The Center for Investigative Reporting in Sarajevo (CIN) has created an online database about the financing of veterans’ associations in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH). The database features records from 2012 to 2018 about expenditures worth 83.2 million KM from the budgets of municipalities, towns, cantons, entities and the District of Brčko. These represent regular and planned budget payments that don’t include direct or individual assistance, and are not related to providing housing or other forms of assistance to veterans and their families.
The Federation of BiH provided most of the money — 53.2 million KM, followed by Republika Srpska’s allocations worth nearly 27.5 million KM. The District of Brčko assisted veterans with more than 2.5 million KM while the Bosnian capital of Sarajevo and its four municipalities gave 4.86 million KM.
CIN had sent 155 information requests to obtain records about funds provided to veterans’ associations, their names and reason for expenditure. Even though most of the departments complied, some have ignored the requests altogether. In such cases CIN reporters collected data by checking the Official Gazette.
Collecting records revealed that most government departments do not have orderly procedures for record-keeping on this expenditure. Names of some veterans’ associations were incomplete and records give no reason for expenditure of nearly half the allocated sum. The remainder has been spent on associations’ regular activities; the commemoration of important events from the past; the construction of monuments; foreign travel, medical treatment and aid to members.
There are nearly 1,600 veterans’ associations that were formed after the 1992-1995 war according to the government departments’ records.