Tender tricks and falsification of travel orders for private trips in Bosnia and Herzegovina, but also in Serbia, where he has a place of residence, are the reason for the arrest of Dragan Šojić, head of the Service for Joint Affairs of BiH institutions. Meliha Jahjaefendić, who "covered" Šojić's travel pleasures with her signature every Thursday, could also be held accountable for signing the order. It is suspected that the head of the Service damaged the BiH budget by hundreds of thousands of KM by abusing his position.
After the writings of Žurnal, on the order of the Prosecutor's Office of BiH, he was arrested today in Sarajevo by members of the State Investigation and Protection Agency of BiH (SIPA).
COMMISSION FOR THEFT OF TWO MILLION MARKS
In January, Žurnal documented that Šojić, among other things close to SDS leader Mirko Šarović, appointed himself the head of the commission whose task is to buy a part of the building in Istočno Sarajevo for two million KM from the company "Građenje" this year, outside of the Law on Public Procurement of BiH, for the needs of BiH institutions. All this was verified by Zoran Tegeltija, chairman of the BiH Council of Ministers and SNSD staff. Dragan Brković, Sanja Jokić, Nemanja Pandurević and Senad Mujić were appointed members of the commission.
A special decision was made, Žurnal found out, after the idea of a new crime did not pass in the public procurement sector of the BiH Joint Affairs Service, whose officials refused to be part of the story. Then SIPA got involved in everything, collecting documents on this case for months.
For his incredible political arrogance, Šojić had something he called an explanation:
"The Service for Joint Affairs of BiH Institutions has implemented a project to purchase a facility to house BiH institutions in Istočno Sarajevo, in accordance with the decision to approve the purchase, which will be included in the multi-year capital investment program for 2017-2019. The decision approved the purchase of a building with an area of 1,300 to 1,500 square meters with a purchase value of three million KM. Carrying out the procurement procedure, the Service provided an appropriate functional facility of approximately 1,500 square meters of net area. However, the total approved funds of three million KM were not enough to buy the entire facility, so only office space was purchased."
In 2018, in fact, a part of the building on the Ilidža Brigade Square was bought, ie 1,063 square meters, and the approved amount of one million ended up in the account of Palanka's "Građenje" owned by Zoran Popić, according to media, extremely close to SNSD. The Market Surveillance Agency, the Institute for Standardization and the Service for Foreigner’s Affairs are currently located in this part of the building.
As there are still 562 square meters in the building, it was proposed that the citizens of BiH buy them for two million KM. Šojić reminded that a square meter of space in the same building in 2018 cost around 2,830 KM, but even then he did not deal with the "inflated price".
Now, the office space in the building owned by "Gradjenje" occupies only 230 square meters, and the auxiliary rooms, ie multipurpose halls, restaurant, archive space, pantries and halls with windshields - 332 square meters. Practically, the price per square meter that Šojić is ready to pay with public money is - 3,558 KM, although the market price per square meter of business space in Istočno Sarajevo is not more than 2,500 KM. That would ultimately be a total of five million KM from the pockets of citizens! The new budget outflow of millions was conceived as "negotiating with the owner of the building", because the price is completely logical for Šojić!
However, in the document in the possession of Žurnal, he defined the square footage, price and supplier in advance. Logical for the public, but certainly not to him - then why the commission and what will he negotiate with Popić, as well as why he excluded the public and what is transparency according to him?
For this type of procurement, and according to the Law on Public Procurement of BiH, experts in this field point out, the institution must draft a clear rulebook for the purchase of real estate for a huge amount from the budget. Also, the procedure must actually be a public invitation, an advertisement in three print media, which is completely foreign to Šojić.
SIPA’s APRIL VISIT
It was not clear to the director of the Service why SIPA came to the premises of this institution in April and talked to certain employees. His deputy Dragan Slipac persistently pointed out that "there are some irregularities within the Service that is being investigated by SIPA". According to Fokus, Šojić did not want to answer whether he was traveling to Serbia in an official car on Thursday with his wife, who allegedly escaped from serving a prison sentence in BiH. He appreciated that these were "issues of a private nature".
According to well-informed sources from Fokus, Šojić reported to investigators that he had already used three state resources to go to Serbia with his wife who fled BiH, because she was sentenced here for participating in a fatal car accident.
Šojić justified his absence from work on Friday with false travel orders issued for destinations in BiH, and travel orders should have been written retroactively for the previous months, but this was thwarted by Vladimir Vukša, head of the Legal Affairs Department, who drew Šojić's attention to certain decisions regarding these trips do not have the signature of Dragan Slipac.
Fokus asked Sojic:
- Is it true that Vukša refused to participate in the retroactive and illegal justification of his travels, as well as that Vukša had objections due to orders without Slipac's signature, and that he clashed with a legal service officer who forged travel orders by forging his signature, after which a disciplinary sub-procedure was initiated against him.
Šojić was silent, Danka Govedarica, Public Relations Officer in the Service, said:
"Dragan Šojić is not in any conflict with the head of the Department for Legal and General Affairs, Vladimir Vukš, and as far as the official vehicle is concerned, he also uses it in accordance with the positive regulations. The fact is that the head of the Department of Legal and General Affairs has no authority to issue travel orders, so this fact is not true. "
The extensive research of Fokus also states that about 500 people are permanently employed in the Service for Joint Affairs of BiH Institutions. The annual budget of this institution is about 19 million KM, of which about seven million goes to the salaries of employees.
The number of employees in this service is constantly growing, so the auditors recorded that in 2020, when the volume of work of this service, especially in the catering services provided by institutions, was significantly reduced, and when many worked from home due to the coronavirus pandemic, in that period, this service employed five civil servants and 21 employees for an indefinite period of time, following a public announcement. As many as 50 people were hired on a temporary basis in 2020, and these contracts were renewed several times after three months.
Both those who have and have not yet been arrested will have more answers at the SIPA premises.