The fact that Bosnia and Herzegovina remains amongst the most poorly ranked countries in the Western Balkans when it comes to perceptions of corruption is a clear sign that the country has a long way to go to root out corruption, High Representative Valentin Inzko said today in a meeting with a delegation of Transparency International BiH, consisting of Acting Executive Director Lejla Ibranovic and Programme Manager Ivana Korajlic.
The discussions focused on public administration reform and efforts to improve public procurement procedures, which interlocutors characterized as important tasks in the overall fight against corruption.
The High Representative stressed that monitoring and keeping the public informed about the effectiveness of anti-corruption efforts undertaken by local institutions is a key prerequisite for entrenching the rule of law in Bosnia and Herzegovina. “The work of Transparency International has been most valuable in this respect, not only in raising awareness among citizens, but also in putting pressure on governments to implement anticorruption reform agenda and in advocating international standards in the fight against corruption”, he said.
Participants agreed that civil society and the media play an important role in educating citizens about the effects of corruption. “Corruption undermines citizens’ confidence in democratic institutions and the rule of law, it hurts the economy and deprives the state from much-needed tax revenue. Only if citizens realize the full extent of the damage that corruption causes to each of them and their country will they be able to spur the authorities into effective action”, the High Representative said.