“Public Administration reform: meritocracy instead of partytocracy” was a title of the conference organised by the Centres of Civil Initiative (CCI) within a campaign To Capable – not party members, whose objective was depolitisastion and departysation of appointments and employment in the public sector in BiH.

We deem that politisation of the managing positions in the public sector, as well as in the whole public employment, imprisoned by individual and political parties interests, reached the final limits. Political and party appointments and employments in very important agencies, institutions and public enterprises lead to very low efficiency, lack of work, lack of accountability by the law, politisation of the service, because party employment implies accountability to the party and not to the institution, the law and the citizens. Employment of party members and not the best candidates permanently weakens the institutions and diminishes the chances for social prosperity.

Recent decision of the Constitutional Court of the Federation of BiH to halt application of the provisions on appointments of managing civil servants is a strong signal that the reforms must be implemented in a different manner. Not in the direction of further politisation and party employment, but in the direction of merits and independence of public administration from political influence. The Reform Agenda precisely defined this process, it only needs to be respected and implemented in a proper manner. It is a time for public administration reforms that would ensure depolitisation and employment of the best candidates, and that is also one of the objectives of the Reform Agenda. We must insist on professionalism, integrity and efficiency of public administration and public services. We can achieve that only by improving law, i.e. by enactment of a systematic legal framework for the whole public sector. The first step is the Law on Public Servants, which would regulate the status of all civil servants, not only in administration, but also in health, education, police, armed forces, in a unique, just and rational manner.

An overview of the BiH public administration reform flow so far was presented at the conference, which in the reports of the European Commission, the SIGMA, and the World Bank was evaluated as not good, especially regarding the problem of politisation and too big influence of political parties on appointments, employments and decision making in administration bodies and public enterprises. This is one of the biggest challenges that stand in a way of successful reforms, because according to the analysis of the CCI, in BiH there is approximately 5,840 formal political functions at all the levels of political authority, and approximately 19,930 managing functions within the public sector, which are an unofficial spoils of elections. (Source: CCI)