The institutions of Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) have not fully implemented any of the auditor’s recommendations regarding the issue of the grant management report, which in 2016 showed that grant management is not efficient and transparent and that funds for the same projects are received from different institutions.
“The allocation of grant funds from the reserve is still performed without a previously publicly announced call. Even though certain activities have been undertaken for improvement, there is still room for systematic regulation of the grant allocation process, and work on the implementation of recommendations that have not yet implemented will certainly contribute to that, ” the auditors concluded in a recently published report aimed for monitoring the implementation of performance audit recommendations “Grant Management in Institutions of BiH”.
But, although they did not implement any of the 11 recommendations, initial activities were initiated on six recommendations, while four were only partially implemented.
The auditors concluded that the BiH institutions have not determined a unique procedure for awarding grants and that grants are still awarded through a public call, but only on the basis of a submitted request.
“There is a retroactive allocation of funds after holding the events, which is contrary to one of the general principles that apply to the financing of projects, and that is non-retroactivity,” the auditors concluded, among other things.
Mira Pekic, PDP deputy in the House of Representatives of the BiH Parliament and member of the Commission for Finance and Budget, said that, when it comes to the recommendations, their implementation is left to the free will of institutions and individuals who run those institutions because there are no sanctions.
“Obviously, there is a problem with the use of these grants. Everything that the audit recommends is because there is a need to do it. The auditors only mention the procedures and they ask that everything is done in accordance with all these procedures,” told Pekic, adding that a different approach to the implementation of these recommendations is needed, which implies cooperation between both the auditor and the institutions.
As she pointed out, the current situation does not lead anywhere, since we are in a circle now and the solution can only be foundin joint work, but also in internal audit, especially the Central Harmonization Unit, which deals with budget users.
Regarding the performance audit on the topic of grants in BiH institutions, the auditors pointed out in 2016 that in the period from 2013 to 2016, 66 million BAM were awarded through grants for various announcements such as cultural projects, sports events, refugee return programs, assistance to Romapopulation, improvement of the work of courts and prosecutor’s offices, health care, etc.
“Institutions have not established a system of monitoring and control of earmarked spending of grants or reporting on achieved results. Monitoring and control are more focused on records of submission of reports than on substantive analysis of achieved results and goals. Grant effects are not reported regardless of resources which have been awarded for years, there are no evaluations of how much the situation has improved in the areas for which grants have been awarded, ” the auditors said back then, Nezavisne writes.