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Transparency International launches activities in Bosnia and Herzegovina

“Peace and prosperity go hand in hand with the fight against corruption”- Peter Eigen, Chairman, Transparency International

The launch of a country chapter in Bosnia and Herzegovina coincided with "the beginning of a new mood of optimism in the region," said Peter Eigen, Chairman of Transparency International. Speaking in Banja Luka at the launch of Transparency International's chapter in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Peter Eigen said: "There is a tremendous amount of work still to be done to rebuild Bosnia and Herzegovina. A precondition for success is a high degree of public accountability and transparency. Peace and prosperity go hand in hand with the fight against corruption."

The new chapter in Bosnia and Herzegovina plans to focus on fiscal management. The country has suffered from a constant deficit caused inter alia by lack of public procurement legislation and procedures. The country's authorities at both constitutional levels, as well as the international community, which maintains a strong presence in the country, have expressed interest in co-operating with Transparency International Bosnia and Herzegovina on introducing and using such instruments. The other principal activity will be countrywide surveys on corruption, monitoring the newly elected administration's progress in combating crime.

Transparency International has chapters in more than 75 countries. In Slovakia, the local chapter has worked with the government of Mikulas Dzurinda in drafting an anti-corruption strategy. Last year, Transparency International Bulgaria monitored the public auction of the second GSM mobile phone license. The auction, considered to have been the most transparent public bidding process in south-eastern Europe, took place from 15-18 December 2000. A team of experts in the fields of telecommunications, economics, finance and law devised a mechanism to evaluate the auction and to ensure that the process complied with Bulgarian law.

TI Croatia is working with the Ministry of Justice on the draft of a conflict of interest law and a countrywide anti-corruption programme. In Serbia, just weeks after the fall of the regime of Slobodan Milosevic, the European Movement in Serbia (Transparency International's partner organisation in Serbia) launched an anti-corruption project in three Serbian municipalities, Nis, Kikinda and Cukarica. The priorities of the programme are the improved functioning of municipal services and the introduction of professional budgeting and public procurement procedures. Transparency International's Serbian chapter is due to be launched in March.

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For further information on Transparency International in Bosnia and Herzegovina, please contact:
Boris Divjak
President of TI Bosnia and Herzegovina
Alekse Santica 4a
51000 Banja Luka, Bosnia and Herzegovina
Tel/Fax: +387 51 306 456

Media Contact at Transparency International
Jeff Lovitt
Tel: +49-30 3438 2045
Fax: +49-30 3470 3912