SARAJEVO – Independence of the police internal control units is a key weakness for police integrity in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
The Centre for Security Studies presented the results of the third annual report on police integrity in Bosnia and Herzegovina on 5 of December in Sarajevo. Special focus was on the parliamentary oversight of the police, internal control of the police, human resource management, procurement and cooperation between police agencies and prosecution in fighting corruption.
Mirela Hodović, a researcher at the Centre for Security Studies, pointed out that the external police oversight mechanisms in Bosnia and Herzegovina are not sufficiently functional.
„There is no law on the parliamentary oversight which would contribute to a more comprehensive regulation of this area, especially in terms of more efficient and transparent oversight of police work“, explained Hodović.
Hodović said that internal police control units require changes in order to achieve greater independence and functionality.
“Key weaknesses is the independence of the internal control units. The number of staff within those units and the dynamics of their work are still unsatisfactory since there is a high perception of police corruption. Almost 2500 complaints were submitted to the internal control to 14 police agencies in Bosnia and Herzegovina during 2016 and the first eight months of 2017. Only 45% have been found to be justified. There are 27 cases indicating corrupt activities of police officers”, clarified Hodović.
The research identified that many police agencies do not devote adequate attention to the human resources and financial management.
“Insufficiently prescribed conditions for admission to the police and a legal framework that does not allow fair promotion in the service are problems. The implementation of internal financial audit in the police sector continues to be problematic, while an increase in the allocation of budgetary funds for police agencies was noted”, said Hodović.
There is no specific record of the number of criminal charges filed against police officers when it comes to corruption. The only source of information about the police corruption cases in Bosnia and Herzegovina is the data provided by the police internal control departments. These data show that in 2016 and the first eight months of 2017, 27 cases were submitted to the competent prosecutor’s office for further action.