“The DPB reports that during the period from 2013 to 2016, 90% of its budget was directed to personnel costs, with 10% available for other services and activities. The DPB further reports that donor funding accounted for 44%.
The SCA welcomes the report by the DPB on the agreement signed with the Ministry of Economy and Public Finance to ensure its financial sustainability until 2020. The SCA notes with concern, however, that these funds will be made available gradually. It further notes with concern a prospective decrease in donor funding which could impact on the effective implementation of the DPB’s mandate.
The SCA reiterates that, to function effectively, an NHRI must be provided with an appropriate level of funding in order to guarantee its ability to freely determine its priorities and activities. In particular, adequate funding should, to a reasonable degree, ensure the gradual and progressive realization of improvement in the NHRI’s operations and the fulfilment of its mandate.
Provision of adequate funding by the State should, at a minimum, include the following:
a) The allocation of funds for premises which are accessible to the wide community, including for persons, including for persons with disabilities. In certain circumstances, in order to promote independence and accessibility, this may require that offices are not co-located with government agencies. Where possible, accessibility should be further enhanced by establishing a permanent regional presence;
b) Salaries and benefits awarded to staff comparable to those of civil servants performing similar tasks in other independent institutions of the State;
c) Remuneration of members of the decision-making body (where appropriate);
d) The establishment of a well-functioning communications system including telephone and internet; and
e) The allocation of a sufficient amount of resources for mandated activities. Where the NHRI has been designated with additional responsibilities by the State, additional financial resources should be provided to enable it to assume the responsibilities of discharging these functions.
Funding from external sources, such as from international development partners, should not compose the core funding of the NHRI, as this is the responsibility of the State. However, the SCA recognizes the need for the international community, in specific and rare circumstances, to continue to engage with and support an NHRI in order to ensure it receives adequate funding until such time when the State will be able to do so. In such unique cases, and NHRI should not be required to obtain approval from the State for external sources of funding, as this requirement may detract from its independence. Such funds should not be tied to donor-defined priorities but rather to the pre-determined priorities of the NHRI.
The SCA encourages the DPB to continue to advocate for an adequate level of funding to effectively carry out its mandate.”