Bjelovar to Offer Total Financial Transparency to Residents

Lauren Simmonds

”The citizens have the right to know,” Bjelovar’s mayor says.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes on the 15th of May, 2019, three months after allowing Bjelovar’s citizens full insight into the budget in all forms, which not even the city administration gets to see in most Croatian towns and cities, Bjelovar’s mayor Dario Hrebak is realising his most important promise – to open up all of Bjelovar’s finance and budget transactions, and as such, Bjelovar has established itself as the first completely transparent city in the country, reports

All preparations and testing of system’s functionality has been completed during this past week and Bjelovar is launching a brand new application (app) on Monday morning during a presentation at Zagreb’s Journalists’ House, through which citizens will be able to track, in real time, just what is being spent on what, and they’ll be able to see transactions dating all the way back to the 1st of January, 2018. The application was created by Vuk Vuković and the Institute for the synergy of science and society.

If they type in, for example, ”Dario Hrebak”, all interested parties will be able to see exactly what contractions the mayor has completed using his official card from the 1st of January, 2018. From purchasing a wireless mouse (234 kuna) and a laptop bag (239 kuna), to the payment of wages to a stay at Hotel Lav in September (1.737 kuna).

A search date can be entered into the app’s search engine for a specific date or time period, a company, a city company, and just like that, users can check all of Bjelovar’s official payments, from purchases costing a fortune right down to toilet paper and coffee. For example, if you type in ”communal”, you can see all of Bjelovar’s payments to this particular company, both large and small.

“Citizens have a right to know what their money is being spent on, and here in Bjelovar, we’ve got nothing to hide. Many colleagues have warned me that I’m cutting the branch I’m sitting on off because of this move, because everyone will be able to say what they want about the spending, but I don’t care.”

The mayor continued by stating that with this bold move, Bjelovar will become the most transparent city in the country and the Croatian leader in the genuine fight against corruption. Hrebak also urged other mayors and city administrations to do the same because transparency is the best weapon in the fight against corruption.

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