The Overseas Security Advisory Council (OSAC) was initiated by the US State Department in 1985. In Serbia, OSAC commenced its work as an AmCham Committee in 2005 and, ever since, it has dealt with the local security environment and associated laws and regulations by sharing relevant and timely information between the US Embassy in Belgrade and AmCham member companies.
The Committee’s Agenda for 2010 was comprised of the following activities
• Follow-up regarding the dissemination of information on the rules for foreigners and business visitors when entering Serbia
• Advice for finalization and adoption of the Law on Private Security
The OSAC Committee compiled comments and suggestions for improvement of the Draft Law on Private Security and submitted them to the Ministry of the Interior. A summary of the OSAC Committee’s key suggestions includes: harmonization of certain provisions with EU terminology and best practices, clarification of provisions stipulating the establishment and work of an agency for issuing licenses to private security firms and individuals and the necessity of replacing the citizenship requirement with a residence requirement in accordance with WTO standards.
From its beginning, the Committee expressed eagerness to establish close cooperation with the Serbian authorities. In 2006, it hosted an AmCham business breakfast with Rasim Ljajic, Minister for Human and Minority Rights.
Also in the autumn of 2006, the OSAC Committee organized an AmCham business breakfast with representatives of the Ministry of Interior Unit for Foreigners on new draft legislation pertaining to registration of foreign visitors, giving AmCham members an opportunity to provide practical advice and share their experiences.
Among the Committee's particularly significant advocacy initiatives is its OSAC Business Today Seminar hosted annually since 2007. Every year this special event attracts security professionals, including Serbian Ministry of Interior representatives and US Government experts, who eagerly share information and best practices pertaining to corporate security. Seminar topics have included Property and Personal Security (2007), Safety at Work (2008) and Corporate Practices in Dealing with Terrorist Threats (2009).
A key advocacy project of the OSAC Committee over the last couple of years has been continuing to follow the development of the Draft Law on Personal and Property Security and other regulatory changes involving the private security industry and corporate security. In 2009, the Committee decided that the annual agenda would involve joint activity with the Ministry of Interior on publicizing the new provisions obliging registration of foreign natural persons entering Serbia (residents and business visitors) imposed by the recently adopted regulations..