“The SCA notes that the HRADC would benefit from additional funding in order to carry out its functions, specially to allow recruitment of additional staff.

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 these priorities. In particular, adequate funding should, to a reasonable degree, ensure the gradual and progressive realization of the improvement of the NHRI’s operation 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 that 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 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 a well-functioning communications system including telephone and internet; and

e) the allocation of a sufficient amount of resources for mandated activities.

Where an 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.

The SCA encourages the HRADC to advocate for the funding necessary to ensure that it can effectively carry out its mandate.

The SCA further notes that the HRADC reports that the Ministry of Economy has the authority to revise the HRADC’s budget proposal in line with the rules governing independent institutions and statutory bodies. The SCA acknowledges that, the HRADC reported that it has never been under any direction from the Ministry of Economy.

The SCA notes that the classification of an NHRI as an independent State agency has important implications for the regulation of certain practices, including reporting, recruitment, funding and accounting. Where a State has developed uniform rules or regulations to ensure State agencies are properly accountable for the use of public funds, the application of such rules or regulations on an NHRI is not considered inappropriate provided they do not compromise the NHRI’s ability to perform its role independently and effectively.

Accordingly, the SCA encourages the HRADC to advocate for appropriate modifications to applicable administrative procedures to ensure that its independence and financial autonomy is guaranteed.“