Admir Čavalić, deputy of the Party for BiH (Stranka za BiH) in the FBiH Parliament made an initiative to amend the Law on salaries and remunerations in the institutions of FBiH to abolish the right to post-term severance in FBiH institutions.
This should be one of the first amendments to be decided by the new convocation of the House of Representatives.
“Perhaps it is most painless to do it now, at the beginning of the term because it is likely that the willingness of the deputies to give up this perk will fade away as they get closer to the end of the term”, said Čavalić.
According to the current rules, elected and appointed officials in the FBiH are entitled to continue receiving their basic salary for one year, i.e., six months, upon the expiration or termination of their term, i.e. until they find another job or retire. This allowance for deputies and delegates ranges between BAM 2,500 and 3,700 per month.
Čavalić’s initiative was triggered by the publication “Fairplay rules for public finances” which the Center for Investigative Reporting (CIN) produced last year, together with a group of economic analysts, along with proposals for amendments to the law that would significantly reduce or prevent the abuse of rights of officials. One of the proposals was to amend the Law to abolish the post-term severance payment.
Dr. Faruk Hadžić, one of the authors and a macroeconomic analyst said that the vote on the abolition of this perk will be the first test for the new government in the Federation.
“I think the time has come for the deputies to abolish such a compensation, an undeserved perk, a privilege, and this should be a signal for other cantons and lower levels of government to eventually abolish it, where such compensations are still lawfully allowed”, says Hadžić.
Only a day following the submission of the initiative, the temporary Administrative Committee of the House of Representatives approved the requests of 16 deputies for the payment of this perk. If they would receive this compensation for the whole year, the citizens would have to set aside another BAM 600,000, in addition to the BAM 14 million they have already set aside for the salaries and allowances of deputies from the beginning of 2019 until June 2022.
FBiH delegates will also have the opportunity to enjoy this privilege when replaced by a new convocation.
In the Republika Srpska, 20 deputies of the RS National Assembly and 13 delegates of the Council of Peoples will enjoy the six-month post-term severance.
In 2019, CIN discovered that in this institution certain officials were illegally compensated, after which the RS Constitutional Court abolished this perk for the secretaries general of the Council and their deputies.
This perk was previously abolished at the state level and in five cantons: Zenica-Doboj, Tuzla, Una-Sana, Sarajevo, and Bosnia-Podrinje.
In Canton 10, Posavina and West Herzegovina Cantons, a total of 14 deputies and three advisers exercise this right, while Central Bosnia and Herzegovina-Neretva Cantons did not respond to the inquiry.