Head of the Srpska Statistics Institute Radmila Cickovic told Pieter Everaers, the chairman of the Steering Committee of the International Monitoring Operation /IMO/, in Sarajevo on Thursday about the Srpska institutions’ stance that the decision on the common census data processing programme and the programme itself are illegal.
“I pointed out that the decision of the Agency for Statistics Director Velimir Jukic about the common census data processing programme was not the one previously reviewed by the Central Census Bureau and that it was made without the approval of the entities,” Cickovic told Srna.
Ms Cickovic informed Everaers of the views of the Srpska Statistics Institute and Government, which are also stated in a letter sent to the State Bosnia and Herzegovina institutions and international representatives.
“We pointed to the harmful effects of Jukic’s decision and political disagreements regarding the processing of the census data,” said Cickovic.
One of the illegal elements of the census data processing programme is the publication of the census results, she said.
“It is proposed that a certain amount of the data is published in accordance with the deadline, and the remaining in accordance with a plan. There is a series of elements that are contrary to the law, from the formal ones to the substantial ones,” warned Cickovic.
Cickovic reminded Everaers that the goals of the IMO were independent and unbiased census results and achievement of trust in the census.
“However, Everaers backed the programme adopted by Jukic,” said Cickovic.
With regard to the IMO recommendations regarding the processing of the data, Everaers said that the recommendations were broadly set and that countries could make their own solutions within those recommendations, she said.
“Everaers said that recommendations were recommendations and that the law was the law, meaning that the law was above the recommendations,” said Cickovic.
Everaers expressed suspicion about the deadline for the publication of the census results, said Cickovic.
“Everaers asked whether all the work could be done within a month,” added Cickovic.
She reiterated the view that the BiH Council of Ministers should become involved in the issue of the processing and determining of the census results, stressing that the institution is legally and practically deeply involved in the process.