Transparency International in BiH (TI BIH) filed a criminal complaint against Bosnia’s Transport and Communications Minister, Vojin Mitrovic, over the “illegal adoption of the new Ordinance on vehicle registration” which it said opens the possibility for significant revenues charged by the state to be directed to a private company.
“With this rulebook, which came into force on September 1, Mitrovic predicted that the Ministry could hand over the work of purchasing stickers, which until now had been handled by state institutions, to an “expert institution” that would be chosen through a public competition. It is also foreseen that drivers in Bosnia and Herzegovina will be able to pay the fee to the “expert institution” chosen by the Ministry in the future during vehicle registration, which practically means that significant public funds would be diverted to a private company,” TI BiH said.
The organisation stressed that this was done illegally “because the minister can only prescribe provisions on the appearance and content of the sticker by means of an ordinance,” while “public authorizations can only be given by law.”
It said that “not a single article” of the Law on the Basics of Traffic Safety on Roads gives the minister the authority to prescribe who will procure stickers and collect public revenues.
“That is why TI BIH believes that Mitrovic committed the criminal offence of abuse of official position or authority from Article 220 of the Criminal Code of BiH, which can be committed by an official if he exceeds his authority in order to obtain benefits for himself or others,” the statement said.
It said that “proof that there is a clear intention to benefit others is reflected in the very precisely set conditions in the rulebook that must be met by the “professional institution”.”
“Bearing in mind all of the above, it is evident that this is about passing regulations tailored to individuals, as we already had the opportunity to see with the passing of the Law on Games of Chance in the Republic of Srpska, where the exclusive right to organize was given to a private company connected to the top of the government. This move is an obvious example of how a captured state functions, where institutions serve the interests of individuals and the ruling elite instead of the public interest,” TI BiH concluded.