Spending Data Albania – sheds light on cases of conflict of interest.

For the last nine months, Project “Spending Data Albania” has published every transaction involving payment of public money to beneficiaries and clients of the state institutions. Such information helps Albanian citizens learn how their money and public assets are being spent. At the same time, individuals may know clients who provide paid services to the state institutions, and from time to time see whether there is any nepotism or conflict of interest involved in such arrangements.

Thus, representatives of the opposition, as well as some representatives of the media, have identified a case in the data published by Spending Data Albania regarding the Treasure Transactions which raises obvious suspicions about unlawfulness and conflict of interest. One of the private companies founded and owned earlier by the Socialist Member of Parliament Koço Kokëdhima seems to have benefited from contracts with a large number of state institutions, while the MP was at the same time the shareholder and owner of Abissnet.

The Treasure Transactions application tables were published on newspapers’ front pages, and the former Chair of the largest opposition party in the country, Mr. Sali Berisha, has announced on social networks that such facts will be used to ask the Constitutional Court to revoke the mandate of MP Kokëdhima based on Article 70, point 3 and 4 of the Constitution. In a similar case in 2009, another MP lost his mandate by a decision of the Constitutional Court.

First Page Tema Conflict of Interest RD First Page Conflict of Interest Shqiptarja.com First Page

The Supreme State Audit and the Albanian Institute of Science signed a cooperation agreement

The Supreme State Audit and the Albanian Institute of Sciences (AIS), engaged through a cooperative agreement for the exchange of data between institutions. The agreement was signed by the chairman of SSA, Bujar Leskaj and the executive director of the Albanian Institute of Science, Aranita Brahaj.

Pursuant to this agreement, SSA will engage in exchanging data of mutual interest, opening a window of communication with the public in order to increase transparency and modernize the institution.
Through this cooperation, it will be created the possibility of using various data published by Open Data Albania which is a serious project appreciated from both within and outside the country for the quality of data and analysis that it prepares and publishes.
Through the implementation of this agreement, SSA is fulfilling the tasks for capacity building and enhancing professional standards in auditing, through training, workshops and other joint activities with the aim to modernize the institution and strengthening the fight against corruption.
Brahaj, in turn, praised the cooperation and new approach of SSA to Civil Society, noting that this cooperation through the exchange of data will generate new ideas and will help in finding defects, improving the fight against corruption. Both sides expressed the determination to implement this agreement and the belief that a sincere cooperation between public authorities and civil society will give concrete results in increased transparency, improved economic analysis by using data on socio-economic indicators in Albania, aiming of improvement of governance.

Open Government Data on the Web: A Semantic Approach

Julia Hoxha
Institute of Applied Informatics and Formal Description Methods (AIFB)
Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, Germany
Julia.Hoxha@kit.edu
Armand Brahaj
FIZ Karlsruhe – Leibniz Institute for Information Infrastructure, Germany
Armand.Brahaj@fiz-karlsruhe.de

Initiatives of making government data open are continuously gaining interest recently. While this presents immense benefits for increasing transparency, the problem is that the data are frequently offered in heterogeneous formats, missing clear semantics that clarify what the data describe. The data are displayed in ways, which are not always clearly understandable to a broad range of user communities that need to make informed decisions. We address these problems and propose an overall approach, in which raw statistical data independently gathered from the different government institutions are formally and semantically represented, based on an ontology that we present in this paper. We further introduce the approach deployed in publishing these data in alignment with Linked Data principles, as well as present the methods implemented to query single or combined dataset and visualize the results in understandable ways. The introduced approach enables data integration, leading to vast opportunities for information exchange, analysis on combined datasets, simplicity to create mashups, and exploration of innovative ways to use these data creatively.

Link to publication:

[JHoxha_ABrahaj] OpenGovernmentDataontheWeb-ASemanticApproach

Utilization Cases of Open Data Albania

Julia Hoxha` and Aranita Brahaj*

`Institute of Applied Informatics and Formal Description Methods,
Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, Karlsruhe, Germany
julia.hoxha@kit.edu

 *Albanian Institute of Science, Tirana, Albania
aranita.brahaj@ais.al

 http://www.ais.al  

In this paper, we describe Open Data Albania (ODA) project and concrete cases of open data utilization. ODA aims at providing open datasets of valuable information which can be structured, analyzed and presented in different forms leading to intuitive knowledge representations. Besides the datasets, the project has also produced analytical studies based on the data and insightful visualizations to make the knowledge understandable and easy to utilize by different communities.

The platform where the data is published online is the most prominent one for open data in Albania and very popular between the journalists, who are continuously using data from ODA to provide the public with information on different social-economic aspects. In many cases, the project has been used in direct advocacy initiatives. In this paper, we described a set of cases where the data is utilized by different groups, such as government institutions, NGOs, media, and academia.

To read the paperhttps://www.w3.org/2013/share-psi/wiki/images/6/63/ODA-UtilizationCases-SharePSI-Workshop.pdf