State MPs Receive Parliament Attendance Fees while on Vacation

The Audit Office of the Institutions of Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) uncovered that the state parliament paid 492,051 KM in monthly attendance fees to the legislators of the both houses. MPs received fees also during the vacations and when the chambers had no sessions.

Even though the auditors have addressed this issue before, a 2011 report on the financial audit of the parliament said that meaning and purpose of the fee have yet to be defined in a clear and precise manner.

A monthly attendance fee is an allowance for performing legislative duties paid regardless whether the legislators have other sources of income. However, there is no detailed explanation of what is meant by performing legislative duties. By-laws do not regulate how the fee is paid in cases when the houses have not been constituted or when the houses or their commissions are not active.

Who is entitled to the fee is defined by the Resolution on the Calculation of Salaries and Other Benefits of Legislators, not by the Law on Salaries and Allowances in the BiH Institution. Regardless of their employment status, the legislators might receive a monthly attendance fee of up to 747 KM.

The BiH Parliament has 42 legislators – 34 of whom have a permanent job. The House of Peoples has 15 legislators among whom just one person does not have a permanent job.

The auditors wrote that in their opinion it is not justifiable to pay out fees during the vacation time or when there is no sessions. This is why the auditors gave a qualified opinion to the Parliament’s 2011 financial statements.