TI BiH: The new draft law on conflict of interest does not meet international standards

TI BiH: The new draft law on conflict of interest does not meet international standards

BANJA LUKA, December 28 (FENA) – Transparency International BiH (TI BiH) believes that the BiH Ministry of Justice, instead of improving, has proposed a new way of politicization of the implementation of the Law on Conflict of Interest, stating that the ministry sent a draft of a new law on conflict of interest to BiH which in some parts, according to TI BiH, establishes even lower standards.

Instead of the current provision of the Law which says that BiH officials cannot be part of the management of private companies that operate with “budget-funded institutions at any level of government”, the Ministry of Justice, according to TI BiH, proposes a ban only on private companies receiving incentives from the BiH budget or do business with BiH institutions.

“This practically means that public officials from the state level will be able to be in the administration or be the owners of private companies that conclude contracts with entity, cantonal and local institutions. Such a provision leaves a huge space for the use of political influence on institutions for the benefit of a private company in which the holder of public office has a financial interest,” warned TI BiH.

They also say that a step backward has been made in the part of the law that now prohibits BiH officials to be at the head of associations and foundations that receive money from the budget from any level of government because it is proposed that the ban applies only to associations financed from the BiH budget.

TI BiH sent comments to the Ministry of Justice on the draft law stating that it does not meet international standards. Although the improvement of this law is one of the 14 key priorities set by the EU before BiH, the proposed solution represents a setback in some provisions and in relation to the existing law.