ILO supports labour inspectorates of Western Balkans: Peer reviews of Canton Sarajevo and Republika Srpska
Labour Inspectorate teams from Montenegro, North Macedonia and Serbia conducted two peer reviews in Bosnia and Herzegovina that focused on experiential learning and knowledge sharing in order to perform effective inspections.
The peer reviews were organised by the International Labour Organisation (ILO) in such manner that the team from Montenegro reviewed Administration for Inspection Activities of Canton Sarajevo (October 25-27, 2021) and Administration for Inspection Activities of Republika Srpska (November 1-3, 2021). In Canton Sarajevo, the team from Montenegro was joined for the review by their colleagues from North Macedonia and in Republika Srpska by colleagues from Serbia.
Each peer review lasted three days during which participants deliberated on what they have observed. On the first day, visiting teams met with their colleagues from the Administrations for Inspection and talked about the inspectorates’ organisation and functions, procedures, strengths and challenges. On the second day, teams joined hosting inspectors to observe the inspection process. On the third day, the teams shared and discussed their observations with the hosts including strengths that could be capitalized by the host and challenges that need to be addressed.
Importance of regional cooperation
As assessments of good practices that enable cross-Inspectorate learning, peer reviews are an important part of regional cooperation. This aspect of peer reviews was also highlighted by many participants.
In the words of Mr. Fahir Halilović, Director of Administration for Inspection Activities of Canton Sarajevo, „This kind of regional project contributes to mutual information and experience exchange in the areas of inspection implementation, with a final goal of implementing permanent improvements of work of inspectorates“. The peer review of Canton Sarajevo Administration for Inspection was echoed in the most visited news portal in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Learnings from the host inspectorates
During the peer review participants noted that inspectors in the Western Balkans often share similar challenges with only slight differences which enables them to easily identify and implement solutions that have been succesfully tested by their peers.
“We have similar laws, in some places a bit different solutions, but experiences of our colleagues can be used in inspection supervision or in improving laws and regulations“ said Anđelka Doležal, labour inspector from The Ministry of Labour, Employment, Veteran and Social Policy of the Republic of Serbia.
Mr. Predrag Nešković from the labour inspectorate team from Montenegro agreed with Mrs. Doležal stating that „It is impossible not to learn something from our colleagues.“
Many inspectors expressed their wish to implement what they have seen during peer reviews to their own inspectorates.
For Vesna Tomovska, main inspector in Labour Inspectorate of North Macedonia, the method of case assignments, the method of issuing offence warrants, as well as the method of issuing of warnings were learning moments that could have be integrated into the procedures of the Inspectorate in North Macedonia.
One of the issues that peer review teams focused on in Canton Sarajevo and Republika Srpska were IT systems available to each inspectorate which provide a good basis for inspectorate’s work.
„We heard many positive experiences that could be useful during the implementation of inspections in North Macedonia, especially when Lotus data management software is concerned. This software, used by our colleagues in Canton Sarajevo, is currently adoped by the North Macedonian inspectorate. We hope that, once the installment of Lotus software is finished, inspectors will be more efficient during the inspections,“ said Vesna Tomovska.
„Some of the concrete lessons learned during this peer review are manners of organising and planning of inspection supervision, as well as the manner in which colleagues from Republika Srpska keep records about their cases. Their IT system provides them with sufficient information to conduct efficient inspections. When you have a system like that one, then it is much easier to plan inspections“ said Anđelka Doležal.
Support of the ILO's improvement of labour inspectorate's capacities and education of its staff has been acknowledged by peer review participants who called cooperation with ILO very useful and asked for more similar and concrete activities in the future.
The ILO and Western Balkans Labour Inspectorates will use the peer review process and the regional peer review report as basis for designing regional inspections guidelines tailored for detecting undeclared work. To generate evidence on the inspection’s guidelines, they will be tailored to national contexts and pilot-tested by two labour inspectorates. The results will be shared with the Network of Labour Inspectorates in the Western Balkans.
Photo 2: Labour inspectorate teams from Montenegro and Serbia with their hosts from Republika Srpska Inspectorate
Photo 3: Labour inspectorate teams from Montenegro and Serbia observe inspection process in Republika Srpska
Photo 4: Inspectorate teams from Montenegro and Serbia in Administration for Inspection Activities of Republika Srpska