The Court of Audit of the Republic of Slovenia (hereinafter: Court of Audit) studied the effectiveness and efficiency of the operations of the Ministry of the Interior of the Republic of Slovenia (hereinafter: Ministry) in the year 2015. It tried to answer the main question: "Does the Republic of Slovenia appropriately plan and effectively and efficiently implement measures regarding treatment of humanitarian migrants?" Performance audit was designed to assess both the effectiveness and the efficiency of treatment of applicants for international protection as well as the effectiveness and the efficiency of treatment of persons with already granted international protection.
It is the opinion of the Court of Audit that the Ministry was effective in implementing measures related to treatment of applicants for international protection. The Ministry undertook the procedure of deciding on the recognition of international protection in accordance with the regulations and in a transparent, uniform and reproducible manner. Resources needed for the implementation of individual measures and projects were transparently recorded and used in accordance with the principle of cost-effectiveness. In the year 2015 the Ministry received 277 requests (for example 33 times less than in the year 2000) and resolved 265 of them. For treatment of the applicants the Ministry spent EUR 1,811,493, nearly one fifth of which (19 percent) were obtained from the funds of the European Union. The Court of Audit confirmed that the cost of treatment of an individual applicant for international protection mainly depends on the duration of the application procedure. It was found that the Ministry examined (at the first instance) more than 98 percent of applications for international protection in less than (required) six months. For other 2 percent of applications, the procedure took more time mainly due to the involvement of experts and other procedural actions in the context of decision-making that must be performed by the Ministry in accordance with the European regulations. The Ministry had no direct influence on the reduction of these procedures, and thus was not able to reduce these costs any further.
The Ministry effectively carried out also the measures related to treatment of persons with international protection, for that purpose EUR 527,449 were spent in 2015 (59 percent of which from the European funds). All the measures were carried out in accordance with the regulations and were available to all 127 persons with granted international protection. For the implementation of the measures necessary resources were provided, and allocation of funds for projects implemented in cooperation with external contractors was reported in a transparent manner. Although from the examined personal integration plans it was not possible to determine the final effect of individual projects on the integration of individual persons with international protection, the Court of Audit has established that the projects were carried out in a transparent manner and that the resources were used in accordance with the principle of cost-effectiveness. According to the Court of Audit the measures relating to treatment of persons with international protection would be even more effective, if the Ministry registered and analysed all the activities that each individual person participated in. On the basis of the results of analyses, better decisions regarding further implementation of individual activities could be made.
The Ministry appropriately planned treatment of applicants for international protection, since the objective of the Budget of the Republic of Slovenia for the year 2015: "to ensure the existing level of rights of applicants for international protection, as laid down by the legislative and implementing regulations" was reasonable, realistic, achievable and time-defined. Individual measures and projects related to treatment of applicants for international protection logically followed this goal. The achievement of some of the objectives set out in the national programme of Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund (AMIF), due to their inaccuracy, could not be confirmed, however the Ministry was successful in achieving the objective of the Budget of the Republic of Slovenia for the year 2015.
The planning of treatment of persons with granted international protection was not fully appropriate. Goals in various planning documents were not coherent and coordinated, moreover, they were mostly not accurate, clear, measurable and achievable. Goals set out in the Budget of the Republic of Slovenia for the year 2015 were on the one hand focused on the effectiveness of the provision of rights in the field of integration, and were on the other hand also trying to ensure successful integration of persons. The aim of the Slovenian national programme of Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund (AMIF) was focused on the highest possible degree of inclusiveness of persons with international protection. Due to a lack of coordination of goals it was not possible to confirm whether the Ministry was only trying to reach the goal of providing rights for integration (integration assistance only) or it was actually trying to achieve successful integration of persons with international protection (the final outcome of the process).
The Court of Audit holds the opinion that the Ministry reached the goal set out in the Budget of the Republic of Slovenia for the year 2015, namely the successful implementation of integration measures, since all projects were carried out in accordance with their purpose and all the services were available to all persons with granted international protection.
In accordance with the set objectives, the Ministry was expected to follow and observe the success of the integration. That was, however, not possible, since the Ministry did not specify the term integration. The Ministry was unable to assess whether an individual was sufficiently integrated since the integration of persons with international protection partially depends also on other stakeholders (at least in the field of education, employment and social affairs). Finally, notwithstanding the efforts of the Ministry, the integration of each individual also depends on his own will. Therefore, the responsibility to ensure the successful integration of persons with international protection cannot be fully attributed to the Ministry. The Court of Audit estimated that the Ministry carried out relevant and appropriate activities which actually contributed to the successful integration of persons with international protection.
The Court of Audit demanded from the Ministry to submit a response report in which it must disclose the implementation of an analysis which shall confirm or refute the need to draw up a proposal for a new strategic document on treatment of humanitarian migrants. The Court of Audit also provided the recommendations on the planning of treatment of humanitarian migrants, referring to the detailed specification of objectives and systemic involvement of other stakeholders (for example, local communities) in the planning of measures.