The state of Bosnia and Herzegovina consists of two entities: the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina and the Republika Srpska. The Brčko District of Bosnia and Herzegovina has special status. The current constitutional and legal arrangement of Bosnia and Herzegovina was determined by the General Framework Agreement for Peace in Bosnia and Herzegovina, initialed in Dayton, Ohio on the 21st of November 1995, and signed in Paris (France) on the 14th of December 1995.
The state is located in South-Eastern Europe, in the region of the Western Balkans - its area size is 51.129 km² and its population is 3,791,622 (according to the 2013 population census). Power, at the state level of Bosnia and Herzegovina, is divided into the following branches:
• legislative (Parliamentary Assembly of Bosnia and Herzegovina)
• executive (BiH Presidency and BiH Council of Ministers)
• judicial (Constitutional Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina and Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina).
The competences of the state, entities and cantons are divided in relation to areas. Archival activity in Bosnia and Herzegovina is carried out by the following archives:
- Archive of Bosnia and Herzegoina- Archive of Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina (entity of FBiH)
- Archive of Republic of Srpska (entity RS)
- Historical Archive Sarajevo (Canton Sarajevo - Within FBiH)
- Archive of Tuzlanski Canton (canton Tuzla - within FBiH)
- Archive of Una-Sana Canton (within FBiH)
- Archive of Herezgovina-Neretva Canton (within FBiH)
- Cantonal archive Široki Brijeg (Canton West Herzegovina - within FBiH9
- Archive of Bosansko podrinjski Canton (within FBiH)
- Archive of Central Bosnia Canton (within FBiH)
Collections in Bosnia and Herzegovina are composed of material in the following groups: archival materials in oriental languages, administration, judiciary, education, science and culture, health and social policy, economy, socio-political organisations, family and personal funds, and other collections (maps, plans, photographs, etc.). The archival materials of counterintelligence and security agencies that operated during the period of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (1945-1992) such as UDBA (Uprava državne bezbjednosti - State Security Administration) and KOS (Kontra-obavještajna služba – Counter-intelligence service) are, for the most part, kept within archives in Serbia and Croatia. However, a smaller part of these materials are still in the possession of Intelligence: the Security Agency of Bosnia and Herzegovina (OSA-OBA).
Today the use of information technology is one of the most pressing issues of archival activity in Bosnia and Herzegovina. A new direction of archival science has been brought about by the need for information (and indeed, the right to access it) with the help of modern technology - speeding up, and modernising the process of archival work by yielding faster and easier access to information.
However, the application of these technologies in Bosnia and Herzegovina still entails many issues. Firstly, the issue of electronic commerce and filing, but most crucially the legal framework that governs the use of modern information technology. As well as general problems that befall many archives: issues of computerization, creating a network of archival institutions in the country, using websites and the internet. Indeed, professionals must also be educated in the field of information technology, modern archives have no relevant perspective without utilising such an education. The future of archives as modern institutions will be threatened if ignorance towards information technology persists, since its usage allows for the performance of basic, essential tasks. Thus IT is not optional for archives to utilise.