In the coming months, it will be important to monitor what the KS Prosecutor’s Office will determine and who it will invite from the FBiH Parliament to comment on the severe abuse of office in connection with the issuance of shift lists defining the collection of “separate life” benefits.
The Sarajevo Canton Prosecutor’s Office has opened a case regarding the abuse of separate living and accommodation benefits by deputies and delegates in the Federation Parliament, after Inforadar published a big story about it on April 18 this year.
The information was confirmed to our portal in this judicial institution. Namely, based on the research text of the Inforadar portal, the Sarajevo Canton Prosecutor’s Office ex officio reacted and initiated checks regarding allegations that deputies in the House of Representatives of the FBiH Parliament falsely signed shift lists and charged separate living and accommodation fees as if they were working in Sarajevo for eight hours every day.
Photo: Response from the KS Prosecutor’s Office
By filling out the list, the federal parliamentarians, therefore, took benefits for living a separate life, confirming that they work “separately” from their family, that is, in Sarajevo. However, the data does not show that, because no session of the House of Representatives was held in February! But the fees were paid.
Out of a total of 98 federal MPs in the House of Representatives, 84 have professionalized their status. 66 of them live outside Sarajevo, and 51 deputies take money for a separate life. On a monthly basis, 51 of them collect 15,300 KM from BiH taxpayers.
Of that number, most took money for a hot meal, a separate life, stating with their signature that they worked eight hours a day in Sarajevo (according to unconfirmed information, almost everyone did!). Formally, and which also follows from the response of the administration of the Parliament of the Federation of BiH – almost everyone lied, thus committing a corrupt act and abusing their position.
In our story on the basis of which the prosecution formed the case (https://inforadar.ba/korupcija-u-parlamentu-fbih-kako-su-poslanici-izvarali-drzavu-s-prijavom-laznog-rada-u-sarajevo/), for example, we took the disputed February in which there were no parliamentary activities, because that month, in accordance with the Decision on keeping records of the presence of deputies and advisers at work, was binding for the accuracy of data on the activities of 84 professional deputies.
This Decision was made on January 18, 2022, based on the findings and recommendations from audits conducted in previous years of the FBiH Parliament, by the Administrative Commission of the House of Representatives of the FBiH Parliament. The decision defines the manner of keeping the shift list, where each representative and advisor is in charge of keeping and signing the list for each month and submitting it to the Accounting Service by the 25th of the month for the current month.
The Decision points out that, if the representatives and advisors do not submit the shift lists in accordance with the regulations, the benefits to which they are entitled based on their presence at work will not be calculated and paid (hot meal, transportation, accommodation and separate living).
MPs outside Sarajevo were most affected by the decision on the shift lists, but it is also difficult for those in Sarajevo to prove that they worked eight hours a day. For example, they still do not know which work counts in performance, office or even party activities outside the office, so the greater the possibility of abuse.
As we find out in the Federal Parliament, only one MP decided not to participate in filling the shift list because he believes that it is not precisely defined what is meant by the work of MPs, and that it does not correspond to the truth that they work eight hours a day (sometimes that is more, and sometimes less).
In the coming months, it will be very interesting and important to follow what the KS Prosecutor’s Office will determine and who it will invite from the FBiH Parliament to comment on its participation in corruption and severe abuse of office. Although everything was “heated” in the Audit Office, not much can be expected from it. This year’s February lists will be dealt with only next year, and only for the sake of form, because, as they told us, “they are not the inspection“.