Inforadar’s investigative team
Almost a half year ago, on July 4, 2023 to be exact, the BiH Civil Service Agency published a public vacancy for recruitment of senior civil servants in the Secretariat of the Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina. More precisely, it is about staffing of the Secretary General’s office and recruitment of two of his deputies from amongst Bosniak and Croat people, whose positions have remained vacant. The vacancy closed on July 25, 2023 and as Inforadar discovers, the recruitment procedure was abruptly suspended in October.
PHOTO: VACANCY CIVIL SERVICE AGENCY BiH
Thus, the Secretary General’s office now, instead of three members, has only one, Serb member who is also the Secretary General. It is Zoran Đerić, who has no e-mail address on the official website, and hasn’t been answering his business phone for days now. The former deputies, Dženan Selimbegović, who had to leave this position at the end of his term because of his candidacy for the mayor of Stari Grad, and Igor Planinčić, whose term ended, are still found on the website of the Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
PHOTO: OFFICIAL WEBSITE OF THE PRESIDENCY
As said earlier, the vacancy close at the end of July and according to the information from the BiH Presidency the number of applications for this senior positions was higher than expected. More than 25 candidates applied for the position of the Bosniak member. A well-informed source informed us that the offices of the Bosniak and Croat member of the Presidency were getting interventions from the party headquarters on a daily basis.
A selection committee was appointed at the end of September, after the holidays, and the selection procedure commenced. A public exam was held for the candidates who missed the mandatory civil service entrance exam for application. The procedure mandates passing of the civil service entrance exam first, followed by a professional written and oral exam before the committee.
However, immediately after the civil service entrance exam that was taken by two candidates, since other applicants have passed it before, an anonymous report was submitted to the BiH Civil Service Agency that some of the candidates submitted falsified documents instead of the original ones. Thus the recruitment procedure was suspended.
The BiH Civil Service Agency said for our portal that there is nothing controversial about this: “The recruitment procedure for the senior civil servants in the Secretariat of the Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina, advertised post 1/01 Deputy of the Secretary General, two members of staff, has not been suspended and it is currently ongoing.”
This answer was submitted on November 30 last year, so almost five months after the vacancy was closed. The date for professional exam still hasn’t been scheduled.
Photo: Answer of the Civil Service Agency
The civil servants in question are senior civil servants with a special task, as stated in the vacancy. Our source adds that it would suit General Secretary Đerić to have trustworthy people as his deputies. We were not able to get a comment from the secretary general about this vacancy and the influence on the selection of candidates, although we have tried to contact him on several occasions.
One of those trustworthy, according to our source, is a person (name known to the newsroom) on a high position in the common service in the BiH Parliament who has started saying goodbye to the colleagues in the Parliament two months ago because of the alleged departure to the BiH Presidency.
When it comes to the deputy from among the Croat people, we have learned that the future candidate is most likely a person who will be delegated from the Office of Željko Komšić, but who also meets the vacancy requirements.
PHOTO: VACANCY REQUIREMENTS
It is interesting that the special vacancy requirements for this kind of post were below expectations, namely: University degree – Faculty of Social Sciences or Technical Sciences; at least five (5) years of work experience in the profession; three (3) years in senior positions; passed state administrative exam.
According to the Rulebook, the deputy secretary general assists the secretary general in his work, performs duties and tasks assigned to him by the secretary general and the members of the Presidency, coordinates the work of the organizational units in the Secretariat, in cooperation with the secretary general assigns duties and tasks to the organizational units and substitutes the secretary general in case of his absence or incapacity, and performs other tasks determined by the Secretary General and the Presidency. The Deputy Secretary General is accountable to the Secretary General and the members of the Presidency.
PHOTO: ANSWER OF THE MINISTRY OF JUSTICE
In the meantime, the BiH Ministry of Justice became involved in the entire process, and it confirmed to us that everything was suspended due to an anonymous report, and that their Administrative Inspectorate, as they said: “has inspected Civil Service Agency and the Secretariat of the BiH Presidency, and did not find any irregularities concerning enforcement of the regulations that were subject of the Administrative Inspectorate’s control.”
They also added that in such a case, in accordance with the law, “certain allegations from an anonymous reportregarding an uncompleted recruitment can be evaluated by the Selection Committee during the recruitment procedure or by other competent bodies in appropriate procedures, and not by the inspection bodies, if the conditions to initiate such a procedure are met.”
According to our source, “anonymous” informants are known and it is about pure nepotism in this BiH institution. We have tried to contact the Selection Committee on several occasions in order to get answers to our questions:
How is it possible that the Office of the Secretary General of the BiH Presidency has not been staffed for almost half a year?
What is the reason for the suspension of recruitment procedure?
What is the relationship between the future senior civil servants and the current officials of the BiH Presidency?
According to our information, a new deputy secretary general is coming from the BiH Parliament. According to our source, this person has hinted at going to a new position even though the recruitment procedure was not completed. Is it nepotism? We have been waiting two full months for answers from the offices of Denis Bećirović and Željko Komšić, as well as from the Secretary General’s Office.
The question thus arises whether this is a matter of party or interest sinecure with a prestigious salary of over BAM 3.300 and the status of a senior civil servant with a special task?
If other allowances are added, the salary in question is close to BAM 4.000, which is not intended for an ordinary mortal. The media have previously written about the influence on the recruitment in this institution and the civil service: https://cin.ba/posao-u-predsjednistvu-bih-konkurs-bez-iznenadenja/ https://ba.voanews.com/a/1493800.html.
It is obvious that the offices of the members of the BiH Presidency are playing the time gaining car, said our source, adding that it also suits the Secretary General Đerić, who has been managing the administrative-technical and expert service of the BiH Presidency for half a year now, and that means contracts, public procurements, trucks, planes.