In spite of growing criticism members of the commissions who decide on the allocation of cultural funds are kept secret.
5.1.3 Allocation of public funds
The Law on Local Self Government (2002) re-allocated some responsibilities to the municipalities, such as: accomplishing and development of local interest in culture; institutional and financial support of cultural institutions and projects, preserving of folklore, customs, old crafts and similar cultural values; organising cultural events; encouragement of various specific forms of art.
According to the Decision on the Network of National Institutions in the Field of Culture 64 cultural institutions are considered local institutions. It means that the local authorities are responsible to provide the financing of the basic costs (salaries, running costs etc.) of these institutions. The local institutions can apply for annual funding from the Ministry of Culture for programmes and specific projects. Since June 2005, this has been put into practice.
On the other hand, the Minister of Culture has the discretion (on the basis of the Law on Culture) to dispose of public funds. According to Article 10 of the Law on Culture, the Minister establishes the annual scope of the national interest in culture; according to Article 66 the Minister approves the annual programme of funding the cultural institutions; according to Article 67 the Minister has the discretion to independently allocate 10% of the annual budget for culture, etc.
The 2007 Programme of Funding the National Interest in the Cultural Field was criticised by the opposition parties, some intellectuals, cultural workers and cultural associations, especially the programme for funding publishing houses, film etc. The growing public criticism even caused the Prime Minister to intervene and, for the first time in this period of transition, to demand changes to the Publishing Commission. The main criticism was that the biggest percentages of the funds were being allocated according to "party standards", meaning to people and firms close to the ruling political party. This especially concerned the work of the Publishing Commission. The Prime Minister intervention demanded change of the members of the Commission and new distribution of the fund for publishing houses. So it was done and a new Commission was appointed.
However, in the past several years the Ministry of Culture does not publicly announce members of the commissions who decide on the allocation of public funds. In spite of growing public criticism, nothing has been done in this direction and the members of the commissions are kept secret.