The 18th session of Committee on Finance and Budget of the Parliamentary Assembly's House of People was held on June 14, 2016. 


During the session, the pleas regarding the principles of the Proposal of the Law on Supplements and Amendments of the Law on Salaries and Contributions in Institutions in BiH, proposed by the Parliamentary Assembly's House of Representatives of BiH, was postponed until the Council of Ministers of BiH does not deliver the opinion on the Proposal of the Law. Also, it was concluded that the Colegium of the House of People of PSBiH should be required to extend the deadline for delivering an opinion on this Proposal of the Law. 


In reference to the request of the Regulatory Agency for Communications (RAK) for interpreting the Article 39 of the Law on Salaries and Compensations in Institutions in BiH, a conclusion was made that states that the House of People of PSBiH believes that the provisions of the Article 39 of the Law on Salaries and Compensations of BiH do not apply to RAK due to the specific form of financing this expert body (own income). this conclusion was forwarded for voting to the House of People of PSBiH.  


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The Quarterly Financial Report of the Auditing Office of the Institutions in BiH was also acknowledged. 


The memo of the Agency for Identification Documents, Records and Data Exchange (IDEEA) was acknowledged on topic of planned and performed activities in realizing the recommendations from the Report on the audit of effect on topic: "Procurement of Personal Documents". The conclusion for the IDEEA to, in cooperation with the Ministry of Civil Affairs of BiH, and under the principles of the conclusion of the Council of Ministers of BiH, without delay, realizes in total the recommendations of the Auditing Office of the Institutions in BiH in the context of the Report of Audit of the Institutions in BiH under the Report of Audit of Effect on topic "Procurement of Personal Documents“.


 

The 25th session of Committee on Finance and Budget of the Parliamentary Assembly's HoR of BiH (PSBiH) was held on Tuesday, June 14, 2016. The Committee supported the principles of the Proposal of the Law on Amendments of the Law on Public Procurement, proposed by the MP Damir Be?irovi?. 


The quarterly financial report of the Auditing Office of the Institutions in BiH from January 1 to March 31, 2016, made by the Auditing Office of the Institutions in BiH was also acknowledged. 


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Public hearings for 9 institutions in FBiH were held in May 2016 by the Parliamentary Commission authorized for audit in FBiH.


After the performed audit of institutions in 2014, there was a hearing organized for the institutions in reference to the realization of recommendations acquired from the Auditing Office of FBiH. All the participating institutions were evaluated by the Auditing Office and they were given a “reserved opinion”.


The Public Firm FBiH Roads was awarded with 9 qualifications in the audit report. The Director of the FBiH Roads stated that their firm was a business association, but that they also collect public income which is not in accordance with the international accounting standards. The problem for this firm is that their baseline law on the roads is not coordinated with the international accounting standards (IAS) and they cannot abide them therefore, since the firm first follows the domestic laws (legislative) and then the IAS.


The Director of the firm d.d. “Sarajevoputevi” stated that their firm was not a budget user but that they perform business in the market. She also stated that their status had not been solved yet, despite the fact that the Management filed the acts to the founder, i.e. the FBiH Government. They also have no assembly until the Government decides to call one. Representatives of the Auditing Office corrected the Director and stated that “Sarajevoputevi” is not a shareholding association, but a public firm since FBiH owns 73% of the shares and the valid regulation states that a firm is public if FBiH owns 50% +1 of its shares. The attitude of the Commission was to evaluate the firm with a negative opinion.


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The Director of the Institute for Health Insurance and Reinsurance briefly stated that they were improving their internal controls and that they have been audited on an annual basis. This Firm was awarded with a positive opinion and the members of the Commission believe that this is an Institute that can serve as an example of good business management and work to other institutes and firms.


The Director of the Public Company Roads in FBiH d.o.o. Mostar stated that they filed a request to voluntarily be included in the VAT system from January 2011 because the Law stipulates that when a firm exceeds the turnover threshold of 50,000 BAM, the Indirect Tax Administration (ITA) has to, in accordance with the official duty, register the firm in the VAT system. This firm has achieved a turnover of 700,000 BAM since the first month, and they believe they should have been entered in the system. However, the ITA delivered their decision that they were not taxpayers since the toll road is not taxable according to the law.


DD Roads Mostar was awarded a reserved opinion and the MPs believe that this firm should have been given a negative opinion since the association failed to follow the law. Still, it was impossible to quantify the damage for the association, so they decided to give a reserved opinion. Since business management has been improved in 2014, it was a basis to award this type of opinion. MP Muhamed Kozadra ordered for the Ministry of Traffic and Communication to be included in the matter.


Economic Society for production and transport of gas “BH Gas” d.o.o. booked out 29 million BAM from their balance without having acquired consent from the Management first. The Director of the firm stated that the problem was the Zenica-Travnik gas-line, the study of justification of which was completed in 2005, and which was build 5 years later. No audit of the study was performed and in the meantime certain business subjects closed down in the area and its construction has never been justified. During the construction, there were many irregularities: the gas-line was not placed at a proper depth, it almost has no markings, the land was not returned to its previous state, no access roads were built, construction records were never kept in accordance with the building regulations of FBiH etc. The firm filed appeals against people in BH Gas at the Cantonal Police Administration and the procedure is in legislative. Also, protesting (charging for) the guarantee at the Unicredit Bank in Zagreb was initiated, but the Court of Republic of Croatia stopped the process since, as they stated, there were no valid reasons to charge for the guarantee.


The Director of the Agency for Privatization of FBiH stated that the sales of firms is conducted according to the plan of the Government of FBiH. He emphasized that the Agency is involved in court proceedings amounting to 351 million BAM and that the Agency is always the first and the second to be sued because it is easier to charge lawsuits from the Agency, but that they have permanently hired lawyers in charge of these proceedings.


A representative of the Federal Pension and Disability Insurance Institute (PIO/MIO) stated that they were awarded with a reserved opinion due to the lack of funds and added that they as the Institute could not have influenced the situation. MP Amer Zuljevi? stated that he would emphasize in the conclusions that there are plenty of topics to be resolved in order to avoid problems in developing the final report of PIO/MIO. The PIO/MIO representative underlined that they owe funds for contributions but that they had to draw the line and start paying their debts.


MP Aner Zuljevi? suggested for the matters that they as the Commission could try and resolve for the benefit of the situation to be delivered in writing.


 

The 24th session of Committee on Finance and Budget of Parliamentary Assembly’s HoR of BiH (PSBiH) was held on Wednesday, June 1, 2016. The Information of the Auditing Office of Institutions in BiH was considered along with a notice of 6 BiH institutions that were awarded with a “reserved opinion” and “reserved opinion with emphasis of matter”.


The Information was considered for the purpose of monitoring over the realization of recommendations of the Office and conclusions of the Commission that the HoR of PSBiH adopted after the audit of 2014 financial business management.


The Committee members were introduced with the realization of recommendations of the Office and conclusions of the Committee by representatives of the Ministry of Human Rights and Refugees of BiH, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of BiH, the Ministry of Defense of BiH, the Agency of Labor and Employment of BiH, the Agency for Identification Documents, Records and Data Change of BiH and the Foreigner’s Affairs Service. 


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The recommendations of the Auditing Office of the Institutions in BiH concern the inconsistent implementation of the Law on Public Procurements, the lack of internal control or its non-functionality, workplaces systematization, vast representation costs and official telephones costs.


The problems of the institutions are also the lack of enacted laws that would regulate the area of their activities more precisely, such as the law on foreign affairs that would benefit the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of BiH.


On the question of the Committee members about the number of BiH citizens working abroad, the Agency of Labor and Employment of BiH replied that in 2015 around 6,700 workers travelled to work in Slovenia via the Agency and around 2,500 left for Germany. These departures were based on the agreement with these countries. The Agency has no data on the total number of employees working abroad, since they only have data on the workers who left via the Agency, i.e. through agreements with other countries. Also, it has no information whether the abroad-employed BiH citizens are still in the unemployed records in BiH. Agreements are still expected with Croatia (for seasonal employment) and Serbia as well as Qatar that will include all occupations. The Agency stated that they are working on youth employment in particular.


 

The Parliamentary Commission authorized for the audit of the Parliament of FBiH organized a hearing of the audited Federal Employment Institute in reference to its business management in 2014.


The Federal Employment Agency (FZZZ) was awarded with a reserved opinion based on 6 qualifications.


The first qualification is the inability to confirm that the FZZZ introduced an information system by the end of 2014, as planned. The Director of the FZZZ emphasized that the information system costed 4.5 million BAM and that the project had not been well-devised because there were insufficient funds to implement the project and the decision on the project was enacted by the previous management. The FZZZ Director replied that he communication structure had never been a part of the financial plan and that it was included presently, so that the information system is currently being managed.


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The second qualification is signing the contract for a significantly higher amount than approved by the Parliament of FBiH, which was acknowledged as a mistake of the previous management.


The third qualification is the inability to determine the funds from the missing part of funds for cantonal services, but it was emphasized that the inability to determine the funds arises from the fact that the cantons do not follow the same procedures when it comes to health insurance contributions and unemployment insurance. So that due to the lack of harmonization of procedures in FBiH, some cantonal institutes spend more funds than others, since they pay greater contributions for the same salaries of employees. The Director stated that the maximum amounts of administrative costs are being determined.


The fourth qualification is related to the untimeliness of adopting the employment program stipulating that the FZZZ will spend 33 million BAM, from which it has only spent 13 million BAM, which the FZZZ also acknowledged as their mistake.


The fifth qualification is that the FZZZ activities were not sufficient to charge for the provided commission credits and the expenses of charging will be close to the credit expenses. The FZZZ awarded 65 million BAM of credit from 2001 to 2004 to legal and natural users for employment purposes. The FBiH Parliament received a review of all legal and natural credit users in 2008, when the problem of charging for a significant part of the credit arose, and with many users the banks have already came into possession of property and the problem has been handled for years. The return of this credit was precisely what created the deposit that relates to the following qualification.


The sixth qualification is related to not filing the reports to the FBiH Government regarding the 26.6 million BAM deposit in the Developmental Bank of FBiH incurred through the Long-Term Placement Program from 2005.


On the query referring to the credit awarded to Krivaja in amount of 6.5 million BAM, the FZZZ Director emphasized that the credit for Krivaja was placed on the basis of long-term funding program via the Developmental Bank of FBiH and on the basis of the conclusions of the FBiH Government which conditioned the survival of 800 workplaces.

The MP's question also referred to the sectors in which the unemployed are being employed. The Director replied that the employment program was limited by banning the administrative bodies and agencies that employ via the civil service agency from participating in the active employment measures. The Institute is mostly focused on the private sector and support in employing categories of youth without working experience, youth who are unemployed for over 2 years and persons who live in households with no employed members. MP Bubica Jusuf requested for the institute to deliver data about the number of persons employed in the economy in production and the amount of budget funds spent for their employment for public sake. 


 

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