The SAI of Republic of Srpska has conducted a performance audit named ”Professional Rehabilitation and Employment of Persons with Disabilities”. The main objective of this audit is to answer the question:” Whether the current level of engaged resources for the purposes of rehabilitation and training of persons with disabilities, as well as financial incentives and return of contributions to employers, ensures an increase in the employment rate of persons with disabilities”.
The findings of the audit show that in the area of professional rehabilitation and employment of persons with disabilities there is no efficient system that would result in increased employment of persons with disabilities.
Public sector employers have not done enough to meet the legal obligation to employ persons with disabilities or to establish the necessary data for this purpose. The employment rate of persons with disabilities in public sector employers is significantly below the defined minimum legal level and lower than the rate has been reached in the private sector. Given the significance of the number of employees in this sector on the one hand and the legal obligation of employment as opposed to the private sector on the other hand, this has had a major impact on the employment situation of persons with disabilities.
In managing available resources of stimulating employment of persons with disabilities, an adequate structure of forms of incentives has not been achieved that would ensure an increase in employment of persons with disabilities and increase of employment rate above the legally prescribed minimum. The annual structure of financial support by forms of support is not defined by regulatory acts or programs and financial plans. In that sense, the relationship between its two basic parts, the section for new employment and the section for supporting existing employment, has not been defined. The consequence is insufficient and diminishing appropriations for new employment, and thus the absence of a possible increase in the number of employed persons with disabilities. The evident high growth of contribution funds is not a result of the increase in the number of employed persons with disabilities as expected and necessary movements. The return of contributions was achieved with the fall in the number of employees for which the refund, but with an increase in the individual amount of the refund and salary increases.
The capacities of the Fund for Professional Rehabilitation and Employment of Disabled Persons are not focused on increasing the employment of persons with disabilities, especially in the public sector, but mostly on maintaining the existing, not high enough, level of employment in the private sector. Incomplete, untimely and unreliable forms on employment records of persons with disabilities submitted by employers did not result in active communication with them, eventual activation of criminal provisions of the Law or a complete analysis of the causes of the same. A condition in which a large number of employers in the public sector is not generally employ persons with disabilities or not employed in the defined measures and not about reporting in the prescribed manner, the Fund for Professional Rehabilitation and Employment has not considered as a problem even undertaken special activities about it. The Fund’s activities are mainly focused on support activities of private sector employers, where the possible results measured by the number of persons with disabilities employed are much lower and where the used resources are less efficient.
In monitoring and reporting on the employment results of persons with disabilities, the institutions of the system have not ensured the necessary efficiency through coordination, review of existing and creation of new measures and solutions. Lack of the necessary level of coordination, harmonization and review of the adequacy of existing solutions and practices is one of the causes of the stated unsatisfactory employment rate of persons with disabilities and insufficient information of competent institutions about this condition. The Fund for Professional Rehabilitation and Employment of Disabled Persons, with the existing competence does not have the tools to make changes. The Government of Republic of Srpska and the Ministry of Labor, War Veterans and Disabled Persons’ Protection did not consider the overall regulatory framework and its impact on this situation, which is evident from the audit findings, nor did they initiate changes that would result in more incentives for new employment of persons with disabilities.
The SAI of Republic of Srpska in the performance audit report offers recommendations for changes that the institutions of the system need to do, within its competencies, in order to increase efficiency with the available resources and achieve a significant increase in the employment of persons with disabilities.
A complete performance audit report is available on the website of the SAI of Republic of Srpska.