The House of Representatives of the Parliamentary Assembly of FBiH adopted the Budget Proposal for 2016 with 60 votes for and 26 against in December. The Provision on Employment Incentives was also adopted as a part of the Reform Agenda in the labor market, i. e. employment incentives. The Provision regulates the conditions for using and procedure for exercising the rights of the employer on subventions in the instance of employing the unemployed with no working experience, i.e. length of service in the occupation for which they were educated, and the long-term unemployed. 


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The Provision manages the sources of funds, criteria for their distribution and supervision over their implementation, as well as other issues of significance for ensuring an effective and responsible disposal of assets that are allocated for this purpose from the Budget of FBiH. The Provision determines that persons from 15 to 30 who have no working experience, have been unemployed for over 30 days and have no accrued working experience longer than one year in the occupation they were educated for will be able to apply for this type of support. The planned program for financing and co-financing the first employment, employment and self-employment in amount of 50 million BAM that will include these persons is particularly interesting.


The Government of the Federation intends to cover the lowest salary in amount of 387 BAM, as well as all the obligations and taxes, with these funds. The difference is financed by the employer if the employer wishes to pay a higher amount. The only condition for the employers to be included in this program is to continue paying the employee for at least another year. For all the above, the question remains of how interesting the program will be for youth, considering the minimal payment compensation it offers and whether youth will rather seek for other opportunities that are better payed and remain on the Employment Bureau? 


The Federal budget intended 50 million BAM for employment incentives for 2016. In 2015 the amount was less and amounted to 20 million BAM. Thus, the Government is planning to employ 10,000 youth in FBiH for the period of 12 months. Jelka Mili?evi?, the Minister of Finance of FBiH predicts that the program should employ around 5,000 youth, while a part of youth should be encouraged to start their own business. Youth employment co-financing will include 2015 and 2016, so as to include one quarter of 2015 and three of 2016. The Federal Employment Bureau will perform surveillance over selecting the employers, employees as well as the usage of subventions. 


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While, on the one hand, the Government of FBiH is presenting the newly adopted budget and the expected results for 2016, on the other hand, the economic analysts claim that the plan is no good and evaluate it as a “wasted investment”. Namely, the lessons from the past demonstrate, and the Auditing Office confirms, through the Report on Audit of Effect, that 33 million BAM was approved for youth employment incentives for the period 2003-2010, while only 4,000 youth participated in the program. According to the records of the Federal Employment Bureau, the number of unemployed youth in 2012 was 130,000 which indicates that in the past a very small number of youth were included in the program. The audit also indicated to other problems: insufficient planning (data on the labor market, analysis of previous experiences, cooperation with head partners), imprecisely defined program aim and criteria, lack of measurable success indicators, state on the labor market not being the criteria in allocating the funds for the cantons, lack of monitoring the employers who participated in the program and who acquired funds from more sources and had more opportunities to acquire them and recommendations for future programs. Some of the issues that the employees state as problems are: the non-transparency in awarding funds, the manner of awarding points and favoring certain companies.


It is clear that so far there has been insufficient or no monitoring and evaluation of the funds spent. In such a scenario, there is the question of whether the efficiency of 2016 program will be possible to predict, without previously determining a system of monitoring effect during the whole first year of employment and after the obligatory 12 months have ended. Thus, there are no information on the very quality of the working experience for the first year of employment and the benefits of this working experience in finding another job. What the Employment Bureau is currently monitoring is the employers applying for participating in the program, their selection, and fulfilling the listed obligations towards the Bureau, i.e. monitoring the expenditure of funds. The Federal Employment Bureau monitors the tax and contributions payment performed by the employer for every employee according to this program, and thus gathers information on the long-term employment of program users. What lacks is the monitoring and validating the actual results of the program. 


The question that is also being asked is how effective the previously implemented program was, and whether it truly set good foundations to continue working and looking for new employment, but also the potential for generating a youth entrepreneurial spirit order for youth to start their own businesses. Considering the lack of measurements, it is unclear what skills and knowledge youth acquire upon completing such a program and whether they are equipped to compete on the labor market.


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It is commendable that the FBiH Government decided to increase the amount for the employment and the self-employment program from 20 million BAM to 50 million BAM in 2016, which is the greatest amount allocated for such a program so far. Still, if the conditions of realizing such a project are not placed under control during the implementation, and if there is no surveillance during the implementation and no measuring of its effects in a previously defined framework, the issue of long-term success of this project imposes itself, along with the profitability of a continuous investing of budget funds in such employment programs that, finally, do not alter the realistic image of the state of unemployment in FBiH. In order for the money to be spent in the most efficient manner possible, and in order for it to indeed improve the image of employment of youth and other vulnerable social categories, it is required to perform a continuous monitoring, as well as the evaluation of the program after the implementation. It is also required to establish cooperation with representatives of the civil society, i.e. youth associations in order to acquire information on the actual youth requirements. Planning of future programs should be performed on the basis of a detailed analysis of the labor market and learned lessons from the past in order to determine all the activities and the criteria of measurability of success in advance. Planned and controlled action should cause the future generations to the opportunity to become a part of a successful and sustainable program annually producing a generation of young and trained people ready to face the labor market. In this instance, we would have even better and more efficient employment and self-employment programs from 2017 onwards. 


 


The 17th session of the Committee on Finance and Budget of the Parliamentary Assembly's HoR of BiH (PSBiH) was held on Tuesday, 29 December 2015. In this session, the principles of the Proposal of Law on Budget of the Institutions of BiH and international obligations of BiH for 2016, proposed by the Presidency of BiH, were supported.  

The conclusion that will be addressed to the House of Representatives of the Parliamentary Assembly of BiH stating that the request of the Presidency of BiH for correcting a technical error in the Proposal of the Law and authorizing the Department for Developing and Publishing Legal Acts of PSBiH to correct the technical error in Article 15(1) of the Proposal of the Law in Bosnian and Serbian language and state the amount of 496,000 BAM instead of 387,000 BAM and correct other technical errors in the Proposal was also adopted.

The Report on Audit of Effect on topic "The Transparency of Activities in the Institutions of BiH" was also adopted along with the conclusion that will be addressed to the Parliamentary Assembly's HoR and which obliges the Council of Ministers of BiH to report the Committee on the planned and implemented activities in realizing the recommendations in the Report and to introduce the Auditing Office of the Institutions in BiH with the implemented activities. 


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The 2nd session of the Parliamentary Committee responsible for audit in the Parliament of FBiH was held on Tuesday, 15 December 2015. The Rules of Procedure of the Parliamentary Committee responsible for audit were adopted unanimously during the session. 

The Information on conducted (and arrived) reports of the financial audit of FBiH Budget users for 2014 was unanimously adopted, along with the Plan of Revising the Reports. 

The proposal of groups for considering the auditory subjects and coordinating dates for public hearings and scheduling according to groups were also arranged and unanimously adopted. The period for considering the auditory subjects - those with a negative audit opinion and reserved opinion - was arranged from 11 to 14 January 2016. The proposals of the committee questions for the Auditing Office of Governmental Institutions and the questions for public statements of the audited users were adopted unanimously.  

The Budget Proposal of the Auditing Office of the Institutions in FBiH for 2016 was acknowledged and was not adopted, since the Office demanded an increase of labour funds, due to the decrease of the budget funds of the Office for the following year in amount of 349,000 BAM. The conclusions refer to organising a session in January 2016 in which the plan of the Auditing Office of the Institutions in FBiH for 2016 will be discussed and to which representatives of the Governemnt of FBiH will be invited. The following session is arranged for January 2016. 


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The 5th session of Committee on Economic and Developmental Policy, Finance and Budget of the Parliamentary Assembly’s House of People of the Federation of BiH was held on Wednesday, 16 December 2015. 


In this session of the Committee, the 2016 FBiH Budget Proposal was adopted with an increase of 65 million BAM in comparison to the previous year. This amount was increased partly due to the expected privatization income, in accordance with the FBiH Privatization Plan for 2016. Among other things, an allocation for investment maintenance in amount of 5 million BAM was planned, and the Federal Ministry of Justice will have 1 million BAM for implementing a set of anti-corruption laws at its disposal. The amount will include accommodation for the special department of the Persecution and the Government of FBiH will subsequently determine the additional usage of funds.  


Several MPs of the Committee emphasized the problem of the cantons allocating massive funds for payment of debts, which presents a great burden for the cantons. From the Federal Ministry of Finance, they emphasized that the FBiH Government determined the following 3 priorities for 2016: implementation of Law on Binding Years of Service, particularly for employees in economic associations; a reform of retirement and disability insurance through a new law on organization of system of this insurance and resolving the issue of accommodating the institutions of the FBiH Government. Since these priorities have been established, it was not possible to increase budgets for cantons in order to decrease the burden of debt payment. For adopting the Budget Proposal of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina for 2016, 5 delegates voted for and 2 delegates were sustained, so the Proposal was accepted. The Proposal of Law on Implementing the Budget of FBiH for 2016 was also accepted with 5 votes for and 2 sustained. The Law is modified in comparison to the previous laws so as to enable the Budget of the City of Mostar to be enacted by the Mayor and his Budget Assistant due to the specificity of the situation in the City of Mostar. The document of the Budget Framework of the FBiH for 2016 – 2018 was also accepted with 6 votes for and 1 sustained. 


The Proposal of Law on Factoring that regulates the purchase of short-term demands up to 180 days, for goods and services. This Proposal primarily relates to managing the business of the Society for Factoring that will in the instance of adopting the Law in both Houses of the Parliament of FBiH be obliged to adapt their business in accordance with this Law.


The Proposal of the Decision on providing consent to the Financial Plan of the Federal Employment Bureau for 2016 and the estimate of the Plan for 2017 and 2018 was also discussed along with the Decision on Implementation of the Financial Plan of the Federal Employment Bureau for 2016 that were accepted by the Committee. The Committee MPs expressed the requirement for a more detailed analysis of effects of the employment programs. Representatives of the Federal Employment Bureau emphasized that the financing and co-financing self-employment from the program was planned in amount of 50 million BAM and to include 10,000 persons.



The Proposal of the Financial Solidarity Plan of FBiH for 2016 was accepted, along with the Financial Plan of the Professional Service of the Institute for Health Insurance and Reinsurance of FBiH for 2016 and the Proposal of Decision on Providing Consent to the Financial Plan of the Federal Retirement and Disability Insurance for 2016 and with 5 votes for and 2 sustained.


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The 12th session of Committee on Finance and Budget of the Parliamentary Assembly's House of People of BiH was held on Thursday, 10 December 2015. The Report on performing the Budget of the Institutions of BiH and international obligations of BiH was acknowledged during the session for the time period January-June 2015.


The Financial report on performing the budget of the Auditing Office of the Institutions in BiH for the period from 1 January to 30 September 2015 was also acknowledged, as well as the Annual Plan of the Auditing Office of the Institutions in BiH for 2015/2016. 


For more information on the documents discussed during the session, click HERE


 

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