In accordance with the Article IV of the BiH Constitution, the Parliamentary Assembly shall have the following responsibilities:
- Enacting legislation as necessary to implement decisions of the BiH Presidency or to carry out the responsibilities of the Assembly under this Constitution;
- Deciding upon the sources and amounts of revenues for the operations of the institutions of Bosnia and Herzegovina and international commitments of Bosnia and Herzegovina;
- Approving a budget for the institutions of Bosnia and Herzegovina;
- Deciding whether to consent to treaties ratification;
- Other matters as are necessary to carry out its duties or as are assigned to it by mutual agreement of the Entities.
Pursuant to the Article IV of the BiH Constitution, a role that is automatically linked to the Parliamentary Assembly is the legislative role. In executing such a role the Parliamentary Assembly is acting within areas which are stipulated in the BiH Constitution as the responsibilities of the state level government. According to the Article III of the BiH Constitution, the responsibilities are the following:
- Foreign policy;
- Foreign trade policy;
- Customs policy;
- Monetary policy;
- Finances of the institutions and international commitments of Bosnia and Herzegovina;
- Immigration, refugee, and asylum policy and regulation;
- International and inter-Entity criminal law enforcement, including relations with Interpol;
- Establishment and operation of common and international communications facilities;
- Regulation of inter-Entity transportation; and
- Air traffic control.
All functions and powers not expressly assigned to the institutions of Bosnia and Herzegovina by the Constitution of Bosnia and Herzegovina shall be those of the Entities. It is also envisaged that Bosnia and Herzegovina, i.e. state level of government, shall assume responsibilities (i) in other matters as agreed by the Entities, (ii) that are provided for in Annexes 5 through 8 to the Dayton Agreement, or (iii) that are necessary to preserve the sovereignty, territorial integrity, political independence, and international personality of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
In addition to its legislative role, the Parliamentary Assembly has also a financial role as it falls within its scope of competence to make decisions about sources and amounts of revenues for the work of the institutions of Bosnia and Herzegovina and for international commitments of Bosnia and Herzegovina. The responsibility of the Parliamentary Assembly is also approving budget for the institutions of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Without tackling the core, it is sufficient to emphasise that the same provisions which regulate the basic legislative procedure are applied when approving the budget.
In direct connection with the Parliamentary Assembly’s financial role is its oversight role which is reflected in both the responsibility of the executive to submit the report on the execution of budget to the Parliamentary Assembly and the right of the Parliamentary Assembly to either accept or reject the report.
The Parliamentary Assembly is authorised to either grant or deny executive authorities the consent for ratification of international agreements or treaties, or for their cancellation. This authorisation implies that the Parliamentary Assembly, along with the aforementioned responsibilities, has also a controlling role.
The controlling role of the Parliamentary Assembly is expressed through the work of its House of Peoples, the role of which is to protect interests of the three constituent peoples of Bosnia and Herzegovina, i.e. to make sure that the violation of the so-called vital national interest of any of three constituent peoples does not occur.
The controlling role of the Parliamentary Assembly is also reflected in its authority to confirm the appointment of the Council of Ministers of BiH (which is performed by the House of Representatives), to oversee and control the work of the Council of Ministers through different mechanisms and vote no confidence when deemed necessary. In executing these powers, and based on the conclusions deriving from the discussions, the controlling role is supplemented by the electoral role which in particularly came to attention upon the establishment of the Committee for the Preparation of the Election of the BiH Council of Ministers in mid 2006. The existence of this Committee was determined by the Law on Amendments to the Law on the BiH Council of Ministers, wherein the work of the Committee is regulated by the Rules of Procedure of the House of Representatives of the Parliamentary Assembly. This imposes a conclusion that the Committee works within the House of Representatives.
The number of members of the Committee is not constant and is established for each newly elected House. It is stipulated that the Committee shall be composed of one representative from each political party, coalition, list of independent candidates, as well as all independent candidates who hold a representative’s mandate in the House.
The Committee is responsible to review and analyze all available information submitted to it by the Central Election Commission and the State Investigation and Protection Agency for the purpose of assessing and establishing candidates’ suitability to carry out the roles of Chair and member of the BiH Council of Ministers. Therefore, the Committee is responsible for the same duties that were performed by the Office of the High Representative (OHR) prior to the establishment of the Committee. The Committee gives a recommendation to the House in favour of confirming the candidates nominated to the positions of Chair and member of the BiH Council of Ministers. It should be mentioned, however, that the opinion of the Committee is not binding.
Finally, when it comes to the roles of the Parliamentary Assembly, it should be mentioned that the Parliamentary Assembly has the sole authority to give authentic interpretation of the adopted legislation, which means that it has an interpretative role as to the existing legislation.