Illegal Appointment of Aide with Party Connections
Stjepan Dujo was appointed assistant to the director of BiH Legislative Office despite failing to meet the criteria about required years of experience. Lidija Bradara, former chairwoman of the House of Peoples in the Federation of BiH Parliament, previously illegally appointed Dujo as her aide. Both belong to Croatian Democratic Party.
Paperwork that Stjepan Dujo filed when he applied for the position of assistant to the director of BiH Legislative Office has disappeared from the Agency for Civil Service (Photo: CIN)
By The Center for Investigative Reporting
In October 2018, Stjepan Dujo was appointed assistant to the director of the Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) Legislative Office. This was illegal because he didn’t have the five years of work experience in legislative and administrative area the job ad called for.
Dujo was previously one of six aides that Lidija Bradara, former chairwoman of the House of Peoples in the Federation of BiH Parliament (FBiH), illegally appointed as the Center for Investigative Reporting in Sarajevo (CIN) reported earlier. In the beginning of 2017 when Bradara appointed Dujo, he had one year of experience. However, the FBiH legislation required aides to have at least five years of experience.
Another Bradara’s aide also found a new job. Since December 2018, Slaven Zeljko has served as an acting member of the FBiH Oil Terminals’ Board of Directors. The FBiH Government appointed him to this office on the recommendation of the FBiH minister of energy, mining and industry, Nermin Džindić. Because he was appointed for only a year, Zeljko did not have to meet any hiring criteria or undergo the usual procedure followed to fill a vacancy.
His only work experience was working illegally as aide to Bradara and her predecessor and a party peer Tomislav Martinović at the House of Peoples. Dujo and Zeljko are also members of the Croatian Democratic Party.
Slaven Zeljko’s first job ever was when he was hired as aide to the chair of the House of Peoples in the Federation of BiH Parliament. Later, he was appointed as an acting member of the FBiH Oil Terminals’s Board of Directors. (Photo: CIN)
Job Procedure Paperwork Disappeared
Dujo holds an M.A. in law and three years of work experience. Dujo worked for the Service for Foreigners’ Affairs, but he took an unpaid leave to run for mayor of Novi Travnik on the party ticket of “The Croatian List.” He lost then went back to the department until February 2017 when he became a Bradara aide.
Even though the vacancy for assistant to the director at the BiH Legislation office called for five years’ experience in legal affairs, Dujo was selected as the most successful candidate.
Head of Office Džemail Ćibo said that the BiH Agency for Civil Service conducted all the procedure of collecting documents about work experience and checking whether an applicant has met the requirements. Asked by a CIN reporter if he was aware that Dujo did not have the required experience, Ćibo said that he did not have information about it even though he had read about it before.
“I cannot make any claims based on that. Evidence that was also sent to the agency is something else,” said Ćibo. “What is it, how valid is it or legal, I cannot judge that.”
The agency is an expert body at the BiH Council of Ministers tasked with giving legal opinions about whether a piece of legislation is in harmony with BiH legal framework. Dujo’s job is to manage the Sector for Legal Framework, Administration and General Affairs, coordinate staff and provide expertise.
CIN reporters requested the paperwork that Dujo attached to his application letter, but the Agency replied that it did not have it because an employee of the Office collected it and took it away after the vacancy closed.
Dujo denied that he did not meet job requirements and said that he had the required job experience. Asked why this was not recorded in the FBiH Parliament’s department, he said that he did not know what to answer.
“I cannot ask for records instead of you,” said Dujo.
Officials records from the FBiH Parliament that CIN collected in 2017 show that Dujo had just one year and 10 days of work experience when he was appointed aide.
The FBiH Government appointed his party peer Zeljko in Nov 2018 as acting member of the FBiH Oil Terminals for a period of up to one year. The terms of acting officials may be extended several times and for their appointment no vacancy procedure is required. Thus, there was no clear criteria as to who and in what way can be appointed to these offices.
Hasan Ganibegović, an aide to the FBiH prime minister, said that this was a regular procedure and the FBiH Government had passed a resolution that allowed for such appointments.
“So, there are no job ads, no special requirements, you can be a vet, a dentist,” said Ganibegović.
CIN reporters talked on several occasions with the secretary of the FBiH Oil Terminals who said that the company didn’t have a PR while members of the Terminal’s board, Džemal Bašić and Slaven Zeljko, were away.
In 2014, having had no previous work experience Zeljko was appointed an aide to Tomislav Martinović, then chairman of the House of Peoples at the FBiH Parliament. Before that he was president the of HDZ BiH youth. In 2015, the incoming chairwoman Bradara prolonged his contract.
Martinović has not responded to calls from CIN.
Aides Ahead of Law
When Bradara took office in January 2015, she also inherited Goran Božić, another Martinović aide. In the following four years, she hired another seven aides. Only one of them met the FBiH legislation requirements.
Zeljko, Božić, Dujo and Šimun Herceg did not have the required years of work experience, while their counterpart from the Party of Democratic Action (SDA), Semir Hajduk, had no previous work experience. They are all members of HDZ and SDA or the cousins and acquaintances of politicians.
Their monthly pay ranged from 2,100 KM to 2,600 KM. Between Jan 2015 and March 2017, the government spent 306,000 KM of taxpayer money on the salaries and benefits of Bradara’s aides.
Ana Popović is the only aide who has met the criteria with regard to the required years of service, while Jelena Kunić and Irena Mrnjavac where hired at the time when the amended Law on the State Service in FBiH was in effect and the five-year experience rule did not apply.
In December 2015, the FBiH Parliament amended the Law on State Service and took out the provision on necessary work experience. However, a year later, the FBiH Constitutional Court ruled the amendments unconstitutional and five years’ work experience again became a criterion. Nevertheless, all aides kept their jobs.
Following the publishing of a CIN story, the Federation Police Administration requested paperwork from the FBiH House of Peoples with regard to hiring. The Prosecutors’ Office of Sarajevo Canton is looking at the case.
Bradara told CIN that she made a point of choosing young and perspective aides and the best students of their generation.
However, at the end of 2017, Bradara hired a new aide, Mika Lešić, a 68-year-old former legislator in the House of Peoples. CIN reported how Lešić was ineligible by law for this post because has not passed a public exam for civil servants. He told CIN that his career was nearing an end and that he wanted to finish it in style.
When Martinović became chairman in the begging of this year, all illegally appointed aides remained in office, except for Zeljko, Dujo and Kunić. Martinović also hired another aide – Almedin Alifendić, an SDA legislator and the head of Bosniak Caucus in the previous term.