Human Rights Commission bestowed with financial freedom

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Photo: Anteneh Aklilu

The new Human Right Commission proclamation gives more financial administration autonomy for the commission.
The proclamation amended the 2000 ‘Ethiopian Human Rights Commission Establishment Proclamation no.210’ in its second extraordinary session held on July 14.
The amended proclamation article 36 sub articles 3 stated that under its internal regulation issued by the Council of Commissioners the commission has full right to administer its finance.
This sub article three is new for the proclamation. The oldest proclamation under article 36 sub article 2 stated of the monies obtained from the sources mentioned under sub-Article (1) of this Article, which state it might be budget subsidiary or other sources, an amount equivalent to a quarterly portion, shall, in advance, be deposited at the National Bank of Ethiopia, or at another bank designated by the Bank, and shall be utilized, in accordance with financial regulations of the government, for purposes of implementing the objectives of the Commission.
In its explanation the Legal, Justice and Democracy Affairs Standing Committee of the parliament said that the new sub article is added to give budget freedom for the institution that is supposed to be free based on its institutional behavior.
Daniel Bekele, Human Right Commission Commissioner said that the proclamation gives financial independence for the commission.
“Budget administration autonomy is crucial for our work as an independent institution,” Daniel, who came from exile and appointed by PM Abiy Ahmed, told Capital.
“Meanwhile we are public institution; we are not member of executive body. If the executive body may have direct or indirect influence on budget administration it would affect the commission’s freedom, which is unique in its operation,” the Commissioner added.
According to Daniel, the key point of this article of the amended proclamation is giving financial and budget autonomy freedom but it is does not mean it will not be audited.
The amended proclamation also added that the leader must be fully engaged on his/her duty.
The old proclamation article 18 sub article 2 has a space for appointee to engaged on other additional job. under ‘Prohibition to Engage in Other Employment’ of article 18 sub article 1 stated that ‘an appointee shall not be allowed to engage in other gainful, public or private employment during his term of office’, while sub article 2 was said notwithstanding the provisions of sub-article (1) of this article, the House (parliament) may allow otherwise in consideration of the particular profession in which the appointee is required to make contribution.
The draft proclamation has changed sub article 2 by replacing the ‘House’ by ‘Board’ of the commission and stated that the board of the commission may allow otherwise in consideration of the particular profession in which the appointee is required to make contribution.
However at the session held on Tuesday July 14 Tesfaye Daba, member of the parliament criticized the sub article 2 of article 18. He said that the duty of the leaders at the commission is very critical that needs full attention. “Due to that the sub article should be revoked and the commission leaders to be fully engaged in their responsibilities than allowed to more works,” Tesfaye argued.
At the session some other members of the parliament have given similar comments and except one abstains the parliament agreed to revoke the second article fully.
Since the political reform embarked and the new commissioner, who is well known for human right issues, comes to the position the commission has become more strong and independent. For instance in the past few period the commission released several critical statements and reports on human right issues against the federal and regional administrations.