The Supreme Office for the Republic of Srpska Public Sector Auditing conducted a performance audit entitled “Environmental system operation functioning”. The main purpose of this audit is to answer the question of how the environmental system operation works, observed through the application of basic management mechanisms in the institutions of the system and the degree of their connection and integration.
The findings of this audit show that in the functioning of the environmental protection system, the problems of appropriate application of available management instruments and integration of the system in all its elements are expressed.
Environmental protection planning at the level of the public administration was performed partially, only for one part of the elements of the environment and only in certain parts of the total observed period 2013-2019. At the end of 2019, at the national level, there were three valid strategic documents in the field of environmental protection, and out of a total of eight observed, for which there is an obligation to adopt. Of the five strategic documents that are missing, four are in the process of being drafted or adopted.
In most of the local self-government units, environmental protection is planned, but with significant differences in approach and practices. A small part of local self-government units, larger and economically more developed ones, adopted environmental protection plans as a separate document, and a larger part approached strategic environmental protection planning within the framework of integrated development strategies. In this approach, the environmental protection sector is one of the three sectors of planned development, along with the economic and social sector.
Audit tests show that most of the institutions of the system, responsible for a certain segment of environmental protection, do not know the basic information on the state of planning and planning documents in that area, and for which another of the institutions connected to the system is responsible. At the same time, the responses of these institutions show that the drafting of all strategic planning acts in a single environmental protection system and the order in their preparation and adoption has a significant or key impact on the efficiency and quality of drafting each individual act, either nationally or locally. At the same time, the greatest impact on the quality and efficiency of drafting strategic documents for certain elements of the environment has the Environmental Protection Strategy, its existence and its content with defined priorities in the overall protection system and forms of interaction and integration.
Reports on the state of the environment and on the implementation of adopted planning acts in that area were submitted by the competent institutions partially and occasionally, observed in relation to the defined number of reports, their content and deadlines for preparation. The Ministry of Physical Planning, Construction and Ecology, which is in charge of the integration of the environmental protection system, collected information and analyzed it and sent it to several different addresses, in accordance with the requirements, most often within international projects in the field of environmental protection in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Examinations show that the lack of reporting practice of the National Assembly of the Republika Srpska was present when it comes to the state of the environment as a whole, and when it comes to the protection of certain elements of the environment, including those for which protection strategies are adopted. In such circumstances, there was an obligation of the Government to submit a report on the implementation of the adopted strategies every three years, but it was not implemented in the expected scope and dynamics.
The audit concluded that the environmental protection system does not ensure the comprehensiveness of overall planning and the adoption of existing planning documents lacks the application of hierarchy, order and integration and that the existing scope and structure of reporting does not provide a clear and reliable picture of the system and does not provide the necessary basis for defining adequate measures. and priorities to improve condition.
The Supreme Office for the Republic of Srpska Public Sector Auditing, in its performance audit report, makes recommendations to the Republika Srpska Government, the Ministry of Spatial Planning, Construction and Ecology, municipialities and the institutions responsible for this area, which need to be implemented to make the system work better. this enabled the achievement of better results in environmental protection and a significant improvement in the quality of life of citizens.
The complete performance audit report is available on the website of The Supreme Office for the Republic of Srpska Public Sector Auditing.