GRECO dissatisfied with Bosnia's lack of progress in fighting corruption

Fena / Ilustracija

Bosnia made only partial progress when it comes to preventing corruption among parliamentarians, judges and prosecutors. Of the fifteen recommendations from the Report of the Fourth Evaluation Round of the Group of Countries Against Corruption (GRECO) at the Council of Europe, only one has been satisfactorily implemented. Eight recommendations were partially implemented, and 6 recommendations remained unimplemented.

As stated, recommendations related to public procurement and transparency of procedures, rules of conduct for deputies, declaration of assets and financial data, harmonization of legal provisions in the Federation and Republika Srpska entities and the Brcko District, strengthening of the Office of the Disciplinary Prosecutor, and three recommendations related to judges and prosecutors: strengthening ethics and integrity, drafting regulations to prevent conflicts of interest and creating a system for evaluating work and advancement have been partially implemented.

Recommendations related to harmonizing regulations on conflict of interest throughout the country, reporting corruption and conflict of interest, creating an advisory system for cases of conflict of interest, strengthening the High Judicial and Prosecutorial Council, but also ensuring the financing of their work and analysis of annual data – have not been implemented.

Otherwise, as many as four recommendations related to the prevention of conflicts of interest remained without any response from BiH authorities.

“The authorities have not submitted any new information related to this recommendation,” the report states as many as four times.

In the conclusions of the report, GRECO singles out the absence of tangible progress in the implementation of GRECO's recommendations regarding parliamentary representatives.

“GRECO notes with regret that the draft of the Law on Prevention of Conflict of Interest in the Institutions of Bosnia and Herzegovina, which was supposed to treat some of the aspects of the recommendations in question, has not yet been adopted, and which has yet to be included in the current legislation. The adoption of a comprehensive law on the prevention of conflicts of interest at the level of Brcko District represents a positive step forward, but it is limited exclusively to one of the entities,” the report states, adding that nothing has been done to implement the Code of Conduct for parliamentarians and the check of property records of parliamentary representatives.

“BiH has not made sufficient general progress in implementing the recommendations of the Group of Countries for the fight against corruption after the previous Interim Compliance Report”, thus GRECO concludes that the “very low level of compliance with the recommendations” is still “globally unsatisfactory”.

GRECO invites the head of the BiH delegation to submit a report on the progress in the implementation of the highlighted recommendations no later than March 31 of the following year.