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April 05, 2007

Bosnian Lawmakers Participate in Corruption Prevention Study Tour in Slovenia


Building upon the success of the Stability Pact Anti-Corruption Initiative's (SPAI) "twinning-type" projects in South Eastern Europe (SEE), the Rule of Law Initiative in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) partnered with SPAI to organize a study tour to Slovenia for a working group of Bosnians tasked with developing a law establishing the Agency for Prevention of Corruption. The five-member working group visited the Slovenian Commission for the Prevention of Corruption, the Prosecutor's Office, the Ministry of Justice and the Ombudsman as part of an intensive three-day program from March 5 - 8.

The SPAI was adopted in 2000 to address corruption in the SEE region, and the SPAI Steering Group, made up of SPAI partner states, international organizations (including the Rule of Law Initiative) and the governments of SEE, agreed to establish a regional secretariat in Sarajevo to promote local ownership of the Initiative. The Rule of Law Initiative has supported the institutional development of the regional secretariat since its inception in 2004 with funding from USAID. SPAI twinning-type projects are designed to share relevant existing capacities with SEE countries, and the Bosnian participants noted that the lessons from Slovenia – a country that utilized structures and resources comparative to Bosnia's in establishing its anti-corruption agency – were particularly relevant as they move forward with creating a similar institution in BiH. The Rule of Law Initiative and SPAI will organize a four-day seminar in April as a follow up to the trip, during which the members of the working group will pubicly discuss and finalize the draft law.