The most difficult but most important Reforms lie ahead of Brcko

The summer holidays and a favorable epidemiological situation have provided the authorities with a much-needed respite. But now it is time to refocus on the important work at hand.

This past year important progress was achieved on budget transparency, infrastructure developments and business investments, the engines of economic growth for the District. But the sustainability of these outputs requires that the priority this fall be on combating corruption, public administration reform, and strengthening the accountability of public companies, stated the Principal Deputy High Representative and Brčko Supervisor, Michael Scanlan.

First and foremost, this means creating all the necessary conditions for the independent and efficient work of the Commission for Assessing Conflict of Interest and the Anti-Corruption Office, which along with the Police and the Prosecutor’s Office, are responsible for eradicating corruption and the abuse of public office in the District. In doing so they will restore the public’s trust in those that govern and serve the citizens of the District. For this to be the case, output from these institutions must be visible to all citizens this spring, when I give my address on the 22ndanniversary of Brčko District. Failure to see these outputs would mean only one thing, that political parties are not ready to change their approach to governance.

The same is true when it comes to whether we will see in the District this fall an active approach to instituting the much-needed reforms in public administration, civil service, and public companies. Brčko citizens should have the same good quality of affordable public services as people in the EU, including fast and reliable e-services and public servants accountable and committed to the citizens they serve.

Only with these reforms will the District achieve governance free of corruption and patronage. Without that, the authorities will not succeed to place Brčko on the economic map of the region, attract good private-sector jobs, and stem the outflow of the District’s youth.

On Monday, the Supervisor discussed these as well as other topics in meetings with the District Government and Assembly leadership, District Government Consultant for the World Bank’s Sava and Drina Rivers Corridors Integrated Development Program, Head of the Institute for Planning, Designing, and Development, Head of the Department for Spatial Planning and Property-Legal Relations, Head of the Unit for Implementation of International Donor-Funded Projects, and Head of the Brčko branch of NiP.

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