B&H: Introduce a legal obligation of proactive disclosure of information

Transparency International in Bosnia and Herzegovina (TI BiH) organized in Sarajevo the first of total six training courses for the institutions of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina in the filed of proactive transparency, openness and accountability and presented key recommendations for the analysis of the situation in regard to the open data and proactive transparency.

Transparency-International

Through the trainings TI BiH will strengthen the capacities of the FBiH institutions in the following fields: communication with the public, proactive fiscal transparency, open data and communication through digital media, and establishment of guidelines for achieving greater transparency and openness of public administration which is one of principles proclaimed in the Reform agenda 2015-2018. „With this program TI BiH continues to provide its contribution and support to the institutions on their way of fulfilling requirements and obligations emerged from the Open Government Partnership Initiative. When we talk about increased transparency and openness of institutions, it is significantly important to make the institutions recognize their own interests and advantages in terms of better administration functioning, greater efficiency, savings, improved quality of service and consequently greater public confidence in the institutions themselves“, said Lejla Ibranovic, the Executive Director of TI BiH.

Researches conducted by TI BiH show that the levels of transparency, accountability and integrity of FBiH institutions are not satisfactory. Institutions still do not have the practice of disclosing even basic information regarding their work, such as index register of information controlled by the public body, statistical data, budgets, financial and annual reports. Data delivery is done reactively, while proactive transparency has not been adequately regulated by the legal framework. In order to ensure transparency and accountability, strengthen the rule of law and good governance, it is necessary to:

– amend laws on free access to information through the introduction of provisions on obligatory proactive disclosure of information of public importance; – increase the number of available information by the use of new technologies;

– develop guidelines and requirements of proactive transparency for the administrative organs and administrative organizations;

– establish mechanisms for the cooperation of institutions and civil society in the decision-making process, especially within the activities related to the Open Government Partnership Initiative;

– strengthen capacities of FBiH institutions in the field of proactive transparency, openness and accountability.

As some of the key problems the participants mentioned the lack of a political will to make the changes and nonexistence of the strong legislation framework, but they also emphasized the need to respect the assumed obligations and strengthen the cooperation with the civil society. The training courses will last until the January 2017, after which the institutions that used this program will have established standards of proactive transparency for this level of government.

Transparency International BiH

10 October 2016