Former head of the reporting and information system department at the Environmental Protection Agency, Dejan Lekić, says that he received the decision on the shift without notice, after he repeatedly opposed the changes in the criteria for assessing air quality and provided support to his colleague Milenko Jovanović, who advocated the same thing - adequate reporting on air pollution in Serbia.
The man who created the website of the Environmental Protection Agency, where citizens can monitor the level of air pollution in real time and find many other important information about the state of the environment, was recently transferred to a lower-ranking job, without any announcement. and explanations.
"I was in the position of a senior advisor in the state administration for 19 years, with the highest grades, only to be demoted recently because I allegedly do not meet the criteria," says Lekić, who has a degree in engineering and a master's degree in artificial intelligence.
As he says, without a single "goodbye" from the position of head of reporting and environmental information system, he was transferred to the group for improvement and education of inspectors for the use of software, in which he has above him the head of the group, head of department, assistant minister. He believes that everything happened because he publicly opposed the way in which the former head of the air quality department, Milenko Jovanović, was fired, as well as the entire procedure that led to that.
In addition, as Lekić says, he himself raised his voice against lowering the criteria for assessing air quality.
"When they did the shifts, they asked me for my opinion. "I said that in the process of integration into the European Union, sooner or later we will have to adopt the criteria of the European Environmental Protection Agency, which are higher than ours," he explains.
Nevertheless, the criteria have been relaxed.
"I have emails telling them, 'Don't do that.' During the day, they were able to send me five versions of the same thing. First it says let it be 40, so don't let it be 40 but 55, then let it be 55, and return it from before. Which before, what is before ?! ”, he explains and adds:
"It was like being in the street market when you asked, ''How much is a tomato?'"
How dangerous Lekić's dismissal is is best shown by the indebtedness that this expert had for 17 years. The department he headed unites all the monitoring - air, soil, waste, pollen...
"That department was an umbrella above all that. And not only that, a report on the state of the environment was created there. That was my job," he says, adding that that's not all:
"There was complete cooperation with the European Union through cooperation with the European Environment Agency and with all other international environmental institutions, including the United Nations."
So, the man who was in a key place in the country through which the information about the environmental failure reached the citizens, was replaced just like that.
After that, we can ask ourselves: "Will the job of the person who will be placed in such an important place be to adequately report on pollution, or to cover up the data?"