Report on the current practice of determining wages for MPs in B&H parliamentary bodies

PERIOD December 1, 2009. – May 31, 2010
participants Lead applicant:
Centers of Civil Initiatives
Implementing party: GEA Center for Research and Studies
DONor  usaidUnited States Agency for Intl. Development

General objective

Contribute to the creation of a system that ensures responsible and rational public spending in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Specific objectives

  • Conduct a report comparing current wage levels among Bosnia and Herzegovina MPs with the wage levels of their colleagues in other countries using appropriate development indicators, such as public and private sector wages and gross domestic product per capita; provide a complete overview of wage-setting models in the B&H Parliamentary Assembly, Parliament of the B&H Federation and the National Assembly of the Republic of Srpska; provide an analysis of recommended practices and wage-setting models developed for parliamentarians in European countries.
  • Based on the above-mentioned analysis, develop a proposal for a reasonable and judicious system of setting wages for MPs in the Parliamentary Assembly of B&H, Parliament of FB&H and National Assembly of RS.
  • Disseminate the report findings and project results to the public as well as relevant decision makers.

Target groups

  • decision makers at entity and state levels (presidents of parliaments, members of legislation boards, members of administrative committees)
  • journalists and academics
  • civil society actors

Achieved results

  • Produced report that compared over 20 existing models for MP wage-setting practices throughout various EU and Balkan with practices in the Republic of Srpska and the Parliamentary Assembly and Federation of B&H.
  • Advanced proposal for a new wage-setting model model for B&H that helps rectify existing problems while increasing the transparency and effectiveness of the process.
  • Publicly advocated for the new model in the media and in the entity and state parliaments.
  • Delivered three presentations of the proposed wage-setting model to entity and state parliament bodies.

The following recommendations were identified and proposed based on good practices from European countries:

  • regulate the wages and allowances of deputies and delegates in accordance with B&H legislation regulating wages in governing institutions
  • require that all MP wages be less than three times the average B&H wage
  • abolish ‘wage surrogates’ – monthly fees (PAB&H and PFB&H) and allowances for membership on committees and boards
  • abolish wage increases for presidents and vice-presidents of caucuses
  • equalize the wages of all MPs regardless of their work status
  • introduce financial penalties for unjustified absences from parliamentary sessions or sessions of working bodies
  • make information on MP wages public on the official websites of the three parliaments