The Centre for Security Studies from Sarajevo considers an insufficient number of employees working on public procurement as most challenging for budgeting the police in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
By Mateja Agatonović (BCSP)
Existing 11 ministries of the interior in Bosnia and Herzegovina do not represent a model which is economically efficient and functional having in mind large budget allocations for police. In 2015, allocations to police services in Bosnia and Herzegovina amounted to 8.04% of the total budget. For instance, Montenegro allocates 3.59%, while Serbia 5.71% and Kosovo 6.85%. Percentage-wise, Bosnia and Herzegovina spend the most in the region for the police.
Police services in Bosnia and Herzegovina do not have a sufficient number of employees who work on public procurements. Planning and implementation of public procurement have become a very difficult task under such conditions. The findings of auditors generally show that public procurement procedures in the police sector are not carried out in the most efficient manner and/or in accordance with the Law on Public Procurement, mainly due to Ministry of Interior’s use of exemptions from the provisions of the Law.
Internal audit capacity also remains weak due to lack of staffing and appropriate training and certification. The legal framework for internal audit is now in place at all levels except in the Brčko District and is largely consistent with international standards. The criteria for establishing internal audit units have been fixed at all levels, but they are not consistent with each other. A number of police services also don’t publish their budget on the Internet, but this is consistent with the practice of other institutions in the country.
The implementation of internal financial controls in the police of Bosnia and Herzegovina is challenging but could be improved with the implementation of recently adopted Law on Internal Affairs. Legislation securing a greater level of financial and operational independence for police services aimed at reducing the risk of political influence. Financial independence refers to the fact that the Police Directorate has the opportunity to manage the budget for salaries and contributions to employee salaries, money for the purchase of equipment and small inventory, and all other tasks necessary for its functioning. However, the cantonal government decides on the budget.
This is why the Centre for Security Studies recommends that police institution should establish the position of public procurement officer in their acts on the systematization of job positions. Public procurement audits should be performed by public procurement experts, and their recommendation should be fully implemented. Finally, it’s necessary to Ensure greater transparency of the entire public procurement process.