“The SCA notes that the IHROBH provided conflicting information regarding the adequacy of their funding. 

In accordance with article 39 of the existing Law, the financial appropriation necessary for the functioning of the IHROBH is included in the budget of the Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina. The existing Law does not specify the process by which this budget allocation is made, does not specify whether it appears as a separate budget line, and does not provide for the financial autonomy of the IHROBH over the budget allocation. 

The SCA acknowledges that IHROBH reports that it enjoys financial autonomy and that, in practice, its budget appears in a separate budget line. The SCA notes further that article 3 of the proposed amendments to the Law expands upon the details of the budgetary process and enhances the independence of the IHROBH in respect of this budget. 

The SCA emphasizes that, to function effectively, an NHRI must be provided with an appropriate level of funding in order to guarantee its independence and 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 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. 

Funds should be allocated to a separate budget line item applicable only to the NHRI. The NHRI should have complete autonomy over the allocation of its budget. Such funding should be regularly released and in a manner that does not impact adversely on its functions, day-to-day management and retention of staff. 

The SCA encourages the IHROBH to continue to advocate for the passage of the proposed amendments and to advocate for the funding necessary to ensure that it can effectively carry out its mandate, including for its upcoming NPM function.”