Albanian Institute of Science – AIS together with The Embassy of the Netherlands in Albania is hosting HackaThon 2017 on 25th of March. Hackathon is a casual meeting, where we collaborate as a team in writing applications, downloading data, creating visualizations or publishing analysis by using the open data. Representatives from civil society organizations, journalists, programmers, hackers, social entrepreneurs or students can participate. The most important thing is that you are committed to the challenge.
Mixed teams of 3 or 4 people will work together in a day-long session to develop ways to use open data in order to help strengthen civil society advocacy. The team with the best idea will win the HackaThon Albania Award, a cheque of 500 euros.
|13||Blinera Meta Shala|
Keep in mind you have to be able to be present for the entire event and participate very actively.
March 4th, 2017 is the OpenDataDay. Actors engaged in opening data in different countries in the world have developed events and presented initiatives promoting Open Data mainly for the public sector. AIS, an organization promoting Open Data for Albania, invited journalists, who cover justice-related issues, to attend a round table on transparency and corruption. The event was opened by the presentation of the RedFlag Index initiative, a way of marking municipality procurement processes exposed to inequality, misuse, and corruption. Following two years of monitoring the tender procedures and contracting of 61 municipalities and the establishment of a database for every procurement procedure, such marking identifies automatically every procedure conducted without competition, and by setting inappropriate deadlines for the bidders to prepare their bids.
The justice journalists at the meeting raised their concern about Tirana Judicial District Court not publishing its criminal cases and decisions thereof on its web. After 12 years of a practice of transparency established by this court, it suddenly decided to stop giving the public access to the court decisions. Such measure was taken following some complaints about the publication of decisions of a private and family character. The Court decided, on this occasion, to stop publishing even decisions of a public and criminal nature, and information necessary for transparency. The journalists have already reported on this development, and expect the Court to issue a media release on March 6th.
Juvenile and Family Criminality – these topics were in the focus of the publications and analysis of Open Data Albania portal over the last weeks. From 4 up to 10% of the offenders punished for criminal offences and contraventions by the Albanian Court during 2005-2015, are under the age of 18. Crime against property, such as theft, as well as crime against life or accidents due to careless driving are the most frequent crimes among juveniles. The criminal policy in Albania continues to victimize people under the age of 18, punishing them paradoxically for crimes, where they are actually the victims, such as prostitution or illegal border crossing.
The Albanian Institute of Science (AIS), a non-Governmental organization known as a promoter of Open Data Albania, is organizing a series of Roundtables, Workshops, and Fora on “Follow the Money”.
The second meeting of this cycle was held on 8 December on “Financing of Electoral Subjects and Electoral Corruption”
In order to strengthen the role of the media in issues of transparency, accountability, and anti-corruption, AIS invited journalists to be part of this meeting that addressed issues related with the electoral law, practice, shortcomings, and elements of impunity regarding electoral corruption.
Earlier on, 26 October AIS held the first meeting on Public Procurement, Tenders, and Contracts in the Health Sector.
|Nr||Name||Surname||Institutioni / Media|
|5||Anisa||Ymeri||Televizioni Publik Shqiptar|
|14||Bukurie||Kastrati||A1 news tv|
|16||Drilona||Hoxhaj||Central Election Commission|
|23||Evi||Veliu||Publicus (emison investigativ)|
|30||Kreshnik||Mersinllari||Televizioni Publik Shqiptar|
|31||Liljana||Kaci||Council of Europe|
AIS, a promoter of Open Data Albania, presented to the media representatives today (26 October) a database containing information regarding procurement and contracts from the Public Health Sector. The data covers the period starting from 1 January 2016, and are updated on a daily basis. They are well-structured and presented in an Open Contracting Data (OCDS) format and standard. Such portal and publication format serve to provide information, ensure transparency, and enable the citizens to monitor the public contracts signed in this sector. It functions as an anti-corruption instrument, and as the basis for fact-based journalism.
The project aims to increase the quality and efficiency of the public procurement process through, amongst others, citizens’ reaction/pressure.
A passport of information is created for each tender. The database contains well-structured data not only about the state institutions responsible for providing health services, but also about public procurements of the Mandatory Health Care Insurance Fund as a mandatory public scheme.
The procedure and contract system shows that 4881 public procurement procedures were announced during the first nine months of the year (2016).
During this period, 4119 tender procedures were finalized with a winner. The rest of the procedures were either cancelled, or still ongoing. The total fund limit, i.e. the amount of money available for tender procedures, already finalized by contracts being signed was 6.72 milliard Albanian Leks or 55.1 million USD.
4119 contracts of value of USD 55.1 million were achieved by 430 economic operators / contractors. The value of the winning offers, i.e. the value of signed contracts (VAT excluded) is 6.31 billion Albanian Leks or USD 51.77 million .
The difference between the fund limit and the winning offer is 6.1% of the planned fund. Such difference shows the quality of competition and the budget efficiency in procurement.
Accordingly, the difference corresponds with the money saved thanks to the competition and best economic offers.
In the case of procurement in the health sector, such efficiency is too low. Local government units are characterized by a much higher efficiency rate, about 10% higher than the health one. Direct Negotiation, a no-competition procedure, was used to sign contracts of a value of 1.55 milliard Albanian Leks, which is 24.5% of the total procured value (contract value).Procurement procedures with one single competitor were used in 1 260 cases, consisting of an offer value of 1.04 milliard Leks, which corresponds with 16% of the total value of offers. 4.9% of the contracted value is dedicated to Public Works (investments), 25.4% of the total value to Services, 69.6% to Public Supplies and the rest is used for Renting and Consultancy Services. The ten leading companies in terms of the contracted value represent 46.9 % of the total value of contracts.
The company, which marks the highest value contracted in the health sector for the nine first months of 2016, is Megapharma, with 352 contracts and a value of 452 million Leks. In addition, MegaPharma LLC has also signed other contracts of cooperation with other operators. This company is followed by Rejsi Farma LLC with contracts of value of 335 million Albanian Leks and Devis shpk (in third place) with contracts of value of 313 million Albanian Leks.The procuring authority with the highest procured values (2.15 billion Leks) is the University Hospital Centre “Mother Tereza”.Tenders in the public health sector have a direct impact on the quality of life of citizens and patients. About 8 up to 9 % of the state budget are allocated to this sector every year.
The data can be analyzed and searched by: Procuring Authority; Economic Operators who are awarded Public Contracts; Type of Procurement Procedure; Type of Contract; Value of Contract and other data search and analysis options.
|No||Name||Surname||Institution / MEDIA|
|12||Brikela||Qelemeni||TV “KORCA”- RTSH|
|16||Edmond||Shehu||HAP Project TDH|
|33||Rukida||Veizi||HAP Project TDH|
The Albanian Institute of Science (AIS), a non-governmental organization known as a promoter of Open Data in Albania, is planning to hold a series of Round Tables, Workshops, and Forums on the topic ‘Follow the Money’. The events intend to present instruments and databases that ensure data and facts about public expenditures, procurement, contracts, contractors, and other processes related with money and governance. The purpose is to encourage discussion on the use of facts in journalistic investigations or citizens’ advocacy, and to make the fact-finding process more concrete and qualitative. The participants will include journalists and activists from Tirana and other municipalities in the country. The three first round tables will take place during October 2016 – January 2017 on the following topics:
- Public Procurement, Tenders, and Contracts in the Health Sector, Date 26 October, Donor: U.S Embassy in Tirana- Democracy Commission Small Grants Program Project Public Health Sector Procurements
- Auditing of Political Parties and Electoral Subjects. Donor: Netherlands Embassy in Tirana.
- Monitoring of Municipality Clients in Public Contracts, with the support of Lëviz Albania.
Those interested in participating in these events are invited to fill in a registration form, upon the receipt of which we will let you know whether you are selected to participate. AIS is going to reimburse the justified participation costs. The events will take place in the course of one day. The two first ones will take place in Tirana.
Please Regsiter HERE
For any additional question or information, do not hesitate to write to firstname.lastname@example.org .
In Frame of “The Electoral Room for Reform” Project, Albanian Institute of Science (AIS) drafted a Policy Paper with recommendations on “FINANCING OF POLITICAL PARTIES IN ELECTORAL CAMPAINGS”.
Link for draft of recommendations: ais-the-electoral-room-for-reform-policy-paper
On 9 June 2015, the Albanian Institute of Science sent an official request to the three main electoral subjects, i.e. the Socialist Party (SP), the Democratic Party (DP), and the Socialist Movement for Integration (SMI) asking them for the following information:
- list of donors of non-public funds, from whom they had benefitted since 21 May 2015 amounts above 100 000 (one hundred thousand) Lekë or the equivalent value in services or goods;
- list of every expense made since 21 May 2015 using the annual funds benefitted from the state budget in 2015.
The above quoted electoral subjects received the request on 10 or 11 June 2015 as confirmed by the postal service.
The above electoral subjects did not respond to our request. Therefore, pursuant to Article 24 of Law no. 119/2014 “On the right (access) to information”, the Albanian Institute of Science AIS filed a complaint with the Commissioner for the Right to Information and Protection of Personal Data on 7 July 2015.
The Commissioner for the Right to Information and Protection of Personal Data informed us on 25 July 2015 of its decision no. 44, dated 22.07.2015 on “Rejection of complaint”. The Commissioner rejected our request no. 675, dated 9.07.2015, arguing that “the requested information is to be administered by the organizations foreseen by this law and it’s Article 2, which are not defined as public authorities in terms of how they are organized, how they operate, and their regulatory legal framework”.
Pursuant to Article 25 of Law no. 119/2014 “On the right to information”, the Albanian Institute of Science filed a lawsuit with the Administrative Court of First Instance of Tirana.
Upon completion of the court hearings, the Administrative Court of First Instance of Tirana issued decision no. 5687, dated 10.11.2015 (fundamental register no. 5714 310004-05334-80-2015, according to which: “The court rejects the lawsuit of the Albanian Institute of Science against the Commissioner for the Right to Information and Protection of Personal Data, the Socialist Party of Albania, the Democratic Party of Albania, and the Socialist Movement for Integration of Albania, which claims the “Abrogation of decision no. 44, dated 22.07.2015 of the Commissioner of the Right to Information and Protection of Personal Data as a lawsuit not based on evidence or law. The court forces the political parties (electoral subjects), i.e. the Socialist Party, the Democratic Party, and the Socialist Movement for Integration to provide the Albanian Institute of Science with the information requested about the financing of their electoral campaigns as per its (AIS’) request dated 9 June 2015.”
The Albanian Institute of Science complained against the decision of the Administrative Court of First Instance by addressing the Administrative Court of Appeal on 25 November 2015.On 10 February 2016, AIS filed its request with the Administrative Court of Appeal asking for “a faster judicial adjudication of the “. The nature of the lawsuit and its importance for the public interest makes it indispensable for this case to be adjudicated as fast as possible, and not in the course of several years, which would make both the complaint and its adjudication irrelevant.The Administrative Court of Appeal did not respond to such request On 31 March 2016, the Albanian Institute of Science submitted a second request for a faster adjudication, but to this date, the Administrative Court of Appeal has not given any response, whatsoever.
Although a final decision is not yet taken by the Albanian Court (the case is not with the High Court yet), following its procrastination and given the lack of clear provisions in the Albanian legislation that would enable an effective remedy, AIS addressed the Strasbourg Court on 18 May 2016, asking this court to express itself on this adjudication process, and whether they constitute a violation of Articles 6 and 13, respectively, of the European Convention of Human Rights.
Open Data against abuse and corruption using public money. Ten regional organizations met in Tirana on 28-29 July at a workshop organized by AIS: Civil Monitoring of Public Procurement. The participants analyzed how transparent the data from different phases of public contracting are and presented some CSO initiatives for citizens’ monitoring of public procurement in Albania, BiH, Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro, Rumania, and Serbia. Considering Public Contracts as the number one risk of corruption, representatives of ACER/SELDI, Alternativa, Riinvest, TI for BiH, Initiativa Romania, Open Data Kosovo, Metamorfoza, ANTTARC, KDI, and AIS emphasized the need for applying Open Contracting Standards in the Region. There was also a presentation of Open Contracting Partnership as an effort for Brighter Government Deal-making: save money and time, improve service delivery, boost integrity, and create a fair business environment. The presentations of the workshop are all published on AIS website.
Albanian Institute of Science
Rruga “Asim Vokshi”
Nr 13 /25, Kati 3