OHR’s Statement at the International Agency’s Joint Press Conference

OHR Calls for Introduction of Public Moneys
Law


As you know, after the revelations contained in the reports published by the
Special Auditor last year on the operations of public companies in BiH, the
three prime ministers committed themselves to introducing speedy and effective
reforms that would stop a small number of well-placed individuals stealing or
misusing money that belongs to the people of BiH.


One of these reforms is dealt with in the Entity Laws on Investment of Public
Monies, which will ensure that all investments at every level of the government
are only made according to clear and enforceable criteria. At the State level,
investment of Public Monies is to be addressed by the new State Law on
Finance.


This legislation requires that investments of public money by government
departments can only be made by an investment manager, who must be authorized
and identifiable. In other words, a politician or civil servant cannot simply
decide to deposit large sums of public money in a particular bank because he has
a personal connection with this bank. In addition, government departments are
required to report all investment results to the Entity Finance Ministry.


There is nothing controversial in this legislation. It safeguards the
people’s money and protects the people’s interests. The law has already been
passed by the RSNA in first reading. However, it has not yet been presented by
the Federation Finance Ministry to the Government. As long as this delay
continues, the door to abuse remains open and the public suffer.


OHR calls on Federation Finance Minister Dragan Vrankic to supervise the
formulation by Ministry officials of a draft text of this law that can be
presented without further delay to the Federation Government. The sooner this is
done, the sooner the Government can send the law to parliament and the sooner
parliament can enact the law. Only when this is done will citizens be
protected.


PDHR Hays to Meet Municipal Officials in Jajce


The Principal Deputy High Representative, Donald Hays, will visit Jajce
tomorrow – this is the latest in a series of visits which Ambassador Hays has
made to municipalities all across BiH, during which he has listened to the
challenges faced by municipal staff in their efforts to improve services to
citizens.


In Jajce Ambassador Hays will meet Mayor Branko Cavar and other
representatives of the local authorities before visiting the Jajce Hospital. The
hospital authorities have struggled to restore medical services in Jajce
Municipality and the wider region but have been hampered by the overlapping
competencies of the Federation, the cantonal and the municipal
administrations.


Ambassador Hays and Mayor Cavar will also visit the Mosque at the centre of
the Old Town, St Luke’s Tower and the Franciscan Monastery. We will be issuing a
media advisory during the day with the details of the media opportunities during
this visit.