Hourly Wage Worth Several Thousands KM

Friday August 30th, 2013
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Around two million KM is spent on state level commissions every year. An hour of work for some of them costs several thousand KM.

Bariša Čolak

Justice Minister Bariša Čolak is at the head of the Commission Bar Examination. (PHOTO: RFE)

By The Center for Investigative Reporting

The Commission for Drugs and Medical Supplies of Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) charged 1,900 KM for every hour they worked during the last year, revealed an audit by the Audit Office of the Institutions of BiH. The commission had nine sessions totaling 24 hours for which they collected 45,600 KM. On top of this they have not fulfilled one its main objectives: to come up with the list of essential medicines for the Agency.

The commission’s secretary Tatjana Ponorac told the Center for Investigative Reporting (CIN) that a list on the state level has not been agreed on because the entity ministries of health cannot agree on the type of list.

“The commission has no problem of giving its expert opinion, but the entity ministries have to agree what kind of list they want. In all of our explanations we wrote that this was more of a political issue”, said Ponorac.

The commission numbers 15 members who are put forth by two entity ministries of health and Brčko District Health Department.

The auditors say that the state-level commissions collect around 2 million KM in fees every year. There are no complete data on the number of commissions and other task groups, as well as the number of their members. There is no limit as to in how many commission one can person sat on. The auditors have calculated—at the sample of ten commissions set up by the Council of Ministers—that some officeholders charge more than a thousand KM for actual work in the commissions.

The auditors found that commissions often neither have a clear goal they’re trying to achieve, nor a time frame within which it should be finished. The payment of fees is not tied to their efficiency.

Commission for salaries and benefits in BiH institutions has been operating for four years instead of one. They worked 18 hours last year for which they were paid 58,600 KM. They were set up to draw up criteria and procedures for the job evaluation and salary policy in the state government offices.

The Commission for Judiciary Examination at the level of BIH is paid according to the number of candidates that take the exam. For each candidate the president of the commission receives 120 KM, and commission members receive 90 KM each. Justice minister Bariša Čolak was heading the commission. According to the law, the justice minister picks up the commission’s president and its members and also sets the fee. The commission submits a report to the Justice Minister at least once a year. The commission charged around 106,000 KM for its work last year.

According to auditors, the oversight of commission is not organized to ensure efficient and economical use of budget funds. The commission members are often civil servants and auditors found that it was a usual practice for commissions to convene during the work hours. “Their members receive a salary for their regular working hours and pick up commission fees at the same time,” said the auditors.

Two of the ten audited commissions did not even meet during 2012. These are the Commission for Curbing Narcotics and the Commission for Recognition of Natural and Mineral Waters in BiH. At the same time, the commission for co-operation with UNESCO met twice in 2012, spending 31.000 KM on its members.

CIN has published a series of stories in which it showed that commissions in BiH are dearly paid, with little results.

Published August 30, 2013.

Objavljeno: 30. 8. 2013.

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The Center for Investigative Reporting in Sarajevo (CIN) work is available for free to all organizations that credit CIN as their source and link to www.cin.ba.

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