On 16 September, the Principal Deputy High Representative and Brčko District Supervisor, Michael Scanlan, attended the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between the District Government and the US Embassy’s Office of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs. The MoU formalises a system of criteria-based assistance to Brčko to establish an effective Office for Prevention of Corruption with the goal of bringing about a policy of zero tolerance of corruption in the District.
Through administrative reviews and investigations, the Office, as an independent body, will assess compliance with hiring, procurement, and permitting regulations throughout the public sector in order to root out corruption and strengthen systemic controls.
Also, the role of citizens as whistleblowers reporting to this Office of observed abuses of public office or misuse of public funds is indispensable. Without it, Brčko will not become a community based on fairness, transparency and meritocracy, a must if young people are to have a reason to stay in the District.
“With the signing of the MoU, we see Brčko is embarking on the right path to restore the public’s trust in the District’s institutions. But trust is earned, and thus output from this Office and the Commission for Assessing Conflict of Interest needs to be seen by next spring. Their success will honour the idea behind Brčko Day as the District government and its institutions were established to be a model in BiH of public service. This will require the resourcing and support of the Office and Commission through the Government’s and Assembly’s budget commitments this fall to make it clear that combating corruption is a priority,” Scanlan underscored.
The Supervisor discussed this goal and related topics in his meetings with the District Government and Assembly leadership, the Chief Coordinator of the District Government, and the Chair and members of the Commission for Assessing Conflict of Interest.