MOSTAR ─ A consensus was reached on the need to adopt a new law on the police external oversight among parliamentarians, civil society activists, police officers and members of independent oversight bodies and the international community in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

The member of the POINTPULSE network from Sarajevo, Centre for Security Studies (CSS), held public consultations on 19 of April 2018 on the police oversight and control performance in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Parliamentary structures agreed that the legal framework for police external oversight needs to be improved.

The adoption of legislative proposals on parliamentary oversight on the state level is an important step towards improving oversight, including transparency and efficiency of parliamentary bodies.

The draft law is also significant since specifies sanctions that will improve the accountability of those who ignore the demands of parliamentary bodies, concluded representatives of parliamentary committees in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Police representatives emphasized the need for prescribing the minimal references that need to be fulfilled by parliamentary bodies’ members.

It’s necessary to improve existing rules of procedures in order to prevent bad practice where existing committee’s members do not have enough knowledge about the position they are performing, stressed Representative of the Ministry of the Interior of Herzegovina-Neretva Canton.

Civil society activists pointed out the necessity to perform more efficient and transparent overseeing the policing in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Cooperation between civil society and parliamentarians should be improved and it’s important to advocate the role of the legislative authority in performing a more efficient oversight through law-making and amending budget control, and confirmation and election of high-security sector officials, said Denis Hadžović from CSS.

The effectiveness of police internal control in Bosnia and Herzegovina is also challenging.   

The fact that the heads of police internal control units are appointed by the police director can affect the perception of citizens that they are not completely independent.

Equally worrying is the finding that a small percentage of citizens would report police corruption cases to the internal control units.

The participants concluded that the police services in Bosnia and Herzegovina needs to provide better and understandable information to the public about complaints.

TAGS: AdvocacyBosnia and HerzegovinaExternal OversightInternal ControlMostarPanel DiscussionPolice Reform