Previous analyses indicate that public institutions in Bosnia and Herzegovina have made significant progress towards achieving transparent and accountable public administration. However, there is a need for more intensive and systematic efforts to promote standards and principles of proactive transparency, ensuring the active involvement of all relevant stakeholders, including public institutions, civil society, donors, media, and the general public.
This was stated today in Sarajevo by Vesna Ćužić, the director of the Agency for Statistics of Bosnia and Herzegovina, during the presentation of findings from the research on the transparency of institutions in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Today in Sarajevo, Vesna Ćužić, the director of the Agency for Statistics of Bosnia and Herzegovina, made this statement during the presentation of research findings on the transparency of institutions in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Ćužić noted that the outcomes of the five conducted online surveys demonstrate a rising level of institutional response, and the research findings are showing improvement.
According to her words, in the first survey, 44 institutions participated with a compliance rate of 63.52 percent. This number increased significantly in the second survey, with 58 institutions participating and a compliance rate of 64.34 percent.
"The third online survey was conducted with 62 institutions, with a compliance rate of 67.57 percent. The fourth survey involved 55 institutions, while the fifth survey covered 65 institutions. According to the fifth survey, the average fulfilment of proactive transparency standards is 72.27 percent, which represents an improvement compared to 2022 when the compliance rate was 68.23 percent," said Ćužić.
She expressed satisfaction with the increasing number of institutions participating in the research.
She pointed out that, in line with the conclusion of the Council of Ministers of Bosnia and Herzegovina from 2022, the institutions of Bosnia and Herzegovina are required to adopt internal regulations regarding the proactive disclosure of information of public interest. Based on the provided data, out of 65 institutions, 30 have already adopted these internal regulations. Some institutions are currently in the process of drafting these documents, while others have already prepared them but have not yet made them available on their websites.
Dragan Ćuzulan, the Coordinator for Public Administration Reform, emphasized that the right to access information is a fundamental human right protected by international documents and acts. However, public administration in Bosnia and Herzegovina often prevents citizens from exercising this right.
"It is absurd that we make decisions every day that affect the lives of our citizens, many of which shape our future in the long run, without them knowing how we work, what decisions we make, and how much money we spend on it. That is just one of the reasons why public trust in our work is declining year after year. Such practices need to change," Ćuzulan believes.
When discussing the research results, he stated that the study encompassed 80 institutions, and out of this total, 65 institutions provided answers to all 38 questions.
According to his statement, 53 institutions achieved a fulfilment rate of 50 percent in meeting the standards, and 27 institutions exceeded 80 percent.
He noted that, until this year, the Office of the Coordinator for Public Administration Reform and the Agency for Statistics of Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Directorate for European Integration, and the Agency for Higher Education and Quality Assurance were fully compliant with the standards. This year, two more institutions, the Agency for Police Support of Bosnia and Herzegovina and the Gender Equality Agency, have also fulfilled the standards.
"These six institutions have published all data and information of public importance, from employee contacts to the total earnings of the directors of these institutions and all state officials and employees," said Ćuzulan.
He added that the biggest progress in information disclosure compared to the previous year has been made by the following institutions: the Personal Data Protection Agency of Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Ministry of Human Rights and Refugees of Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Public Procurement Agency, the Central Harmonization Unit of the Ministry of Finance and Treasury, the Center for Information and Recognition of Documents in the Field of Higher Education in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and the Directorate for Economic Planning.
"Although there is progress in data disclosure, certain types of information from Bosnia and Herzegovina institutions are still kept far away from the public eye," Ćuzulan concluded.