PAR Monitor Report for BiH 2019/2020 presented

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On Thursday, June 17, 2021, in Sarajevo, a meeting of the National Working Group for Public Administration Reform in BiH and a presentation of the National PAR Monitor Report BiH 2019/2020 was held as part of the project Western Balkan Civil Society Empowerment for a Reformed Public Administration (WeBER 2.0).

PAR Monitor Report for BiH is the second report on systematic monitoring of public administration reform (PAR Monitor) for the period 2019/2020. The monitoring of public administration reform carried out within the WeBER 2.0 project is an independent monitoring of public administration reform by civil society for the countries of the Western Balkans. PAR Monitor Report 2019/2020 for BiH is the result of monitoring activities carried out by the Foreign Policy Initiative BH. The report contains key findings for BiH in six areas of public administration reform based on SIGMA’s Principles of Public Administration Reform. Therefore, this report complements the work of SIGMA and the European Commission, which takes the perspective of civil society as a basis for reporting.

“Public administration reform is one of the preconditions for the successful integration of Bosnia and Herzegovina into the European Union (EU) and an obligation under the Stabilization and Association Agreement. The role of public administration in the European integration process is crucial, as it facilitates the implementation of the necessary reforms for EU membership, while providing an effective debate on the process. One of the primary preconditions for EU membership is the competence of administrative capacities for the adoption and implementation of basic EU legislation (acquis communautaire)”, said Anida Šabanović, Director of the Foreign Policy Initiative BH presenting the PAR Monitor Report for Bosnia and Herzegovina 2019/2020.

She added that it is necessary to provide information and involve the general public in consultations, primarily representatives of civil society organizations, in the early steps of creating documents.

“It is necessary to adopt a new Strategy for Public Administration Reform at all levels, together with the

Operational Plan for Public Administration Reform that ensures quality, efficiency, financial sustainability, accountability and coordination of public administration reform. It is also necessary to increase the efficiency of PAR implementation and the comprehensiveness of monitoring and reporting”, said Šabanović presenting the report.

In addition to representatives of the media community, BiH institutions, the presentation and discussion on the monitoring report was attended by civil society organizations from all over BiH, which make up the National Working Group for Public Administration Reform in BiH within the WeBER 2.0 project.

Leila Bičakčić, Director of the Center for Investigative Reporting (CIN) said that the level of transparency of public institutions is directly proportional to the level of democracy in society, and that we must work together to improve openness and accountability in institutions, with the common goal of building a better and more democratic society for the citizens of BiH.

During her introductory speech, Jasmina Galijašević, from the Audit Office of the Institutions of Bosnia and Herzegovina, stated that she was very happy that her institution was recognized as an example of good practice in the monitoring report on public administration reform in BiH. “We are very happy that we managed to introduce new practices after the first PAR monitor report and based on its results, which proved to be very effective, and we contributed to greater transparency of our work”. She called on all institutions to work with their internal capacities on changes they do not require significant resources and can certainly improve communication with the public.

Vedrana Faladžić, senior expert associate for public relations of the Office of the Public Administration Reform Coordinator in BiH, emphasized that PARCO is particularly interested in connecting and working with the civil sector in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

“We in the Office are pleased with the fact that there are projects such as WeBER that deal with monitoring public administration reform and thus contribute to the overall process. This report is very important for the preparation of future strategic documents. I hope that my colleagues will take into account what the public wants from us, what their perception is, and it must be in the interest of all state institutions to change the public’s awareness of trust in state institutions”.

Taru Kernisalo, Attachée and Program Manager in the Operations Section I – Justice, Home Affairs & Public Administration Reform of the Delegation of the EU to BiH & EUSR in Bosnia and Herzegovina and representatives of the joint initiative of the European Union and the OECD, SIGMA – Dr Gregor Virant, SIGMA Program Manager, who is also a member of the Advisory Council of the WeBER2.0 project and Marian Lemke, future SIGMA Country Manager for Bosnia and Herzegovina, spoke about the obligations of Bosnia and Herzegovina and the challenges it faces in the process of public administration reform.

In the period from December 2019 to December 2022, the Foreign Policy Initiative BH, in cooperation with partners from the Think for Europe (TEN) network and with the support of the Brussels-based European Policy Center (EPC) is implementing the WeBER 2.0 project dedicated to strengthening participatory democracy through greater involvement of civil society in policy development and implementation of public administration reforms in the Western Balkans.

The project is being implemented with the support of the European Commission, and is based on the first WeBER, which was implemented from the end of 2015 to the end of 2018. The aim of the project is to strengthen the position of civil society organizations in creating public policies at the national and regional level and to improve their supervisory and consultative role. By empowering civil society organizations to participate in a constructive dialogue dedicated to reform, the WeBER 2.0 project contributes to the region in the process of joining the European Union.

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