“The DPC notes that its funding is not sufficient to effectively carry out its mandate, in particular taking into consideration the recent signature of the Peace Agreements and the additional responsibilities mandated to the DPC as a result. Consequently, it faces a situation of understaffing and difficulties in retaining staff with the requisite skills.
The SCA acknowledges that the DPC reports having advocated for an increase of its budget as well as having sought donor funding.
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. It must also have the power to allocate funding according to its priorities.
In particular, adequate funding should, to a reasonable degree, ensure the gradual and progressive realisation of the improvement of the Institution’s operations and the fulfilment of its mandate. Provision of adequate funding by the State should, as a minimum, include the following:
a) the allocation of funds for premises which are accessible to the wider 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 other government agencies. Where possible, accessibility should be further enhanced by establishing a permanent regional presence;
b) salaries and benefits awarded to its staff comparable to those of civil servants performing similar tasks in other independent Institutions of the State;
c) remuneration of members of its decision-making body (where appropriate);
d) the establishment of well-functioning communications systems including telephone and internet; and
e) the allocation of a sufficient amount of resources for mandated activities. Where the National Institution 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 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 NHRIs should not be required to obtain approval from the state for external sources of funding, which may otherwise detract from its independence. Such funds should not be tied to donor-defined priorities but rather to the pre-determined priorities of the NHRI.”