all purchases of private security services should be conducted using the criterion of most economically advantageous tender and the restricted procedure. Even that wouldn’t be necessary and the criterion of lowest offer price could be used, but only if there is a mechanism to define a market comparable price required by the Law on Public procurement”, said Dragisa Jovanovic from Education Centre of Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Serbia (CCIS) and the President of The Public-Private Partnership Commission for Security Sector.

      Jovanovicstated that EU Directive is followed by the manual on the proper criteria determining the most economically advantageous tender, that should have been implemented, but for this, in his opinion, there isn’t enough interest yet.

      However, the EU Directive has more influence on economic aspects of procurements and less on the preservation of social and human rights, said Anna Marie Burdzy from Public-Private Partnerships Division of Geneva Centre for the Democratic Control of Armed Forces (DCAF).

      “Measuring social and human rights criteria should be, unfortunately, carried out case by case. Although there are some guidelines, there are no universal rules except in countries with large and developed security systems. One of the options for facilitating the establishment of standards in the private security procurements is accession to The Montreux Document, which obliges the countries to respect certain standards in this field”, she said.

      This document lists the services that could be offered by private security companies, then standard training courses for procurement officers, as well as the obligatory conduct of security checks, she explained.

      Predrag Petrovic, Executive Director of BCSP, talking to media about sector of private security
      Predrag Petrovic, Executive Director of BCSP, talking to media about sector of private security
      Private companies employ quality security services, because it is in their interest to find the best service price to fulfillment of security needs ratio, said Branimir Bekic, security director of Vojvodjanska banka.

      “We start from the analysis of needs, the minimum of security standards must be respected, and then we look at the price. The most important thing is to precisely define the contract and to carry out monthly reporting and verification mechanisms through standard evaluation of the private security services, for internal audit“, Bekic said.

      Since the public sector hires about 60% of private security companies in Serbia, it is necessary to reinforce the control of framework agreements and the use of restrictive agreements, especially in case of securing critical infrastructure, it was concluded at the meeting.

      This panel was part of the conference "Financing Security for XXI Century", which consisted of interview conducted by BCSP researcher Katarina Djokic with Minister of Defence of Serbia Zoran Djordjevic within the framework of panel "Smart Defence: How to attain more with less”, as well as the discussion involving representatives of Public Procurement office, Trade Union of Serbian Police and PRO-CURE group within panel “Wasteful procurement: Threat to Serbia’s Security”.

      The event was realised within the project “PRO-CURE: Strengthening Civil Scrutiny of Public Procurement in the Security Sector”, conducted by BCSP and the Society Against Corruption with financial support from the Delegation of the European Union in the Republic of Serbia and the Office for Cooperation with Civil Society of  Republic of Serbia. The organization of the conference is supported by the Geneva Centre for the Democratic Control of Armed Forces (DCAF).

      This article was translated by BCSP intern Nevena Vasic.

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