Who is against the strengthening of the security sector?

The police renewed their official vehicles, but it is obvious that there are those who have trouble strengthening the security sector.

Yesterday in the Media Center a panel discussion titled “The Purpose of Public Procurement for the Police” was organized by the Belgrade Center for Security Policy, and on the acquisition of new vehicles for the police. As we considered the BCSP as a serious organization, we expected that among the panelists there would be those who support the strengthening of the security sector, but such speakers were obviously not in the plan.

The panelists mostly attacked the MUP’s move to procure a vehicle, and they objected why this procurement was declared a secret. In addition, the attacks on the MUP and the police by the panelists were very malicious. However, what affects them most is the fact that procurement was lawful, which occasionally some of them knew and acknowledged, and one of the panelists, Mr. Nemanja Nenadić, program director of Transparency Serbia, quoted Articles 127 and 128 of the Public Law procurement. On the other hand, what happened to the panelists, especially Rodoljub Sabic, the Commissioner for Information of Public Importance and Protection of Personal Data, was the fact that they did not receive the requested data, and according to the Law on Free Access to Information, which should, as they say, should be available to the public.

Center for Security, Investigation and Defense DBA considers it scandalous that this kind of procurement for the security sector is public and available to everyone. In this way, everyone could file a request and ask for information that would concern the security sector, so someone would know which service has purchased the communication device, the kind of protective equipment, the devices for detecting explosive devices, and in this case, vehicles that might be used in secret escorts or the transport of important personalities. Imagine a situation in which such information would be accessible to the criminological environment or to the terrorist organization!

Basic information about the vehicle purchase is available to the public. We know how many vehicles have been purchased, we know that there were more bidders, and we know how much vehicles have been paid. Ordinary citizens are just enough to know if their money is well invested in it, and the calculation says it is. Namely, if we calculate that 710 vehicles were paid 700 million dinars, you can easily calculate that one vehicle brand damage is paid around 8,200 euros, so when added to the price agreed services, winter tires, branding, you will easily get the price that is below 7,800 euros! But it is obvious that this is not about price, but about something else. What this all looks like is that it’s a bother to strengthen the security sector, and in every way it tries to diminish the significance of this procurement. Let’s not forget that the average age of patrol vehicles was almost 15 years and that these vehicles crossed 300,000 kilometers. In our vehicles, are our police officers supposed to run criminals?

The panelists also hurt the MUP’s promotional spot in which patrol vehicles were displayed on the plate in front of the SIV. We believe that the promotional spot is excellent and that the police should somehow boast new patrol vehicles and thank their citizens. Practice in other countries has shown that this kind of promotional videos by the security sector also have preventive action.

At the very discussion, we asked questions as far as we could, because the visibly hostile panelists, not only got into their minds, but skillfully turned the topic on things that did not concern this acquisition, so Mr. Rodoljub Sabic talked about Železara. Of course, it’s easy for them, because they practically throughout this time were dealing with the politics, very experienced, while we, who have nothing to do with politics, defended the police and the entire security sector.

At the end of the meeting, the procurement of vehicles was done according to the Law, and the real problem for panelists and organizers is that they did not receive information classified as “secrets” under the Law, and the only conclusion that can be drawn from this panel discussion is the fact that some panelists feel like a left-handed girl to whom the guy did not respond to the message.

Strengthening the security sector strengthens both the state and its people!

Stevan Djokic