Asset Declaration’s New Form

Candidates for the elections in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) will be expected to submit a more detailed declarations for theirs and their families’ incomes, assets, savings and other earnings.

The candidates for the upcoming elections at the state and entity levels are obliged to submit new asset declarations before the General Elections scheduled for October 3. Elected officials at the lower levels of governance are going to do the same within 30 days from the announcement of their taking office.

The Center for Investigative Reporting in Sarajevo (CIN) published in September 2009 an investigation titled “The Assets of BiH Politicians – an Open Secret”, in which it warned that the current form is not detailed enough.

BiH Politicians Assets – Public Secret

In the new form, the office holders shall break earnings into income, pension earnings, fees, commission and other compensations, including the time periodin which those were earned.

In the assets field, the office holders are to declare details about their condos, houses, land, business premises, firms, shares, bonds, accounts. Liabilities are broken down by debts, obligations, promissory notes, loans and pledges. All amounts must be specified in KM which has not been the case so far.

The CIK’s spokesperson Maksida Pirić told CIN that new asset cards are a result of changes to the BiH Election Law which were passed at the end of April. The form can now be filled in electronically. This will do with unintelligibly fill in forms.

Pirić said that the changes were the result of activism of some non-governmental organizations including a Doboj-based Center for Human Politics. In an interview for CIN, the director of the organization Momir Dejanović said that a lot of issues remain, one being the veracity of asset declarations that CIK is not checking: “CIK has neither the obligations, nor capacities to check how those cards are filled in.”

According to the BiH Election Law, nominees have to submit asset cards. If they fail they run a risk of being fined between 1,000 and 5,000 KM. False declarations or illegible asset cards are not sanctioned.