Meeting of Central Bureau for census started today in Sarajevo. The meeting was meant to reveal if consensus of entity agencies for statistics has been reached in terms of methodology of data processing.
20:18 – The meeting of Central Bureau for census held today in Sarajevo saw no agreement concerning methodology of data processing for the last census in BiH that were supposed to be published on 1 July 2016.
Entity agencies for statistics, along with the Agency for Statistics of BiH failed to reach consensus on several technical questions regarding data processing, but also consensus on methodology that would determine who is resident and who is non-resident of BiH.
The RS is requesting that question no. 40 is included in the data processing and they do not seem willing to give in. According to Radmila Cickovic, Director of Agency for Statistics of Republika Srpska, the law is precise and it is therefore very important that resident and non-resident is determined according to place of study or temporary job. Such reaction comes from RS after the International monitoring team stated that this question is not deciding factor as regards census in BiH.
Although journalists insisted upon having precise information as to who will be held responsible should the census fails, as well as about 50 million KM spent on the census, they did not get a precise answer.
Minister of Civil Affairs BiH Adil Osmanovic said that the responsibility for such cumbersome situation in the country lies with directors of entity agencies for statistics as well as their deputies. The responsibility also lies with the Director of Agency for Statistics BiH and his deputy.
Osmanovic also said that some 57.000 persons are studying or are on temporary work outside of BiH.
RS would agree to admit some 17.000 people as residents who are studying abroad or are at temporary work in Croatia or Serbia, which does not apply to other countries.
Osmanovic was unable to clarify if 40.000 people who would not be admitted are primarily Bosniaks.
Osmanovic claimed to be hopeful that the census would be published by 1 July 2016 and that the consensus would be reached.
Journalists also asked Radmila Cickovic if they were prepared to take the risk of census getting annulled due to disputed issue 40. Cickovic said that she did not think in that direction and that she hoped for the results to be published.
According to Agency for Statistics BiH, data processing for census in BiH takes about 3.5 months. They hope that an official work methodology will be adopted as soon as possible, otherwise the data will not be published within the set deadline, which would eventually mean that results will not be accepted by the international community. It is evident that politics stands behind publishing the census of BiH. Directors of agencies for statistics claim to know their job and that the census is not politicized.
19:30 – Entity agencies for statistics did not reach an agreement about methodology of data processing for the last census of BiH
16: 27 – During the entire weekend, as well as last week, working groups and experts from the entity agencies worked on data about resident and non-resident citizens of BiH, and according to Radmila Cickovic, Director of Agency for Statistics of RS, they will not give upon the question 40 as they consider it to be an integral part of census and exact data gathered through census.
On the basis of her statement, one could conclude that it will be difficult to reach an agreement today, and the final deadline for agreeing upon the methodology is tomorrow 15 March. Otherwise, results will not be published by 1 July, the census will be annulled and 50 million KM will be wasted.
Resident representative is something that has been so far blocking publishing of results. Representatives from RS say that it is of vital importance that question 40 enters the final evaluation of resident citizen, which tells whether someone works or studies in BiH.
Experts believe it is clearly stated in the set of questions 1 – 7 who cannot be resident of BiH. Demographer Hasan Zolic says that question 40 is not vital.
Minister Adil Osmanovic says that he expects entity agencies to reach a consensus at the meeting and that this whole story is needlessly politicized. Asked if question 40 is politicized, Osmanovic said:
- Of course it is politicized because place of study and work cannot determine whether someone is resident or non-resident. According to the recommendations of the International Monitoring Team and IOM, it is said that question 40 is not relevant so I hope that, if we do not reach an agreement today, that Council of Ministers and even Presidency of BiH will get involved so that we can publish the results of census by 1 July.
He also said that it is legally possible that, entity agencies do not come to an agreement, Agency for Statistics BiH determines methodology, and all that with the aim of timely results.
The meeting will obviously go on for some time, either another half an hour or three more, according to Osmanovic, depending on how the situation will develop.
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