Working Group Report UNDP Croatia

Document Sample
Working Group Report UNDP Croatia Powered By Docstoc

      WORKING GROUP REPORT Anamarija Musa, assistant professor, Faculty of Law, Zagreb Viktor Gotovac, Faculty of Law, Zagreb Denis Redžepagić, Institute of Economics, Zagreb

Zagreb, November 30, 2010


The working group was entrusted with the task, based on the recommendations of UNDP's
expert team and conclusions of the Human Rights Center’s Steering Board, of creating a
projection (analysis) regarding the possible merger of two human rights institutions active in
the field of human rights protection and prevention, specifically regarding the legal
(consequences of the merger), financial and economic (funding, salaries, possibilities of
attracting additional funds, accounts) and organisational aspects (office structure, coordination
and workers).

Based on the analysis of regulations, acts, documents, data and recommendations of the
existing projects related to the same issue, as well as on the information obtained at the
meetings of working group and from representatives of the institutions involved, the
following report was made.

      Excerpt from the TERMS OF REFERENCE

In late 2009, the UNDP, together with the Croatian People’s Ombudsman and the Human
Rights Center, initiated the project Capacity building of the Croatian People’s Ombudsman
Office. One of the Project activities was preparation of the research study on the
rationalization of the human rights protection system in the Republic of Croatia, an activity
jointly guided by the Croatian People’s Ombudsman and the Human Rights Center. The
expert team of the rationalization component (Richard Carver, Oxford Brookes University;
Srđan Dvornik, Independent Consultant, Zagreb; Denis Redžepagić, Institute of Economics,
Zagreb) produced a report which is based on research and contains concrete
recommendations, about the organizational, financial, and political effectiveness of the
Croatian human rights system. The study focused on the work of four Ombudsman
institutions, three government offices with responsibilities in the human rights field, and the
Human Rights Center. The study builds upon the work of a capacity assessment of the
Croatian People’s Ombudsman conducted by a team from the United Nations Development
Programme Regional Center in Bratislava, in November 2008.

At the meeting of the Steering Board of the Human Rights Center held on March 23, 2010,
the members of the board had been introduced to the outline (main text) of the report, and the
preliminary discussion regarding concrete proposals was conducted. During the discussion at
the Steering Board meeting the arguments „for” and „against” the possible organisational
merger of the Human Rights Center and the People’s Ombudsman Office were expressed. At
the same meeting it was concluded that the Center, in line with the former meetings with the
representatives of the People’s Ombudsman Office and the UNDP, would organise a public
presentation of the expert team report. The public presentation was held on May 17, 2010.
During the discussion there was no unanimous conclusion regarding the recommendation
referring to the future organisational and legal status of the HRC, while the representatives of
the civil society organisations spoke very positively about the previous work of the Center. At
some point during the discussion concern was expressed regarding the possible merger of the
Center and the People’s Ombudsman Office in the sense of potentially limiting the quality of
the past cooperation between the Center and other civil society organisations. On June 2 2010,
at the office staff meeting of all employees at the Center, practical dimensions of the proposed
solutions for the future organisational status of the Center were discussed.

Following the discussion and a subsequent written Opinion of the Director of the HRC, the
Steering Board of the HRC at its session held on June 11, 2010 concluded:

In line with the expert team's report about the effectiveness of the human rights system in
Croatia, there are clear and principled arguments which point to the advantages of the
proposed conditional merger of the Human Rights Center and the People’s Ombudsman
Office, but also many uncertainties. Therefore, it is necessary to work out a detailed policy
analysis (projection) of all practical consequences of such an institutional solution (formal and
legal, organisational and practical), before the HRC Steering Board forms its final conclusion
about this topic, and sends an official proposal to the Government of the Republic of Croatia
and other relevant bodies.

In this context, the conditions for merger from the HRC point of view are:

1.   A certain level of autonomy in its work
2.   Possibilities for conducting fundraising activities
3.   Possibilities for maintaining the institutional partnership with the Open Society
     Institute East East Partnership Beyond Borders Program
4.   Keeping current level of salaries, current positions and current space/premises
5.   Maintaining the existing "character" of the Center in line with its mission


In its report „Rationalization of the Croatian Human Rights Protection System“ the expert
team recommended the merger of the Human Rights Center (HRC) and the Croatian People's
Ombudsman (CPO). Such a recommendation implies an organisational transformation
according to which the functioning and efficiency of the human rights system in general
should be improved. Although the conducted analysis confirmed the justification of the
merger of HRC with CPO, the process should be additionally explained before making any
executive decisions.

There was a need to further identify and analyse the practical consequences of new
institutional solutions in order to decrease any possible risks related to the mentioned
organisational transformation. The following guidelines-conditions of the HRC Steering
Board are emphasized:

    Autonomy in its work (functional autonomy)
    Capacity to attract additional funds
    Maintaining institutional support from East East Program
    Maintaining the same level of salaries, job positions and location
    Guaranteeing the existing character of the HRC in line with its mission

Starting from the fact that the mentioned conditions are guidelines, this part of the report
analyses direct and indirect economic and financial effects of the merger of HRC and CPO.
However, the expected rationalisation and efficiency improvement are not simply observed as
a reduction of costs and new investments in human rights protection system in the Republic of
Croatia. The analysis deals specifically with rational distribution of available resources within
the system on one hand and strengthening the capacities focused on expanding the scope and
quality of „services“ as well as the creation of preconditions for attracting new investments
into the system on the other. Improvement of the system and its effective application is based
on new investments. Although very hard to measure, advantages of such investments are
significant for the society in general. Therefore, the aim of the economic analysis is to identify
the practical effects of the merger based on the implicit precondition that the merger would
generate a series of positive results, from the point of view of CPO as well as the system in

1.1. Methodological approach

The comparative analysis of the organizational and functional transformation is conducted in
order to examine acceptability of three variant solutions which are:
1. Maintaining the existing relationship within the system (status quo);
2. Expanding activities of the Center as a specialized agency – provider of services to a
   larger number of users, especially other Ombudsman institutions;
3. Merging with the People's Ombudsman Office.

Economic-financial analysis is based on the data collected from two institutions as well as on the
publicly available data related to their work and financial management. Data from the report on
the work of the Ombudsman1 as well as the report on the work of the Human Rights Center2


were also used. Additionally, the Ministry of Finance's data on the 2009 state budget, data from
the state budget of the Republic of Croatia for 2010 as well as projections for 2011 and 20123
were used. Finally, data from the previous report on the rationalisation of human rights system4
were also observed in the analysis and the budget. Primarily, this refers to the economic and
financial analysis in the second part of the report.

The quantitative database was furthermore accompanied with quality indicator data relating to
their activities with emphasis on internal and external factors through the use of SWOT analysis
of each analytical variant.

1.2.    Variant solution of the organisational reform of the Human Rights Center and
     People's Ombudsman Office

The institutions within the human rights system in the Republic of Croatia mostly depend on
state budget. The policy of rationalisation of budget expenses on all levels of state
administration has had a negative impact on human rights system. Budget restrictions have
disabled new infrastructure investments. That is clearly seen from the People’s Ombudsman
report for 20095.

The merger of the Human Rights Center with the People’s Ombudsman Office is
recommended as a functional measure aimed at improvement of their activities’ efficiency
within the system. The expectations that positive synergy may be achieved by the merger of
two institutions are thus rational.

The expert team's recommendations were focused on rationalisation by conducting
organisational transformation which would redefine the roles of the merged institutions and in
that way create new relationships within the system. In that respect three variant solutions are
identified, and these are:

1.      Maintaining the existing relationship within the system
2.      Expanding the Center's activities as a specialised agency – provider of services to a
        larger number of users, not only to the Center, but especially in relation to the People's
        Ombudsman and three special Ombudsman institutions (for children, for gender
        equality and disabled persons);
3.      Merger of the Center with the People's Ombudsman institution, specifically merger
        with its Office

It is also important to stress that these are functionally similar but organisationally different
variant solutions. Keeping its present functional and organisational relationship within the
system has been assessed as the least acceptable solution for the Center from the very start,
while expansion of the activities of the Centre in present conditions caused by budget cuts has





on the other hand been observed as rather questionable. In an attempt to implement reform
guidelines, the variant of merging with the Centre and the Office was insisted upon.
In order to document performance decision further explanation based on appropriate database
was needed. That is why, in addition to obtaining necessary financial data, opinions and
evaluations from both institutions - the Human Rights Centre and People's Ombudsman
Office - were collected and processed as well. Assessments of both institutions were
summarized in the analysis of their strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats, which
are part of the SWOT6 analysis, mentioned further in the report.

1.2.1. Keeping the existing status - Status quo

It was assessed that maintenance of the existing status or status quo is not an acceptable
organisational solution. There are two main reasons for it:

 According to the present situation, the Government of the Republic of Croatia, as the
  founder and financial supporter of the HRC cannot guarantee continued financial support
  and maintenance of the Center's activities, and that is the fact which should be closely
  observed from the aspect of the activities focused on rationalisation of public
  administration and public sector in general, within which closing down and merging of
  numerous agencies (to which the Human Rights Center belong), was one of the proposed
  (and partly accomplished) measures;
 It is believed that additional and necessary investments into the Center's activities, and that
  means allocation of funds into the human rights protection system in general, would prove
  to be irrational since the activities and tasks of the mentioned institutions are
  complementary as well as intertwined. Furthermore, changes in the People's Ombudsman
  institution (and other special ombuds institutions as well) refer to capacity building and
  institutional strengthening focused on promotion of human rights and freedoms, which is a
  constitutional obligation, confirmed by the adopted amendments to the Constitution from
  June 2010.

Identification of positive and negative factors in the work of Human Rights Center, which are
strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats observed from the aspect of the Human
Rights Center, is stated in table 1.

Based on the conducted analysis, the conclusion that the Center faces a very uncertain future
regarding its existing position and long term sustainability of its activities within the existing
organisational structure in the system is indisputable.

          English Strenghts, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats – often used model in the analysis of the
internal and external factors which influence strategic decisions.

Table 1 Human Rights Center – S.W.O.T. analysis, model „status quo“
                   POSITIVE FACTORS                           NEGATIVE FACTORS
                          Strengths                                  Weaknesses
   1.     Fixed and established way of work and stable 1.      Uncertain position of the
       internal organization of the office                  Center in relation to the
   2.     Autonomy and independence in its work             Government of the Republic of
 I 3.     Maintaining East East Program (which in total     Croatia and uncertainty of future
 N     makes 1/3 of the overall Center's budget)            funding arrangements with the
 T 4.     Maintaining flexibility in attracting funds       Government
 E     from other sources; embassies, EU and UN 2.             Long term sustainability is
 R     bodies (which in total makes 1/3 of the current      brought into question
 N     Center's budget)                                  3.    Continuous, even further
 I 5.     Flexibility in redirecting Center's activities    efforts have to be invested into
       considering constant changes of the current          fundraising, while less time
       topics in human rights areas                         would be afforded to dealing
   6.     Keeping current premises                          with human rights issues

                     Opportunities                                    Threats
    1.  Maintaining the existing „character“ and 1.          Pressures on behalf of the
     image of the Center in public, amongst other civil   Government         by     reducing
     rights organisations, international institutions and financial support and lack of
V    academic       community,        which       ensures support to independent work
A    continuation of good cooperation with other 2.          It is expected that a number of
N    actors                                               donors who are currently
J 2.    Possible new forms of cooperation with new        investing in the Republic of
S    donors                                               Croatia will be reduced, as
K 3.    Possible support by International Coordinating    Croatia nears EU entry
I    Committee (ICC) of NHRI (possibility of 3.              Survival of the Center with the
     obtaining B status as national human rights          current scope of work is
     institution)                                         questionable

1.2.2. Human Rights Agency

The variant solution regarding the transformation of the Human Rights Center into a suitable
agency, which could operate as a provider of services to all Ombudsman institutions was
considered unreal and very hard to accomplish. Anyway, this variant was examined as one of
the possibilities of the system rationalization on the level of increasing functioning and
strengthening capacity of the Center. The economic crisis has had a negative impact on
institutional strengthening of agencies in Croatia due to restrictions imposed on funding and
employment. On the contrary, opposite tendencies such as merger, acquisition and networking
are elements which are presently being considered as part of the effective rationalisation.

However, that particular approach anticipates a significant investment into the Center, and
practically it would mean the employment of a larger number of employees and further
expansion of the Center's activities. Implementation of that variant solution would mean the
formation of a new institution within the system, which is contrary to the guidelines of
rationalisation. Besides, on the level of system there is still no need for the formation of such
essentially large research institution, taking into account the existing actors within the system.
However, it would be possible to expect development of such an agency only upon
undertaking significant organisational and functional changes in the rationalisation process of
human rights system that would be in line with the rationalisation project conducted in the
past. In that case, on one hand, the merger of two government offices dealing with human
rights issues and protection of national minorities would be optimal while on the other hand,
merger of ombudsmen institutions into unique system accompanied by a separate research
and information agency for support and implementation of human rights protection policy
which would grow out of the existing Center. In that sense, instead of having seven
fragmented and complementary institutions, three strong institutions would be formed –
Government Office in charge of policy and coordination function, Ombudsman institution
dealing with human rights protection and promotion issues and finally strong Agency with a
mission to promote human rights and provide professional support to ombudsman institutions.

Identification of positive and negative factors related to the Center's mode of operation, that is
strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats regarding possible transformation of the
Centre's into Agency are stated in table 2.

Based on the conducted analysis it is apparent that by possible transformation of the Center
into Agency, a fundamental question of maintaining independence of the institution is still not
solved, while the financial support for efficient work of the Center is also rather questionable.
Although such organisational solution would create an opportunity to take advantage of the
current Center's activities, insecure future and log term funding and investments into new
Agency makes such an organisational solution very questionable.

The mentioned reasons were outlined in the Report on Rationalisation, where a variant of the
merger of Center and the People’s Ombudsman was preferred. This particular variant is
furthermore supported by practical needs of the system and necessity of rationalisation of the

available resources, which was elaborated in more detail in some other reports of the Center
regarding the topic7.

Table 2 Human Rights Center – S.W.O.T. analysis, model „independent agency for
providing support to Ombudsman institutions“
                   POSITIVE FACTORS                                 NEGATIVE FACTORS

                           Strengths                                       Weaknesses

       1.    Fixed and established way of work              1.    Insecurity and ambiguity
       2.    Stable internal organisation of the               related to mode of operation of
          office                                               such agencies (lack of legal
       3.    Autonomy and independence in its                  framework)
          work                                              2.    Lack of national strategy on
       4.    Maintaining East-East program                     agencies
       5.    Keeping other sources of funding               3.    Possible financial insecurity
       6.    Stronger feeling of internal security
       7.    Keeping the same premises
                         Opportunities                                        Threats
         1. Possibly more serious acknowledgment of         1. Confusing position of the Center in
         the Center on behalf of some other actors          relation towards public because of the
         (Government and its institutions)                  transformation itself
    EX   2. Agency under the authority of the               2. Possible informal influence of the
    TE   Parliament, and not the government                 Government on the work of agencies
     R   3. New types of cooperation with new
     N   donors
    AL   4. Possibly more wider scope of activities
         and greater powers
         5. Possibility to independently seek status
         from the ICC
         6. Maintaining existing „character“ and

         „Opinion” of the Centre’s Director on expert team report on rationalisation of human rights protection
system in the Republic of Croatia related to the status of the Human Rights Centre, June 10, 2010.

1.2.3. Merger of HRC and CPO

One of the recommendations of the previous report on rationalisation of human rights system
in the Republic of Croatia was a merger of the People’s Ombudsman with the Human Rights
Center. Based on the conducted analysis, a significant potential for synergy of these two
institutions was observed. While the Center has been developing its research activities as well
as its capacities for data collection and research at the human rights library, accomplishing
continuous cooperation with numerous NGOs active in the human rights field, the People's
Ombudsman office has reached a stage of development where investments into those
particular activities are needed.

Uncertainty related to performing of the Center's activities has been noticed in the past several
years. Its focus on donations and attracting international sources of funding has enabled the
Center to develop a network of contacts. However, at the same time such a situation means
that the Center has not had any influence on additional funding and its further development.
International funding of civil society development and human rights programs depend on the
current economic situation in the wider area. The trend has shown that great donor countries
are reducing financial support and amounts of donations. Due to the recession in the European
economy it is irrational to expect that the Center would be able to retain important
international donations to the same extent as in the recent past. Possible state donations
would, on the other hand, have a negative impact on the level of independence which is the
main precondition for the functioning of the Center. Since the capacities and skills which have
been developed at the Center are of the utmost importance for human rights issues in Croatia,
merger of the Center and the People’s Ombudsman seems an acceptable organisational and
functional solution.

Identification of positive and negative factors regarding the Center's mode of operation, which
are strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats from the Ombudsman's point of view, is
shown in table 3.

Table 3 People's Ombudsman office – S.W.O.T. analysis

             POSITIVE FACTORS                           NEGATIVE FACTORS
                    Strengths                                  Weaknesses
  1. Space for promotional activities
  2. Space for merging human rights library 1. Fight to keep the Center's independence
  at the Center with documents and archive in work, structure and organisation of the
  of the People’s Ombudsman                    office
  3. Experienced staff in human rights 2. Possible increase in work load with
  promotion and cooperation with NGOs          additional activities from CPO office
  4. Preconditions for better cooperation 3. Possible dissatisfaction and feeling of
  with NGOs                                    competition amongst employees of both
  5. Feeling of internal security because the offices
  Center would belong to the strongest and 4. Possible loss of East-East Program, and
  constitutionally defined human rights by that a possible loss of institutional
  institution in Croatia                       support and a very important model of
  6. More secure financial support for the international cooperation
  work of the Center                           5. Possible decrease in number of other
  7. Opportunity to rely on experience in projects
  work on individual cases, in addition to the 6. Possible loss of office premises (space)
  already existing sources of the Center's 7. Questionable survival of office in
  information on human rights (civil society, present scope of work
  international        organisations      and
  8. Increased job security
  9. Acting within "A" NHRI status
  10. East East Program

                  Opportunities                                      Threats
   1. Preconditions for fulfillment of Paris 1. Ensuring substantial resources from the
   principles insofar as it relates to the need budget not only for human rights
   for increased activity related to human protection but also for human rights
   rights promotion and cooperation with promotion in accordance with the Paris
   NGOs                                          Principles criteria
   2. Preconditions for the organisation of 2. Loss of the Center's identity as
   research in the human rights field            independent institution
  3. Increase of the institution’s visibility in 3. Confusing position of the Center in
  public                                         public
  4. Possibly more serious acknowledgment 4. Possibly weakened international
  of the Center on behalf of some actors cooperation and possible lack of initiatives
  (Government and its institutions)              in work with civil society
  5. Operating under NHRI "A" status
  6. Possible wider scope of work
  7. A higher level of dedication to human
  rights issues in the European and
  international context and improved
  monitoring of current trends in human
  rights protection

1.3. Assessment and proposed restructuring model

Factors which have an impact on defining optimal organisational model in this part of the
analysis are financial and organisational. Generally speaking, we are talking about an analysis
of alternative models as independent “companies” within the human rights protection system.
Assuming that the final outcome of the „business operations“ of each alternative
organisational model is identical, and that represents a contribution to human rights
protection, it is possible to asses objectively the sustainability of each individual proposal by
analysing factors which influence the long term sustainability of proposed models. Three
types of factors were extracted in this analysis:
       Sources of income
       Proposal
       Internal capacities - organisation, location, „service value“.

In spite of relatively equally distributed resources during the analysed period, total investment
in the work of HRC and CPO amounts to approximately 8 million Kuna annually. The
amount is considered as an almost negligible share in the state budget 8, with 16% of resources
allocated for work of the key institutions9 in the human rights sector, in terms of the definition
used in the previous report on rationalisation.

Allocation of resources for the main institutions in the human rights protection system varies
from approximately 40 to 50 million Kuna annually. In comparison, the work of the
Government Office for Cooperation with NGOs is financed with 75 million Kuna annually. It
is obvious that the analysed segment of human rights protection sector is only a part of the
overall efforts of the Parliament and the Government of the Republic of Croatia in human
rights promotion.

By introducing changes in strategic planning of the budget, the Ministry of Finance
introduced the state budget projection in 2010 for a three year period from 2011 until 2013,
and The Law on Fiscal Responsibility was adopted as well. The planned medium term
expenditure framework is thus more clearly defined. By gaining insight into the available
budget projections, the analysis proposes that the current level of funding will remain
unchanged during medium term. For the Ombudsman Office, that means that its resources
will remain stable with a necessary but insignificant raise if preconditions for its further
development are to be met.

However, in the current budget situation, the Center's work would depend on donations and
non-institutional support, and such potential funding sources are limited. Since the Center is
not operational within „market structure“ and does not have a „marketable product“, the
Government of the Republic of Croatia, as the founder of the Center would be forced to
increase its funding which does not seem probable within the current budget restrictions.
Uncertainties regarding continuous funding of the Center may have a negative impact in terms
of preservation of valuable knowledge and skills of the Center's employees.

         Projection of 2010 state budget expenses amounts to 120 billion Croatian Kuna.
         In order to compare data, the data for the same institutions analysed in the report „Ratioanalization of
the Croatian Human Rights System“ are used, and these are: Government offices for human rights, ethnic
minorities and gender equality, Human Rights Centre and the ombudsman offices.

The internal capacities of the Center primarily refer to its ability to attract donations and
financial support as well as to cooperate with international and civil society actors in the field
of human rights. These are specific organisational skills which provide the Center with
significant advantages in the human rights protection system. Attracting alternative sources of
funding enables the organisation to be less „dependent“ on state budget donations, and at the
same time, more closely connected with non governmental sector and international
organisations. Strengthening of connections is a specific ability which is not possible to create
within the organisations but demands long term investments and development of specific
capacities for opening and communicating with its environment.

It should be noted that the People's Ombudsman Office received certain funds outside of the
state budget, but that was two years ago. In practice, the Human Rights Center and other
government offices are expected to, within their activities and services, continue attracting
alternative source of funding. The Center has consistently followed such guidelines and has
managed to obtain more than 60% of its annual resources from other donors besides the
Government, more specifically the state budget. The Human Rights Center has shown special
competence in communicating with potential donors based on proposed projects and action

Undisputedly, in the sense of management, the Human Rights Center has special competence
which cannot be easily copied by other institutions within the system. The Center, without its
special ability to attract alternative funding would not be able to operate. Merger of the Center
with the current system would significantly increase budget allocations for its normal
functioning, because the change in the Center's institutional status would decrease its legal-
formal possibilities for obtaining additional funding from other donors out of system.
However, the ombudsman offices, have not developed such skills for attracting alternative
sources of funding and thus their activities are funded from the state budget. The Center has
developed and has cherished this special type of skills and operational flexibility.

As is stated in the Report on Rationalisation of Human Rights System, the communication
among institutions is inadequate and lacks good quality because it has never been
institutionalized. In spite of numerous evidence of good will for cooperation on a more
official level, the main obstacles are location and administrative problems. A higher level of
flexibility was achieved exclusively by the Center because of its double role as both a
research and an activist center with good knowledge and cooperation with various NGOs and
numerous representatives of academic community. Our financial analysis of the Center,
however, shows that continuation of the independent work of the Center on the medium or
even short-term is very questionable. Cessation of the Center's activities could result in a loss
of valuable skills which have been developed at the Center on the level of the overall system,
and that is considered as a significant social and opportunity cost.

Variant solution in merger of the Center and the CPO should be analysed from the aspect of
their potential, in addition to direct and indirect, measurable and non-measurable advantages
as well as costs. Starting from that aspect, table 4 summarizes advantages and disadvantages
for each of the analysed variants.

From the analysis of the possible development models it is clear that the model of the merger
represents the optimal solution because of institutional possibilities, functional needs of the
system and strengthening of the long term capacities of the overall system.

Table 4 Risk matrix related to the proposed models of restructuring the Human Rights
                                                              Merger with the People's
        Status quo                      Agency
                                                                Ombudsman Office
Advantages     Disadvantages       Advantages       Disadvantages    Advantages      Disadvantages
-focus on     -questionable       -dissemination   -questionable     -positive     -differences in
independent   sustainability of   of existing      capacity of the   synergy       „organisational
performance   the existing        knowledge        Center            efficiency    approach“(possib
of its        model of            and skills for   (additional                     le to solve with
fundamental   funding             multiple         investment in     -improving    separate
activity                          service users    existing          independenc   organisational
              -questionable                        capacities is     e of the      identity)
-additional   independence                         needed)           system
training      of system


1.1. The need to strengthen the institutional capacity and increase efficiency of the
     Croatian People's Ombudsman

Merger of the Human Rights Center and the People's Ombudsman by taking over the
institution is justifiable for several reasons.

First, amendments to the Constitution in 2010 broadened the mandate of the People's
Ombudsman. Alongside the existing role of human rights protector, the Ombudsman mandate
was strengthened to include promotion of human rights and freedoms. In that sense, certain
changes in legal and sub-legal regulations of the ombudsman institutions are inevitable as
well as the establishment of appropriate structures and functions for the accomplishment of its
constitutional task. Therefore, the merger of the Center with the CPO Office and the
continuation of its past activities in human rights promotion is a justifiable move aiming to
secure fulfillment of the institutional purpose of the People's Ombudsman and ensure
continuous quality performance of the mentioned Center's activity.

Second, specific recommendations by the SCA (Sub-Committee for Accreditations) of the
International Coordinating Committee of the National Human Rights Institutions ( ICC
NHRI) from April 2008 as a part of its decision on accrediting status A to the Croatian
People's Ombudsman according to the Paris Principles10 point to the need to ensure
efficiency, strengthen cooperation and broaden the institution’s mandate in general. In that
sense the following recommendations are particularly made in order to:
     Highlight the importance for the Ombudsman to cooperate with the other Ombudsman
        institutions in order to ensure coherence and effectiveness of the national human rights
        protection system
     Broaden the mandate of the People's Ombudsman to include human rights promotion
     Ensure adequate funding for the realisation of the institution’s mandate, and
     Ensure interaction with the international human rights protection system,
     Ensure pluralism, and
     Encourage the Ombudsman to strengthen accessibility of the institution by opening
        regional offices

A merger of the Human Rights Center with the CPO Office and maintenance of its functional
and organisational character within the People's Ombudsman institution seem compatible with
the above stated recommendations, primarily through broadening the functions of the People's
Ombudsman by its proactive involvement in promotion and human rights protection through
defining strategy, communication and project activities, as well as project funding which
would strengthen the financial capacity of the Office. The Center could play an important role
in coordination of ombudsman institutions, and even wider, by connecting NGOs, experts and
members of academic community with state and especially government bodies in charge of

         Paris Principles defined at the first International Workshop on National Institutions for the Promotion
and Protection of Human Rights in Paris 7-9 October 1991, adopted by Human Rights Commission Resolution
1992/54, 1992 and General Assembly Resolution 48/134, 1993.

human rights protection and promotion (for instance, the Office for National Minorities and
Office for Human Rights).

Third, the EU requirements in the sense of strengthening the institutional capacities and
achieving results in the field of human rights. The European Union stresses the need to
strengthen the CPO institution by pressuring the Republic of Croatia to invest additional
efforts in fulfillment of the conditions from Chapter 23 (Judiciary and Fundamental Rights),
which is one of the most disputable chapters concerning the accession negotiations today,
with still unfulfilled conditions for its closure. In light of serious efforts undertaken by the
Republic of Croatia and obligations it had undertaken, the fulfillment of conditions represent
a condition sine qua non for further progress towards the European integrations and EU

In the Progress Report about Croatia’s efforts in preparing for EU membership made by the
European Commission and published on November 9, 2010, the Ombudsman Institution was
mentioned several times, especially in the sense of strengthening the Ombudsman’s
capacities. The increased role and effectiveness of the People's Ombudsman has been
observed, however staffing is still insufficient (p.7)

   Government efforts to promote and enforce human rights protection have been
    recognised, however enforcement of rights continues to be compromised by the persisting
    shortcomings in administration of justice, especially the length of proceedings (p. 10)
   Steps taken to raise public awareness on the implementation of the new Anti-
    Discrimination Act have been observed, however knowledge of its scope is limited
    among the authorities and citizens, and only a small number of discrimination complaints
    reach court; the reason for it being resource constraints by the People's Ombudsman to
    fulfill all new functions envisaged by the law (pages 13 and 43)

Merger of HRC and CPO would mean the realisation of attempts to strengthen human rights
protection and promotion system in the Republic of Croatia, with consequences expected
related to the implementation of the Anti Discrimination Act, especially in informing and
raising awareness of the public about the law, and encouraging civil society to put more
efforts in that particular segment. Regarding the negotiations process, the closing of
negotiations will depend on a report on implemented measures, and in that case undertaking
appropriate changes (of constitutional and legal obligations) in the legal framework for
People's Ombudsman could represent a fulfillment of the conditions.

Fourth, initiated activities aiming at the rationalisation of the human rights system and
recommendations by the team are particularly focused on the merger of the People's
Ombudsman institution and the Human Rights Center (see above). Both institutions and their
employees have welcomed merger proposals and in that sense both of them have undertaken
steps for fulfillment of the recommendations from the report. Both institutions see mutual
advantages in performing joint activities in the human rights area.

Finally, one should not neglect the current situation in the Croatian political and legal system.
The Croatian government, pressured by the economic crisis, is attempting to rationalise
overall the public sector, following the same trend as in other European countries, by, among

other things, closing down numerous agencies and other decentralised bodies.11 In 2010, 14
agencies were closed down, mostly through some kind of merger with state administrative
bodies or other larger agencies. Some of the observed criteria in deciding which agency
should be closed down were the agency's size, its budget status and possible duplication of
activities. In that sense, closing down of the Center and its merger with CPO represents a
good solution for rationalisation of the public sector, and at the same time prevents the Center
from being merged with other institution in which it would not be able to perform its work
adequately within human rights system. On the other hand, cessation of the Center's activities
due to the lack of funding, would be contrary to the demands set before human rights
protection and promotion field, and at the same time would represent a senseless elimination
of the institution which could be able to complement the ombudsman functions, with regard to
the Constitution, Anti Discrimination Act and adopted international obligations.


3.1. Status and legal framework

People's Ombudsman

The institution of People's Ombudsman is a constitutional category which has in the last two
decades experienced broadening of its responsibilities and strengthening of its status. The role
and responsibilities of the People's Ombudsman had already been defined in article 93 of the
1990 Constitution (Official Gazette 60/92)12; however the institution started its work two
years later, upon adoption of the People's Ombudsman Act (Official Gazette 60/92) in 1992.
The broadly accepted notion of an independent institution of the parliamentary ombudsman in
democratic societies was thus accepted in the Croatian political system. Independence of the
institution was emphasised through its relationship with the Parliament as the principal
authority and established by
a) The procedure of election, considering that the People's Ombudsman and his deputies are
elected and relieved of duty by the Croatian Parliament
b) The obligation of the People's Ombudsman to report on his activities once a year, and in
special cases to submit special report; pursuant to his duties
c) the decision according to which the conditions for the election and dismissal of the
People's Ombudsman and his deputies as well as the mode and scope of action be regulated
by the law and standing orders which are brought and approved by the Parliament.

The first significant amendment related to the constitutional framework and mode of action of
the People’s Ombudsman was introduced by the Constitution in 2000 (Official Gazette

         See Economic Revival Plan of the Croatian Government.
         Article 93 of the Constitution from 1990: (1) The People's Ombudsman, as a commissioner of the
Croatian Parliament, shall protect the constitutional and legal rights of citizens in proceedings before the state
administration and bodies vested with public authority. (2) The People's Ombudsman shall be elected by the
Croatian parliament for a term of eight years. (3) Conditions for the election and the relief of office as well as
the scope and mode of work of the Ombudsman and his Deputies shall be regulated by law.
         Amendments of the 1997 Constitution provided for harmonization related to the manner of election of
the People's Ombudsman in such a way that he/she shall be elected by the Croatian Parliament, which after
elimination of Chamber of Counties established by the first parliamentary elections became unicameral.

113/2000), when the mandate of the Public's Ombudsman, in accordance with democratic
changes and the initiative for decentralisation, was furthermore broadened to the constitutional
and legal protection of citizen’s rights in the proceedings before the Ministry of Defence, the
armed forces and security services, protection of the rights of citizens before the bodies of the
local and regional government and self-government as well as the protection of the rights of
the local and regional self-government before the governmental bodies. 13

The second more significant and detailed amendment of the constitutional framework was
introduced by amendments to the Constitution in June 2010 (article 16, Official Gazette
76/2010) when the institution was functionally and statutorily strengthened because of

a) the broadened scope of citizen’s rights protection, besides protecting constitutional and
legal rights and freedoms of citizens, the Ombudsman shall protect rights and freedoms
regulated by international legal acts on human rights and freedoms accepted by Croatia (not
incorporated as yet into legal or sub-legal acts for their implementation); which is a similar
formulation to the one contained in article 2 of the valid Law, in the sense of the „framework”
related to the Ombudsman’s mandate:
b) the scope of the Ombudsman's powers was broadened to include promotion of human
rights and freedoms guaranteed by the Constitution, law, international legal acts on human
rights and freedoms;
c) undoubtedly, the subjective right to submit a complaint to the Ombudsman is broadly
defined and available to „everybody“; specifically to all legal subjects (physical and legal
persons); 14
d) the subject of the complaints is also determined rather extensively - protection of citizens
from the illegal and irregular work of the governmental bodies and the bodies of the local and
regional self-government and bodies vested with public authority, meaning in all situations
where state bodies or any other body or organisation vested with public authority is active; 15
e) granting more authority to the Ombudsman in dealing with constitutional rights violations
and freedoms of citizens by using the instruments provided by the law, which opens up a
possibility to strengthen the effectiveness of the institution (item 4, sentence 2 The
Ombudsman shall be granted certain powers by the Law in order to protect fundamental
constitutional rights related to legal and physical persons.');
f) Independence and autonomy of the Ombudsman is guaranteed by an explicit constitutional
formulation (article 3, item 3) although his independence and autonomy had already been
defined as a principle in article 2 of the People's Ombudsman Act;

          New item of the 4 constitutional provision stated: Within the office of the People's Ombudsman,
protection of the constitutional and legal rights of citizens in the proceedings before the Ministry of Defence, the
armed forces and security services, protection of the rights of citizens before the bodies of the local and regional
self-government and protection of the right to the local and regional self-government before the governmental
bodies, shall be provided.
          Although this provision could be interpreted extensively and be broadened to include „others“ who do
not have a legal subjectivity (for instance, groups of citizens).
          The formulation related to the bodies under the supervision of the Ombudsman was changed and now
instead of „state administration“ it states „government bodies“ which could be interpreted as a singificnat step
foward in broadening the Ombudsman's competence from control of the bodies vested with executive power to
the judicial branch , and subequently, the legislative branch of power. In that sense, the Croatian Ombudsman
would approach such supervisory authorities as those enjoyed by a whole series of similar foreign instutitions
that supervise not only administrative bodies, but the courts as well.

g) Independence and autonomy of the institution was furthermore strengthened by granting
immunity to the Ombudsman (and other commissioners of the Croatian Parliament in charge
of human rights protection and promotion)
Thus the valid framework for the scope of activities by the Ombudsman constitutes article 93
of the Constitution of the Republic of Croatia (Official Gazette 85/2010 consolidated text),16
which reads:
        „The People's Ombudsman, as a commissioner of the Croatian
        Parliament, shall promote and protect human rights and freedoms of
        citizens, proclaimed by Constitution, laws and international legal acts
        about human rights and freedoms accepted by the Republic of Croatia.
        Everybody shall have the right to submit a complaint to the People's
        Ombudsman if his/her constitutional or legal rights have been violated,
        due to illegal or irregular activities of the governmental bodies, local
        and regional self government, and bodies vested with public authority.
        The People's Ombudsman shall be elected by the Croatian Parliament
        for a term of eight years.
        The People's Ombudsman shall be independent and autonomous in
        carrying out his duties.
        The conditions for the election and relief of the People’s Ombudsman
        and his deputies, jurisdiction and mode of work are regulated by the
        law. In order to protect citizens fundamental constitutional rights, the
        Law may grant the Ombudsman with certain powers in relation to legal
        and physical persons. The People's Ombudsman and other
        commissioners of the Croatian Parliament for promotion and protection
        of fundamental human rights are granted immunity by the Parliament as
        is the case with the members of the Croatian Parliament.«

Regarding the legal and sub-legal framework of the institution and its mode of operation, the
People's Ombudsman Act from 1992 is still in force, and based on that the Standing Orders on
the Work of the Ombudsman which was passed in 1997 (Official Gazette 71/97) by the
Ombudsman and accepted by the Croatian Parliament. However, taking into account the
significantly changed character of the Ombudsman institution, its strengthen position and
functions; there is an apparent need for adopting a new act and its accompanying provisions.
Such a request is defined by the Constitutional Law for Implementation of the Constitution of
the Republic of Croatia (Official Gazette 121/2010 from October 28, 2010), which determines
that the People's Ombudsman Act should be harmonised with the Constitution within a six
month period since enactment of the Constitutional Law.
The applicable People's Ombudsman Act is relatively short (Official Gazette 60/92) (it
consists of only 22 articles) and besides general provisions it contains basic provisions on
jurisdiction and mode of work (articles 5-11), provisions on proceedings (articles 12-15),
election and relief of the people's ombudsman and (articles16-19) and transitory and final
provisions (articles 20-22).
The Standing Orders on the Work of the Ombudsman (Official Gazette 71/97) determines the
organisational structure and scope of work, activities and jurisdiction of the Ombudsman.

         Consolidated texst of the Constitution of the Republic of Croatia includes the Constitution of the
Republic of Croatia (Official Gazette 56/90, 135/97, 8/98 – consolidated text, 113/2000, 124/2000 –
consolidated text, 28/2001, 41/2001 – consolidated text, 55/2001 – correction) and Amendments to the
Constitution of the Republic of Croatia (Official Gazette 76/2010).

Standing Orders shall be passed by the Ombudsman and accepted by the Croatian Parliament.
(See in the following text)

Other ombudsman institutions

Besides the mentioned provisions, three laws on special ombudsman institutions are of
importance for the work and activities of the Croatian Ombudsman and division of
jurisdiction, more precisely the Law on the Children's Ombudsman (Official Gazette
96/2003), Gender Equality Act (Official Gazette 116/2003) followed by the Ombudsman for
Persons with Disabilities Act (Official Gazette 107/2007). The special ombuds institutions,
although not explicitly defined by the Constitution are also granted immunity according to
article 93, item 5 of the Constitution just like other commissioners of the Croatian Parliament.

Jurisdiction in accordance with special provisions

In January 2009, when the Anti Discrimination Act was enacted (Official Gazette 134/2008)
the Ombudsman became the central body for suppression of discrimination in the sense that
he would receive reports on all types of discrimination prescribed by the Act, provide
information, warn the public on occurrence of discrimination, conduct research, etc (see
article 12). In addition, the Ombudsman became a member of the European network of
Equality Bodies - EQUINET for suppression of discrimination with an aim to develop
cooperation with similar bodies in other countries.

Other relevant provisions

The People's Ombudsman mode of work also complies with other relevant provisions such as:

           -   The Croatian Parliament Rulebook, regarding the decision on the election of
               the Ombudsman and his deputy, law and decision on accepting the Statute by
               the Parliament
           -   Civil Servant’s Rights and Obligation Act (Official Gazette 101/98, 135/98,
               105/99, 25/00, 73/00, 30/01, 59/01, 114/01, 153/02, 154/02, 163/03, 16/04,
               30/04, 105/04, 92/05, 121/05, 135/06, 141/06, 17/07, 34/07, 107/07, 60/08,
           -   Act on the Prevention of Conflicts of Interest (Official Gazette 163/03, 94/04,
               48/05, 141/06, 60/08, 38/09, 92/10)
           -   Provisions regarding organisational issues and employees within the state
               administration should also be appropriately implemented

Human Rights Center

The Human Rights Center was established by the Regulation on the Establishment of the
Human Rights Center passed by the Government of the Republic of Croatia in May 2005
(Official Gazette 65/2005). The Center operated as a Technical Cooperation Project between
the United Nation Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (UNOHCHR) and the
Government of the Republic of Croatia in the period since January 1, 2003 until middle of
2005, acting in accordance with the UN regulations and being entirely funded by the
UNOHCR and partly by UNDP in 2005. In that respect the Center underwent organisational
and statutory changes in the middle of 2005, as well as changes in its legal framework and
manner of funding.

According to the above mentioned regulation, the legal basis of the regulation was The
Institutions Act (Official Gazette 76/03, 29/97, 47/99, 35/08), precisely article 12, item 2 of
The Institutions Act which determines possible instruments related to the establishment of
institutions in cases in which the founder is the Republic of Croatia (law and regulation of the
Government as regular means, decision by the ministry when it is explicitly prescribed by the
law in certain case). Although it was possible to establish the Center according to the law, the
government regulation was chosen as a more suitable instrument. In that way, the principal of
the Center was defined; specifically the institution which accepted the regulation, that is
the Government of the Republic of Croatia. In that respect, the Center represents a classical
type of executive agency, in other words it is an agency responsible to and under the authority
of the body vested with executive power. Apart from the acts of appointment and dismissal of
the Center's bodies (Steering Committee and the Director of the Center), the above mentioned
is most apparent in the Center's obligation to submit an annual report to the Government, at
least once a year and to submit the Statute of the Center for the approval/consent before the
Government. The Center, therefore, falls under the authority of the body vested with
executive power and in that sense; its work falls under supervision of the Ombudsman,
specifically of the People's Ombudsman. At the same time, the position of the Center is more
insecure and instable than it would have been, had it been established and regulated by a
special law.

The Center's statutory form is a public institution, which is prescribed by article 1 in the
Statute. Accordingly, the Center is registered in the court registry of the institutions (July
2005). However, in many aspects, the Center as a whole had not functioned as a public
institution which was largely improved by changes in the regulation from February 2010
(Official Gazette 19/2010). Beside broadening the scope of the Center's activities to human

rights research, the structure of the Steering Board was changed and the obligation to conduct
a public tender for the appointment of the Director was introduced (although the obligation
had already been prescribed by the Statute, the changes in the Regulation provided a clearer
definition of selection procedure and further strengthened the role of the Steering Board and
harmonized the manner of spending funds with the provisions of The Institution Act,
“revenue” instead of “profit”). The mentioned changes represent a harmonization with the
Institutions Act. However, the main difference in relation to regular type of public institution
is the fact that the employees do not have a status of civil servants. In that sense, the Center
does not differ from a whole series of other institutions established by the Government,
although with a more liberal regime regarding the status of employees, organisation and

The legal framework for the Center's work, in addition to the mentioned Regulation, (Official
Gazette 65/05, 19/10) is determined by the Statute of the Human Rights Center (from
February 3, 2006 and July 19, 2010; when consent was given by the Government),
alongside general provisions of the Institutions Act (Official Gazette 76/03, 29/97, 47/99,
35/08), and the Regulation on Bookkeeping and Accounting (Official Gazette 10/2008,

The Statute provides in more detail the name, headquarters and activities of the Center, its
bodies, public work, and accompanying acts.

The Act on Civil Servants’ Salaries (based on the interpretation of article 2 of the Law,
Official Gazette 27/01), is not applied to the Center's employees since persons working at the
Center are not civil servants, and do not fall under the Act of Civil Servants’ Salaries (Official
Gazette 114/09), their salaries are regulated by the Center's internal legal acts in compliance
with the Labour Act (Official Gazette 114/09).

3.2. Role and Function

People's Ombudsman

The scope of jurisdiction of the People's Ombudsman is proclaimed by the Constitution, the
People's Ombudsman Act, the Anti Discrimination Act and the Standing Orders on Work of
the People's Ombudsman. It should be mentioned that the changes of the Law and the
Standing Orders are expected until the beginning of May 2011, when the appropriate legal
framework should reflect the constitutional provision.

According to the valid provisions of article 93 of the Constitution, the People's Ombudsman is
charged to „protect and promote human rights and freedoms proclaimed by the Constitution,
laws, international legal acts on human rights and freedoms accepted by the Republic of
Croatia“. One of the functions for the fulfillment of that role is that the Ombudsman shall act
accordingly upon receipt of complaints from citizens and legal persons. (item 2)

The Act regulates that the Ombudsman shall undertake proceedings initiated on the basis of
citizen's complaints and shall inspect the work of the institution with restricted freedom of
movement (prisons, hospitals) and it especially emphasises the possibility for the Ombudsman
to react in cases when the rights proclaimed by Constitution and law have been imperiled to a

high degree, and is empowered to initiate changes in the laws regarding human rights

In that sense the Ombudsman
 Investigates individual cases in which citizen's rights may be imperiled by action of
   governmental bodies, bodies vested with public powers or officials in such bodies when
   they deal with tasks ensued in their respective fields of competence
 Considers other problems which may be of interest to the protection of the rights
   proclaimed by constitution and law, about which he has obtained information from other
   sources of knowledge (by means of public communication, etc), provided that those
   problems are referring to the wrong doing of government bodies and legal persons with
   public powers.

Within the scope of his/her jurisdiction, the Ombudsman shall:

           warn, inform, propose and give recommendations;
           propose that criminal, civil or disciplinary proceedings be filled;
           inform the Croatian Parliament and appeal to the public in case the relevant bodies
            have not taken measures in accordance with his recommendations;
           submit special reports to the Croatian Parliament and the relevant ministry
            regarding issues of higher interest for protection of constitutional and legal rights;
           initiate changes in the laws regarding the citizens' human and legal rights
           Inspect penal and correctional institutions and other institutions in which the
            freedom of movement is restricted.

An existing obstacle to the Ombudsman's work is the lack of action in some cases which are
related to administrative and other (court) proceedings. Considering that the act (and not the
Constitution) restricts the objects of investigation to the administrative bodies (state
administration, local and regional governments), specifically bodies vested with public
powers, it results in the fact that the Ombudsman has no power over court proceedings.
However, the new constitutional provision does not present an obstacle to putting the work of
courts under the jurisdiction of the Ombudsman (in practice in other countries, monitoring of
the work of courts is often restricted to specific issues such as reasonable length of
proceedings, proportionality, informing).

With respect to the new constitutional provision, the applicable legal framework does not give
space to but at the same time it does not limit the role of the Ombudsman in „promoting“
human rights and freedoms, in the sense that it prescribes the obligation of being proactive or
taking measures. The realization of these constitutional powers and obligations shall
necessarily become the subject of the new legal regulation related to the work of the People's

Human Rights Center

           The issue deals only with the „amendments“ of the existing laws, and not the right of legislative
initiative, at least according to the letter of the law.

Activities of the Center are regulated by article 2 of the Regulation, with the main goal of
promoting human rights. In accordance with article 5 of the Statute, the activities of the
Center include a) monitoring and protection of human rights, b) raising public awareness and
sensitivity towards human rights issues, with special focus on minority rights and the rule of

According to Article 2 of the Regulation, the Center shall perform the following activities in
order to fulfill its role:
            Monitor the human rights situation in the Republic of Croatia;
            Raise awareness about human rights protection;
            Carry out human rights education activities and inform about human rights
               protection issues;
            Organise public tribunes, round tables, and lectures in the field of human rights;
            Encourage cooperation between state administration bodies, civil society
               organisations/NGOs, international organisations and academic institutions in the
               field of human rights;
            Establish and maintain a specialized human rights library in the field of human
            Provide support to civil society organisations related to human rights issues;
            Conduct publishing activity;
            Conduct research on current human rights topics;
            Perform other activities for fulfilling its main function and achieving its goals in
               compliance with the law.

With respect to the structure of the Center's Steering Board, it represents a main focal point
for various actors in the field of human rights and is organised in a way that allows it to
perform its coordinative function in line with alignment 5, item 2, and article 2.

3.3. Structural and organisational aspect

People's Ombudsman

Internal structure of the Ombudsman institution is regulated by the following provisions:
            Standing Orders on the Work of the Ombudsman (Official Gazette 71/97)
              (pursuant to article 20 of The People's Ombudsman Act)
            Rulebook on the Internal Order, from July 12, 2010 (pursuant to article 4, item
              2 of The People's Ombudsman Act and article 5, pursuant to article 7, of the
              Standing Orders)

According to the Standing Orders, the basic structure of the People's Ombudsman office
consists of the following:
a) People's Ombudsman and three deputies, elected by the Croatian Parliament (by a
majority vote of all MPs) for a term of 8 years in accordance with article 3 and articles 15 to
18 of The People's Ombudsman Act, under the following condition: he/she has to be a
Croatian citizen who is a graduated lawyer with a minimum 15 years working experience in
such a profession, and who is distinguished in his/her profession, and who is after his/her
personal engagement well-known to the public in the area of human rights. The People's
Ombudsman and his deputies are state commissioners. The Act on the Rights and Obligations
on Civil Servants and The Act on Prevention of Conflict of Interest in the Exercise of Public

Office (see above); new constitutional provisions guarantee immunity to the Ombudsman and
„other commissioners“, meaning his deputies as well. In a structural sense, the ombudsman
and his deputies constitute a Collegium of the Ombudsman which manages the work of the
institution – the Collegium of the Ombudsman shall determine budget proposals, financial
plans and the annual financial statement, Standing Orders proposal and the Rulebook on the
Internal Order and other acts while reviewing issues of relevant to the work of the institution
(see article 4 and 5 of the Standing Orders on the Work of the Ombudsman). The valid
decision of the Croatian Parliament on election of the Ombudsman and his deputies was
published in Official Gazette 170/2004.

b) People's Ombudsman Office which provides professional and administrative services for
the Ombudsman. According to the valid Standing Orders, the structure of the office is as

          The advisory service shall perform professional tasks related to the submissions
           addressed to the Ombudsman, process cases, warnings, notifications and reports,
           drafts proposals for initiating court proceedings; create drafts for annual and
           special reports, draft initiatives for amendments of laws, monitor and study
           provisions and problems in their applications, and other
          The general service shall organise the internal business operation in the Office,
           take care about regular and timely performance of internal administration,
           perform professional, administrative, material and financial tasks;
          The documentation and record services shall keeps records of laws and other
           acts, compile documentation and professional literature, as well as court practice,
           legal standpoints etc; and shall be in charge of organising legal IT service, and

Pursuant to article 3 of the applicable Standing Orders, the Ombudsman may establish branch
offices in county headquarters (at the most 20 branch offices), and according to the Rulebook
on the Internal Order, when citizens form a certain area have been addressing the Ombudsman
in larger numbers, and it was assessed that the task of the Office could be performed more
effectively outside the seat (see article 11). The Ombudsman is relatively independent in his
decision to establish branch offices. Office operation is as well regulated by the Standing
Orders in articles 26-40.

The Rulebook on the Internal Order passed by the Ombudsman determines job descriptions
and activities. In addition, special organisational units have been formed within the General
Services, and these are: Civil Service and General Assistance Department with divisions and a

Table 1 Organisational structure

   - People's Ombudsman
   - Three deputies of the People's Ombudsman
People's Ombudsman's Office
   - Advisory Service
   - General Service
          o Civil Service and General Assistance Department

                    Operations and Organisation Division
                    Administrative and Technical Division
                          Auxiliary Unit
                    Accounting and Finance Division
     -   Records and Documentation Service

Offices are headed by the chief of office. Head of departments are in charge of the work of
divisions and units. Professional services are provided by civil servants with a status of
advisors, professional associates and researchers.

For the systematization see attachment I, and a part regarding labour relations.

Human Rights Center

The structure and internal organisation of the Center is regulated by:
    The Regulation on the Establishment of the Human Rights Center
    Statute of the Human Rights Center (changes and amendments were enacted on
       August 14, 2010)
    Rulebook on Organisation (from September 24, 2010)

The Center is managed by the Steering Board. Its functions are determined by article 7, item
6 of the Regulation (earlier article 7, item 4) pursuant to article 36 of The Institutions Act.18
The structure of the Steering Board is determined by article 2, item 1 of the Regulation. The
members of the Steering Board, (9 of them) are elected by the Government of the Republic of
Croatia for a term of 4 years, as representatives of certain government bodies (Ministry of
Foreign Affairs and European Integration, Human Rights Office, People's Ombudsman,
Gender Equality Ombudsman), the academic and scientific community, (University of
Zagreb, scientist in social sciences), various NGOs as well as distinguished human rights
advocates.19 The Chairperson of the Steering Board is appointed by the Government.
Members of the Steering Board have the right to compensation for their participation in the
work of the Center, in accordance with the decision adopted at the Steering Board meeting
held on April 24, 2008.

The Center is headed by a Director, elected and relieved of duty by the Government (based on
the decision published in the Official Gazette in compliance with the Law on the Government

         According to article 36 of the Institutions Act, the Steering Board shall decide about programs of work
and development of the institution; shall supervise executions of these programs; shall decide about financial
plan and annual calculations; shall propose changes of activities to the founders of the institution; shall provide
the founder and director of the institutions with proposals and opinions on certain issues and shall bring
decisions and act in compliance with the law, founding regulation and the statute.
         The structure shows certain flaws, for instance a lack of visibility of other two ombudsman institutions
or for example, in reducing academic community solely to the University of Zagreb. Also, a public tender for
appointment of members was not prescribed, which would be a logical solution in case the Center had been
regulated by the law, however in this particular case since the founder is government, the public tender is not a
common thing.

of the Republic of Croatia) for a term of 4 years. The changes to the Regulation accepted in
2010 made the obligation to conduct a public tender for the position of director clearer,
although it had already existed as a statutory obligation.

Two organisational departments are formed according to the Statute – The Research and
Information Department, and The Program and Activities Department, as well as the library.
Other issues especially related to job descriptions and staff number, as well as the complexity
of job positions, is regulated by the Rulebook on Organisation.

        Steering Board (9 members)
        Director
        Research and Information Department
        Program and Activities Department
        Other divisions – library, finances and administration, technical assistance

3.4. Labour relations

People's Ombudsman
According to the Rulebook on the Internal Order, 47 positions for civil servants and
employees have been classified at the People’s Ombudsman Office in the following order:
    Advisory service - 28
    General service - 16
    Documentation and Records Service - 3

All posts are not fulfilled as yet, therefore at this moment there are 26 civil servants and 1
employee which makes 27 fulfilled posts out of total of 47 posts, that is less than 60%.
Counseling services are mostly performed by jurists at the Advisory Service.

Labour relations are regulated by The Civil Servants Act (Official Gazette 92/05, 107/07,
27/08), and sub legal provisions according to which the status, rights and obligations of civil
servants, as well as ethic code of civil servants are regulated (Official Gazette 49/06,
134/08).20 A public tender is obligatory. Each year, the Public Ombudsman brings a Plan for
Fulfilling Vacant Posts, according to which the fulfillment of the relevant posts is regulated.

Human Rights Center
The Rulebook on Organisation (from April 6, 2006, enacted on April 15, 2006 with a change
enacted on September 24, 2010, consolidated text), envisaged 8 job positions in total.
    Director21 - 1
    Research and Informing Department-1 Head, 1 Associate
    Program and Activities Department- 1 Head, 1 Associate
    Library– 1 Head
    Finance and Administration Division- 1 Head
        Housekeeper - 1

          The Labour Act is applied in a subsidiary manner")
         Taking into account article 1 of The Civil Servant’s Rights and Obligations Act, and the Act on
Preventing of the Conflict of Interest, the director has a status of civil servant.

According to the current 2010 situation, 6 employees are employed in the office, while the
Head of Research and Informing Department performs the duties of the acting director until
the closure of the tender. In terms of job qualifications and tasks performance, pre-graduate or
graduate studies in the field of social sciences (without specification for heads of departments)
as a rule are needed as well as some years of working experience.

All employees have a status of workers in compliance with The Labour Act. Certain issues
related to the employee’s status and their rights and obligations are regulated by the Rulebook
on Organisation (from April 6, enacted on April 15, 2006 and a smaller change from June 19,
2008)) and the Rulebook on Salaries.

3.5. Working group recommendation related to the organisational, legal and financial

Considering the compatibility of the role and function of two institutions, in the light of
explanations about the need to rationalise human rights system and enhance capacity of the
Ombudsman, as well as recommendations by international institutions and the need to create a
new legal framework for restructuring and conducting the work of the People's Ombudsman,
a merger of the Human Rights Center with the People's Ombudsman would represent a
preferred fundamental institutional change.

I. Instruments

Considering the obligation prescribed by the Constitutional Law on the Implementation of the
Constitution of the Republic of Croatia, which demands harmonization of the existing legal
(subsequent sub-legal) regulations of certain constitutional institutions, the People's
Ombudsman among others, in order to accomplish principle of the Constitution and legality
as well as the rule of law in its full meaning, the adoption of the new People's Ombudsman
Act is envisaged in the first half of 2011. The fact that the end of negotiations to join EU is
also envisaged in the first half of the year provides an additional insurance that the mentioned
obligations shall be adopted, especially in light of objections of EU regarding Croatia's
fulfillment of obligations from Chapter 23 - Judiciary and Fundamental Rights.

In this respect, it is expected that the new Ombudsman’s Act envisages its function as a
human rights promoter and determines competency through legal processes which would in
turn ensure its implementation. In this respect, past functions and activities of the Center
represent an easy solution for broadening the role of the ombudsman ensuring at the same
time a continuity in performing such tasks and enabling institutional strengthening of the
Center itself.

The working group proposal thus relates both to legal regulation on the continuation of the
Center's work within the People's Ombudsman office, in compliance with the new regulation
and based on constitutional framework, and closing of the existing Center by the same act
through its transitory and final provisions. It is necessary to formally regulate the mentioned
changes in line with the law – the closing and taking over of the Human Rights Center should
be done through a law while there is a possibility that the Government simultaneously passes
the Regulation on the Closure of the Human Rights Center.

Taking into consideration the deadline for passing of the new Act, the need to adopt
appropriate acts and conduct some preliminary activities, budget planning, the enactment of
some provisions related to the Center could be postponed for the next year, which is January
1, 2012. The provisions are shown in the figure no 2.

Figure 2. Provisional proposal on taking over the Human Rights Center
Transitory and Final Provisions
Article a
Upon the entry into force of this Act, the Regulation on the Establishment of the Human
Rights Center shall be declared void, Official Gazette 65/2005 and 19/2010.
Article b
The Center is deemed terminated upon removal from the Court Registry.
Article c
(1) The Croatian People's Ombudsman shall take over the activities of the Human Rights
(2) The People's Ombudsman shall regulate the proper structure and functioning of the Center
in the Standing Orders and the Rulebook on the Internal Order within the Ombudsman's
(2) The People's Ombudsman, alongside the People's Ombudsman Office, shall regulate the
proper structure and functioning of the Human Rights Center in the Standing Orders and the
Rulebook on the Internal Order
Article d
The People's Ombudsman shall take over the activities, equipment, property, archive and
other documentation, tools and financial means as well as the rights and obligations of the
Article 5
The People's Ombudsman shall take over all cases which have not been completed until the
entry into force of this Act.
Article 6
(1) Upon the entry into force of this Act, the workers presently employed at the Human Rights
Center, after giving their approval, shall became civil servants or employees and shall be
taken over by the People's Ombudsman.
(2) Until adoption of the Rulebook on the Internal Order from article c, items of this Act and
job allocations in line with provisions on civil servants, the workers presently employed at the

HRC shall continue to perform their regular tasks and shall retain whatever rights they
obtained under the Labour Act until the takeover date.
(3) After adoption of the Rulebook from article 3, item 3 of this Act, civil servants and
employees from article 1 of this Act shall be allocated in line with the tasks which have been
taken over.
(4) Employees taken over from item 1 of this article, who did not previously give their
approval, from item 1 of this article or who could not be allocated to their proper tasks, shall
be put at the disposal of the Government of the Republic of Croatia in accordance with the
provisions on civil servants.
(5) Employees taken over from item 1 of this article, who do not give previous approval from
item 1 of this article, or cannot be allocated, shall be dismissed in accordance with general
labour provisions.
(6) Persons from items 4 and 5 of this article shall be entitled to severance pay which they had
obtained until the takeover from item 1 of this article, whichever is the more favourable to
Article 7
This Act shall come into force on the eight day after it is published in Official Gazette, except
the part referring to Take over of the Human Rights Center, article XXX, which shall come
into force on January 1, 2012.

Alternatively, closing of the Center may be done in accordance with a special act which
would contain only the provisions mentioned above, calling upon the People's Ombudsman
Act which would take into consideration the takeover of the Center and foresee certain
mechanisms. However, that possibility is suboptimal, taking into account the need to adopt
the new People's Ombudsman Act.

II. Explanations of changes according to certain aspects of functioning

Role and Function
The work of these two institutions is entirely complementary and inevitably connected.
Constitutional broadening of the Ombudsman's role to human rights „promotion“ has in that
sense shown to be a motive for taking over the institution which has been performing that
particular task over a period of years in Croatia, and which has the advantage in terms of
saving time and strengthening the Ombudsman’s institutional capacity. By taking over the
Center, its work would continue and in that way ensure the achievement of the mutual goal –
protection and promotion of human rights and freedoms.

In that way, a series of demands put before the Ombudsman by international institutions,
political and legal requests of the EU may be efficiently and urgently dealt with. We
especially recommend strengthening of the coordination function of the Center as well as its
role in creating a strategy for human rights promotion and protection.

Status, legal framework and position of the Center

By formally closing the Center, its function as a public institution ceases, and it’s Statute,
Rulebooks on structure, organisation, and salaries are also declared void. It is therefore
necessary to remove the Center from the Court Registry. The Steering Board ceases its work
and there is no need to appoint new members. By its integration into the Ombudsman
institution, the Center falls under the mutual regulations related to the organization and

functioning of the People's Ombudsman office which will in turn depend on solutions chosen
in drafting the new Act. It is necessary to envisage adequate job positions and an organisation
unit by internal acts of the People's Ombudsman (Rulebook etc...).

It is recommended to retain, considering the distinction between human rights promotion and
protection, the special character and existing identity of the Center, as well as to maintain its
institutional knowledge. Therefore, it is suggested that the Center should be established as a
separate organisational unit within the People's Ombudsman office headed by the Director. It
is possible to retain, within the Center itself, two existing departments led by the heads of
departments, while the rest of the workers should be allocated between those two
departments, in separate units. The selection of the „Center“ as a type of organisational unit
instead of „service“, which currently exist within the Ombudsman office, reflects the different
character of individual units – while existing services act as professional or technical services
of the Ombudsman, with functions focused mostly „towards inside“ or towards individual
cases, the „Center“ on the other hand represents the organisational unit directed „towards
outside“; to data collecting, communicating with public, and in that sense represents a
connection between other actors in the field and users.

The proposal structure for the Human Rights Center as separate organisational unit
    Center's Director – 1
    Research and Informing Department – 1 head, 1 advisor
           Library and Documentation Unit – 1 head
    Program and Activities Department – 1 head, 1 advisor
           Project Funding Unit – 1 head
                  o Subunit for Technical Assistance– 1 person

The Center envisages eight (8) job positions, 6 of them will be fulfilled, at the most 7, in case
appointment of the Center's Director is completed until take over.

In order for the HRC to retain its coordination and liaison functions, which until now the
Center has managed to accomplish through a specific structure of the Steering Board, what
could now be formed is a special type of Human Rights Advisory Body or similar
coordinative body which would periodically conduct advisory and coordinative services and
would be composed of representatives of all actors in the field of human rights (state bodies,
ombuds persons, civil society, scientific-research community, media.)

Alternatively, it is possible to envisage that in drafting the new Ombudsman Act, the parallel
functioning of the Human Rights Center is set so that it is not within the People's Ombudsman
Office. Such a solution has advantages in case one wishes to further emphasize the
organisational and functional identity of the Center and strengthen the position of the Center's
Director by his concurrent status of Deputy Ombudsman.

Status of the employees

It is possible to furthermore strengthen the position of the Center's Director by introducing a
provision according to which he/she will be given a status of People's Ombudsman Deputy. In
that case it is possible to conduct appropriate changes in the existing requirements necessary
for the position of the People's Ombudsman deputy, since the existing requirements prescribe
15 years of working experience in legal profession (see article 16 of The People's

Ombudsman Act). It is our opinion that it is not necessary for the Center's Director to be a
lawyer (which is the case regarding the head of advisory service and its deputies); more so,
other social sciences have proven in practice to be appropriate for conducting the duties of the
Director focused on human rights promotion (as complementary to human rights protection
for which legal knowledge is on the other hand needed). However, regardless of the potential
status of a deputy, the Center's Director should be a member of Collegium, alongside the
Ombudsman and three deputies.

By taking over the Center's workers, their working contracts shall be terminated, and they
shall become civil servants, respectively employees. It is recommended that each worker
should give their individual approval prior to changing his/her labour and legal status from a
worker under the Labour Act into the labour and legal status of a civil servant, by respecting
the principle of consent, meaning that in case that he/she is not ready to make that particular
change and refuses to give his/her approval, he or she would be able to accomplish his/her
appropriate rights based on a regular, due to business related grounds, termination of labour
contract. It shall be necessary to prescribe requirements for passing the state exam within a
certain deadline (1 year to 18 months).


The Human Rights Center is located in city premises in Kralja Držislava Street 6, with a lease
contract valid until 2014. The mentioned premises, due to its attractive location, may also be
used for conducting various activities of the People's Ombudsman which are not related to the
Center, such as: meetings, round tables, workshops and seminars.

III. Financial analysis of the proposed merger model

The Ombudsman’s Office is entirely funded from the state budget. As can be seen from figure
1, the total budget of the Office increased from 4 million Kuna in 2006 to more than 9 million
Kuna in 2012.22 A significant increase in the budget revenues of the Office is in fact the result
of broadening the Office's capacities and its scope of work. That includes, for example,
additional responsibilities of the Office based on certain provisions of The Anti
Discrimination Act, widening the activities and increased number of citizens’ complaints.

         The mentioned figure is a projected budget of the Obmdsuman's Office published in the budget
projections for 2011 and 2012 on webpages of the Minstry of Finance.

Figure 3. The Ombudsman's Office budget and expenditures for management and
administration of the Office in the period from 2006 until 2012

Source: Ministry of Finance, state budget               for   various     years,    web    page:

Since the Office conducts labour-intensive activities and work, salaries comprise a high
proportion of the overall Office budget, which amounts to approximately 60%. The
expenditure item for the executive management and administration refers to the work of the
Office in general. A relatively small share of investment is observed in total expenditures. An
increase in investments in the period from 2011 – 2012 primarily refers to the employment of
new persons and acquisition of office equipment necessary for implementation of The Anti
Discrimination Act. Funds for that purpose come from the IPA support program. Therefore,
the Office’s budget for the year 2011 shall amount to 9.098.135 Kuna and the budget
projections for 2012 announce a further increase to 9.344.614 Kuna. Data on the
Ombudsman's budget for 2010 are used in this analysis.
Table 5. Budget projections for the Ombudsman's Office in the period from 2010 until
                                                      Budget        Budget         Budget
Structure                                             2010          projection     projection
                                                                     2011          2012
PEOPLE'S OMBUDSMAN OFFICE                               7.881.316       9.098.135   9.344.614
EXECUTIVE MANAGEMENT AND                                7.572.982       7.764.799   8.010.277
Expenditures on employees                               6.284.800       6.960.500   7.201.348
Salaries                                                5.256.000
Other expenditures on employees                           108.000
Contributions on salaries                                 920.800
Material expenditures                                   1.286.182        802.299      806.929
Reimbursements of the employees' expenses                 352.000
Material and energy expenditures                          166.442
Service expenditures                                      720.900
Other unmentioned management expenditures                  46.840
Financial expenditures                                      2.000          2.000          2.000
Other financial expenditures                                2.000
INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION                                  40.500         41.000       41.000

EQUIPMENT FOR THE PEOPLE'S OBMUDSMAN                     267.834       1.292.336   1.293.337
IPA-ESTABLISHMENT OF THE OVERALL                         267.834       1.281.336   1.281.337
Source: State Budget of the Republic of Croatia for 2010 and budget projections for 2011
and 2012, Internet:

As could be seen from the data stated in table 6, the work and activities of the Human Rights
Center are funded from several sources. A trend of increase in the Center's overall revenues
has been observed, in both donations from the state budget as well as in earnings. Donated
funds from the state budget are being realized through the Human Rights Office of the
Republic of Croatia. A share in revenues from the State Budget was increased from 35% in
2006 to 38% in 2009. In spite of the fact that a share of revenues from other donations was
increased nominally by the Center, a significant increase in revenues from the State Budget
points to the new trend of changes and expected decrease of revenues from other donations.

Table 6. The Center for Human Rights' Budget for the period from 2006 until 2009

                                        2006             2007           2008           2009
Total revenues:                   934.473,00    1.842.858,00 2.084.574,00 2.089.452,00
State Budget of the Republic      325.000,00      615.000,00   800.000,00   800.000,00
of Croatia
Other donors                      609.473,00    1.227.360,00 1.284.834,00 1.289.452,00
Total expenditures:               910.637,30    1.625.209,00 2.000.776,00 2.041.504,00
Costs of premises and regular     289.807,50      583.910,00   727.451,00   652.498,00
Costs of employees                511.742,30      968.933,00 1.080.552,00 1.241.344,00
Fees and external services        109.087,00       68.614,00   192.774,00   147.662,00
Difference revenues-               23.835,70      217.649,00    83.979,00    47.948,00

During the analysed period from 2006 – 2009 with an increase in the number of employees,
expenditures for the employees have increased as well. From 511.742 Kuna in 2006,
employees' salaries have increased to 1.241.344 Kuna in year 2006. The structure of
expenditures changed as well, thus the share of salaries in overall expenditures increased from
56% in 2006 to 61% in 2009. Comparison of revenues and expenditures of the Center in the
analysed period is shown in figure 2.

Figure 2. Relation between revenues and expenditures of the Human Rights Center in
the period from 2006 until 2009

 120                                                  120
                                                                                        HONORARI I
 100                                                  100
  80                                                  80
  60                                                  60                                ZAPOSLENIH

  40                                                  40
                                                      20                                PROSTORA I
   0                                                   0                                POSLOVANJA

        2006         2007          2008        2009         2006   2007   2008   2009


Based on the presented data and taking into account the structure of revenues we may state
that the salaries of the Center's employees are financed by 40% from the state budget funds.
If state budget funds were used exclusively for employees' salaries, the share of the state
budget funds that is used for salaries of the Center's employees would amount to around 64%.
That means that in case of merger of the Center and the Office, a net increase of budget funds
for the Center's employees' salaries would be around 440.000 Kuna.

In that respect, it should also be noted that on the occasion of merger of the Center and the
Office, a decrease in certain expenditure items that would become mutual office costs such as
transport, bookkeeping and accounting, intellectual services and telecommunication costs, as
well as fees for members of the Steering Board and other costs is expected. That means that
on the occasion of merger of the Center and the Office, total annual net increase of necessary
budget funds should be reviewed in the context of savings. Savings of estimated 300.000
Kuna are expected.

The Ombudsman’s Office, however, by merging with the Center does not exclusively assume
the responsibility for the employees, but takes over overall activities of the Center. Naturally,
the workers are the most significant part of the Center, but operations cause some other costs
besides salaries. Therefore, the People's Ombudsman's Office has to finance all other
expenditures of the Center. It is rational to expect, as time passes, a decrease in the share of
current revenues of the Center from other donations as well as previously mentioned
expenditures savings, thus a minimal net increase of expenses in the state budget funds
allocated for the human rights protection system.

Since the employees' salaries represent a key expense in the Office management, table 7
provides an assessment of increased expenditures from the state budget on the occasion of
merger of the Center and the Office.

Table 7. Comparison of salaries and the estimated costs of the merger
Structure of cost                     Human Rights Center People's Ombudsman’s
                                      (2009)                    Office (2010)
Net salary
- monthly                                          46.800,81                  269.182,97
- annually                                        561.609,72                3.225.163,31
Gross salary
- monthly                                          83.686,00                  422.646,33
- annually                                      1.004.232,00                5.093.564,93

A number of employees                                            6                          32
Net salary per employee
 - monthly                                               7.800,14                    8.411,97
 - annually                                             93.601,62                  100.786,35
Gross salary per employee
 - monthly                                              13.947,67                   13.207,70
 - annually                                            167.372,00                  159.173,90
Budget for 2009                                      2.041.504,00                   7.881.316
Share of salaries within the budget                         49,19                       64,63
Increase (salaries only)                                                                11,30
Total increase (all HRC's expenses)                                                     20,57

As could be seen from the data presented in table 7, we may conclude that average net salaries
per employee are higher in the Ombudsman's Office than in the Center. Contrary to that, an
average gross salary per employee is higher in the Center than in the Office. The reason is the
different structure of personal income.
After the merger of the Center and the Office, total revenues of the Office based on salaries
would increase for 11%.

When one takes into account other expenses apart from salaries, and its estimated savings, it
is assessed that net real revenues of the merged institution will increase to 900.000 Kuna. That
amount represents exactly the difference between the Center revenues from other donations
except donations from the State Budget in the amount of 1, 2 million Kuna and planned
savings on other costs except salaries which amount to 300.000 Kuna. Since the People's
Ombudsman's budget is a separate item in the state budget it is apparent that it shall be
necessary to increase total annual budget revenues of the Office for 1,7 million Kuna, or
17%, and in that way settle salary costs and other expenses in the new organisational structure
of the Center and the Office as unified institution. A 2 million Kuna cost increase, which is
the amount covering all present expenses of the Center, without any implemented saving,
would increase Office expenses for 20, 57%.

An increase of total annual revenues by 1, 7 million Kuna is a financial basis for the
employment of 6 new persons, and for the infrastructure of the equipped premises, library,
international contacts, networking, specific knowledge, skills and work technology.
Furthermore, possibilities to keep the same level of salaries, job positions, and the location of
the Center would be achieved to a great extent and that would help retain the character of the
Center, its reputation and image within the system, which is of the utmost importance for the
overall human rights protection system.

It should be noted that the merger with the People's Ombudsman's Office will represent a
decrease in administrative responsibilities of the current Center's employees. Practical
changes mean that there will be changes in the daily work of the Center. First, the Center by
being active within the system shall not be able to independently manage its financial affairs,
meaning that it shall cease to have separate bank accounts. Second, the possibility of
institutional support (and the possibility to additionally compensate the employees) through
various support programs shall decrease to a significant extent and, in fact, shall entirely
depend on negotiations with donors and the specific type of support. However, one of the
advantages of the Center is its capability and competence in conducting negotiations, thus it is

rational to expect that the Center would be able to direct its efforts to fund raising of
development programs and related targeted funding of previously developed programs.
That may mean that institutional support programs shall decrease, while individual project
support shall increase. Current employees of the Center, specialized in fund raising activities
and work on the projects, shall be able to dedicate most of their time to those projects.
Duplication of bookkeeping and accounting costs shall also be avoided due to the merger.

Presented analytical results are based on conservative assessments of savings. The true
calculation of the merger costs of the Center and the Office depends on a detailed costs
analysis of the Center in changed organisational conditions and the agreement with the
People's Ombudsman’s Office on budget items which have characteristics of mutual –
decreased expenses. The matter includes a certain number of items, which the Center and the
Office present in a different way in their financial reports. That is why it is necessary, prior to
bringing the final decision on the merger, to conduct mutual assessment and bring agreed
decision on cost structure and in that way establish the basis for a new budget proposal in
adequate distribution of the State Budget.

IV. Conclusions

The following is concluded:

   From the aspect of the overall human rights protection system in the Republic of Croatia,
    the merger of the Human Rights Center and the People's Ombudsman is assessed as an
    acceptable organisational solution;

   The merger is proposed to take place as a part of the oncoming changes in the legal
    framework and sub-legal acts which would regulate the work and organisation of the
    Ombudsman’s Office with special provisions about closing and taking over the Center,
    referring to the part of the text on transitory and final provisions as well as the
    accompanying provisions in the main part of the legal text;
   Due to its specific tasks focused on promotion of human rights protection, the Center
    should maintain its independence in relation to the protective function of the Ombudsman
    in a way that it should be established as a separate organisational unit with the status of
    Center and its own director who should be a member of the Collegium and should have
    the status of the Ombudsman’s Deputy;
   In accordance with the Act by which the merger of the Center shall be prescribed,
    material and human resources should be taken over alongside appropriate job allocations;
    in that case the employees shall change their labour status into civil servant category and
    to status of a state employee, alongside the prescribed requirement to pass the
    professional state exam within 12 or 18 months period;
   It is assessed that the merger of the Center and the Office would result in an annual
    increase of budget expenses regarding its distribution for needs of funding of the
    Ombudsman’s Office in the amount of 1.700.000 to 2.000.000 Kuna;
   The actual increase in expenditures shall depend on the expected decrease in the expenses
    of representation, part of fees, bookkeeping and accounting and similar mutual costs
   The merger of the Center and the Office shall provide more efficient use of staff and their
    specific skills and shall represent an investments in the further development of the Office
    related to human rights protection as well as improvement of its international reputation;
    therefore, the estimated costs are considered acceptable in comparison with the expected
   Since the Office is anyway obliged to enhance its capacities in medium term, taking over
    the already trained staff with an international reputation is considered more rational
   From the economic aspect the Ombudsman’s Office in fact „purchases“ the Center's
    services for the price which may equal to the amount of the current fixed operation costs
    of the Center, because the Office would anyway be forced to employ more qualified staff
    due to needs for further development
   It should be noted once again that the merger represents a justified investment cost, and
    due to that the estimated additional investments seem justifiable as well

Therefore, efficient merger of the Center and the Office demands additional investments.
Accepting evaluated investment costs is a key recommendation of the Report on the
Rationalisation of the Croatian Human Rights Protection System. The report among other
things states: … the level of funding of the human rights protection system (as defined in this
study) should in no circumstances fall beneath its current level in real terms. Any savings
made through the rationalization measures proposed should be retained within the human
rights system. We would strongly recommend that there be a significant increase in
expenditure on the human rights system, at a minimum to allow the institutions to fill their
existing staff establishment and to create regional offices.
(JULY 2010)

Advisory Service
Head/ 1
Adviser for Legal Affairs / 16

Adviser Coordinator for the Area of Discrimination Prevention/ 1
Adviser for Human Rights Protection / 2
Adviser for General Affairs
Adviser for International Cooperation / 1
Adviser for Human Rights Protection 2
Expert Associate for Human Rights Protection 2
Senior Researcher 1
Researcher 1

General Service
Head / 1
Secretary 1
Adviser for Informing and Public Relations 1
Expert Associate for Documentation 1
Expert Associate for Projects 1

Civil Service and General Assistance Department
Head of the Civil Service and General Assistance Department - 1

Operations and Organisation Division
Head of the Operations and Organisation Division

Operations and Organisation Division
Head of the Operations and Organisation Division - 1
IT officer - 1 person
Administrative and Operating Officer in charge of Archive - 2
Administrative Secretary of the People's Ombudsman - 1

Administrative and Technical Division
Head of Administrative and Technical Division – 1
Auxiliary Unit
Head of the Auxiliary Unit - 1 person
Personal driver of the state official – employee – 1 person

Accounting and Finance Division
Head of the Accounting and Finance Division – 1
Accounting officer -1

Records and Documentation Service
Head of Records and Documentation Service - 1
Administrative officer - 2

EMPLOYEES (current situation in 2010)

Proposed       In  existing New function                Comparative conditions to
structure   of HRC                                      other positions within CPO
the new HRC
as    a   unit

within CPO

Director of the Acting              fulfills conditions for the position of the Director
Human Rights Director
Center          Jagoda Novak,       required to pass government examination
                11 years of
                work                (in case the Director has a status of deputy
                experience,         ombudsman, depending on provision on conditions
                university          for the position of deputy, it is recommended not to
                degree, M.A.        insist on legal profession for the position of
                in        social    director/deputy of the Center)
                sciences, three

Information  Jagoda Novak,          Head of the university degree in social
and Research 11 years of            Information and sciences, 4 years of work
Department   work                   Research            experience,      government
             experience             Department          examination,
             university                                 good knowledge of computers,
             degree                 fulfills conditions English language
             M.A. in social         for the position
             sciences, three        of the Head of
             foreign                Department
                                    required to pass

Library          Ivana Faletar,     Head of the           Undergraduate or B.A. of social
Division         Head of the        Library Division,     sciences, 1 year of work
                 Library            fulfills conditions   experience,         government
                 Division,          for the position      examination, good knowledge of
                 1 year of work     of the head of the    computers
                 experience,        division
                 degree        in   required to pass
                 social sciences,   government
                 two      foreign   exam

Programs and Maja                   Head of        the University degree in social
Activities   Hasanbašić             Programs       and sciences, 4 years of work
Department   8,5 years of           Activities         experience,          government
             work                   Department         examination, good knowledge of
             experience,                               computers, English language
             university             Fulfills
             degree, M.A.           conditions for the
             in        social       position of the

              sciences, two head     of  the
              foreign       Program     and
              languages     Activities

                             required to pass
Program and assistant Aron adviser            University degree in social
Activities  Pecnik                            sciences
Department  4,8 years of fulfills conditions 4 years of work experience
            work             for the position government examination
            experience,      of advisor       good knowledge of computers
            university                        and English language
            degree/M.A. in required to pass
            social sciences, the government
            four     foreign exam

Project       Jasenka Ilijanić   Head of Division   Pre-graduate    or   university
Funding       Head          of                      degree in economics, 3 years of
Division      Finances and       Fulfills       the work experience, government
              Administration     conditions for the examination, good knowledge of
              Division           position of Head computers
              22,6 years of      of division        *office package
              work                                  English language
              experience,        required to pass
              university         the government
              degree        in   examination
              three foreign

Technical     Ljiljana Cajić employee               high school degree
Service       5,3 years of                          1 year of work experience
Attachment III: Comparative view of legal framework of the People’s Ombudsman and Human Rights Center (Date: November 30,
                  PEOPLE’S OMBUDSMAN                    HUMAN RIGHTS CENTER                NECESSARY ADAPTATIONS


Definition   People’s      Ombudsman          is    a   HRC is a public institution established   Statutory change of HRC – annulment of a
and status   commissioner       of    the    Croatian   under the Institutions Act and the        public institution status and merger with
             Parliament,     appointed     by    and    Government Regulation from 2005           CPO-
             responsible to the Croatian Parliament     Government       establishes   founding
             since 1992                                 rights, including appointments            instrument: act
             Constitutional category (article 93 of     Registered into the Registry of
             the Croatian Constitution, Official        Institutions                           CPO shall not change its status, but changes
             Gazette 85/2010)                                                                  should be introduced into the internal order of
             Independent institution,                                                          CPO and its activities should be expanded
             from 2009 central body responsible for                                            (Law, Standing Orders, Rulebooks) –
             the suppression of discrimination                                                 obligations from the Constitutional Law for
             Three special ombudspersons                                                       Implementation of the Constitution
Legal        Constitution of the Republic of Croatia,   Regulation on the Establishment of the Instrument: Law on Annulment of Regulation
framework    article 93                                 Center for Human                       on Establishment of the HRC and
             The People’s Ombudsman Act, Official       Rights, Official Gazette 65/05, 19/10  accompanying provisions specifically the
             Gazette 60/92                              Statute of the Human Rights Center, People’s Ombudsman Act
             Standing Orders on the Work of the         March 15, 2006 and August 14, 2010     Necessary changes
             Ombudsman, Official Gazette 71/1997                                                    The People’s Ombudsman Act /
             (confirmed by the decision of the                                                         functions and deputy / conditions
             Croatian Parliament)                                                                   Standing Orders on the Work of the
                                                                                                    All other acts
                                                                                               (parallel to other necessary changes within the
                                                                                               Ombudsman Institution)
Attachment III: Comparative view of legal framework of the People’s Ombudsman and Human Rights Center (on November 30, 2010) –
continuation 1

                        PEOPLE’S OMBUDSMAN                           HUMAN RIGHTS CENTER                   NECESSARY ADAPTATIONS



   Legal       The Anti Discrimination Act (Official Gazette     The Institutions Act (Official Gazette   Application of the Civil Servants
framework      85/2008)                                          76/93, 29/97 and 47/99), 35/2008         Act and the Act on Rights and
(other valid   The Law on the Ombudsman for Children             Financial Accounting Regulation for      Obligations of Civil Servants
               (Official Gazette 96/2003)                        Non-profit Organisations (Official       (current director)
               The Gender Equality Law (Official Gazette         Gazette 10/08, 7/09)
               The Law on the Ombudsman for Persons with
               Disabilities, (Official Gazette 107/2007)
               Standing Orders of the Croatian Parliament
               (regarding a decision on the election of the
               Ombudsman and his deputies and the decision
               on the approval of Standing Orders)
               The Civil Servants Act (Official Gazette 92/05,
               107/07, 27/08), + other relevant provisions
               regarding civil servants
               The Code of Ethics for Civil Servants (Official
               Gazette 49/06, 134/08)

               The Act on Rights and Obligations on Civil
               Servants ( Official Gazette 101/98., 135/98.,
               105/99., 25/00., 73/00., 30/01., 59/01., 114/01.,
               153/02., 154/02., 163/03., 16/04., 30/04.,
               105/04., 92/05., 121/05., 135/06., 141/06.,
               17/07., 34/07., 107/07. i 60/08, 38/09)
               Act on Preventing the Conflict of Interest
               (Official Gazette) 163/03., 94/04., 48/05.,
               141/06., 60/08. i 38/09, 92/2010
Internal Act   The Rulebook on Changes and Amendments of           Rulebook on Organisation from           All internal act of HRC are put out
    and        the Rulebook on the Internal Order from July        September 13, 2010, consolidated text   of force/declared invalid from the
 Documents     12, 2010 (changed and amended Rulebook on                                                   date of entry into force of the Law
               the Internal Order from 2002) (with later           Rulebook on Organisation, April 6,      on Closing/Annulment of and the
               changes)                                            2006                                    Merger of the Center
               The civil service admission plan for the People’s
               Ombudsman for each year                             Rulebook on salaries from June 19,      Necessary changes of the CPO’s
               (based on : article 43/2/c Civil Servant Act, and   2008                                    internal act/questions related to the
               article 4/2 the People’s Ombudsman Act, and                                                 amendments to the act
               article 12 of the Standing Order on the Work of
               The Rulebook on the Internal Order
Attachment III: Comparable view of the legal framework of the People’s Ombudsman and the Human Rights Center (date: November
11, 2010) – continuation 2
                   PEOPLE’S OMBUDSMAN                               HUMAN RIGHTS CENTER                                 NECESSARY
             - examines individual cases of human In accordance with article 5 of the Statute, the Center's People’s Ombudsman
             rights violations committed by action of activities include monitoring of human rights protection Introduce    an     appropriate
             government       administration   bodies, and promotion, raising awareness and sensitizing the provision in the new Ombudsman
             bodies vested with public powers or public about human rights issues especially focusing on Act in compliance with the valid
             officials in such bodies when they deal human rights violations, respect of ethnic minorities article 5 of the Center's Statute
             with tasks ensuing within their and the rule of law.
             respective competence                     Activities according to article 6 of the Statute: Appropriate organisational unit
             - considers as well other problems which monitoring of human rights situation in the Republic of for accomplishment of          its
             may be of interest to the protection of   Croatia                                                 function
             the rights proclaimed by constitution and    1. Pointing to the need of human rights protection
                                                          2. Informing and conducting education about
             law, about which he has obtained
                                                               issues related to human rights protection.
             information from other sources of
                                                          3. Organising        public tribunes, round tables,
             knowledge (by means of public                     lectures on human rights protection,
             communication, etc.), provided that          4. Encouraging cooperation between government,
             those problems are referring to the               NGOs,       international   organisations   and
             wrong doing of bodies and officials               academic institutions related to human rights
             vested with public powers                         protection
                                                          5. Establishing and maintaining the specialized
             Fundamental function- protection of               human rights library dealing with human rights
             human rights and freedoms                         issues
                                                          6. Providing support to NGOs dealing with human
             Amendments to the Constitution                    rights protection
             explicitly define “promotion” of human       7. Conducting publishing activities
             rights and freedoms as the constitutional    8. Performing other activities in conformity with
             task of the Ombudsman                             its main goals, in compliance with the Law.
Attachment III: Comparable view of the legal framework of the People’s Ombudsman Office and the Human Rights Center (date:
November 30, 2010) – continuation 3

                      PEOPLE’S OBMDUSMAN                        HUMAN RIGHTS CENTER                        NECESSARY
             Deputy and his three deputies constitute a Steering Board                             Establishing          a       new
             Collegium (elected and appointed by the Director                                      organisational unit as the Human
             Croatian Parliament)                                                                  Rights Center headed by a
                                                          2 departments                            director (amendments to the
             People’s Ombudsman office                    Information and Research Department      People’s      Ombudsman       Act
             Advisory Service 28                          1+1                                      needed, articles 3 and 18, and
             General Service 16                                                                    article 12 of the Standing Orders
             Civil Service and General Affairs Department Programs and Activities Department
             with 4 division                              1+1                                      a member of Collegium +
             Records and Documentation Service 3                                                   statute of Deputy Ombudsman
                                                          library 1
                                                          finances and administration 1            Information   and     Research
                                                          housekeeper 1                            Department with the Library and
                                                                                                   Archive Department
                                                                                                   Program     and       Activities
                                                                                                   Department     with     Project
                                                                                                   Funding Department

                                                                                                   The Center's Steering Board
                                                                                                   ceases to exist, ability to keep
                                                                                                   some type of coordinative and
                                                                                                   advisory body (advisory body on
                                                                                                  human rights or similar)
Attachment III: Comparable view of the legal framework of the People’s Ombudsman and the Human Rights Center (date: November
30, 2010) – continuation 4

                         PEOPLE’S OMBDUSMAN                               HUMAN RIGHTS CENTER                               NECESSARY
             4 government official                                   8 job positions envisaged                     Significant changes in the status
             26 civil servants                                       6 persons truly employed (including           of the employees
             1 employee                                              deputy director who is at the same time
                                                                     the head of the Information and               Obtain civil servants and
             Government officials / People’s Ombudsman and           Research Department)                          employee’s status
             three deputies / elected by the Croatian Parliament
             for a term of 8 years by a majority vote of all MPs     Employees have status of workers,             Required to pass the government
                                                                     (they are not civil servants), a collective   exam
             + 3 planned in 2010                                     working contracts does not apply to
                                                                     them, nor the Public Service Salaries         Center's Director, in case he/she
             Job position is fulfilled via public tender, internal   Act                                           becomes deputy ombudsman,
             add or transfer                                                                                       will have a status of government
                                                                     in line with its own Rulebook on              official and immunity
             For deputies                                            Salaries
             Civil Servant’s Rights and Obligation Act and the                                                     In case that a position of deputy
             Law on Prevention of Conflict, article 2, item 1        fees for the members of the Steering          is not obtained – the director
             Civil servants                                          Board                                         status’ should equal to the
                                                                                                                   position of head of
             Civil Servants Act and all accompanying regulations                                                   administration in ministries
                                                                                                                   Employees – it is recommended
             Based on article 4 and item 1 of article 11 of the                                                    that they first give their approval
             Regulation on Opening and Conducting the Public                                                       for obtaining civil status
             Tender and Internal Advertising for Government                                                        Decisions are brought by the
             (Official Gazette, no. 74/10)                                                         People’s Ombudsman

Attachment III: Comparable view of legal framework of the People Ombudsman and the Human Rights Center (date: November 30,
2010) – continuation 5

                         PEOPLE’S OMBUDSMAN                     HUMAN RIGHTS CENTER                        NECESSARY

                                                          Funded partially from the state budget   Retain alternative founding
             Funded from the state budget                                                          source through programs and
                                                                                                   projects and institutional support
                                                                                                   (amendments to article 21 of the
                                                                                                   People’s Ombudsman Act

             Opatička                                     Kralja Držislava 6, leased               remains the same (lease)

Shared By: