Albania – Citizens’ Access to State Treasury Transactions

In order to increase transparency over the Government data, AIS, the implementer of Open Data Albania Project, has enabled the Albanian public, journalists, scientific researchers, businessmen, and Government’s opponents and opposition, to get informed in real time about every expenditure made by the State Treasury both in the form of transactions and payments.

Such monitoring is done through the Spending Data Albania portal under the Treasury Transactions section. This system, which is open to the public, includes data from the state treasury for 1400 state-budget institutions like ministries, Government agencies, independent institutions, municipalities and communes, and central and regional directorates.

Every such transaction is now online for all those who wish to know how and how much is spent. The application contains data from January 2012 up to date.

People may search the data using the available filters for the following categories:

Data can also be searched through the Expenditure Category. Every transaction contains a description of the order or contracts that enables a payment. Payments made for public works awarded through a tender procedure are also part of the system.

The system also contains a special section on Monitoring Ministries only, as part of the Government Cabinet.

This space for transparency enables the public to lean about expenditures on public interest, cases of abuse and excessive expenditures for specific categories, and cases of nepotism and conflict of interest involving certain clients or beneficiaries.

We would like to thank NED and OSF for financially supporting the work for enabling the online Monitoring of the Treasury Transactions. We would also like to thank the Albanian Government, which since January 2012, in the context of its commitment for Partnership for an Open Government, enables access to payments made by the state institutions through the state treasury. Thus, our country, Albania, becomes part of the countries, where the public has access to the State Treasury Transactions.

We invite the public to widely use these data; the taxpayers may get information about how their money is spent; the media may report on cases of abuse and conflict of interest; and watchdog organizations may use the Treasury Transactions data to promote accountability and exercise public pressure for good governance.

Our new Project: MONEY; GOVERNMENT & POLITICS

In honor of International Anti – Corruption Day, our organization AIS is happy to announce new tools and more released data for more transparency not only about public expenditures. Those data and tools are part of our new project Money, Government and Politics.

This project and its activities intend to address issues of abuse, corruption, and conflict of interest in the context of governance and politics in Albania. The program aims at opening data about the wealth of high state officials; expenditures of state institutions; electoral spending and expenditures of the concessionary companies. Comparison and analysis of such data increases transparency and public pressure in cases of favors in funds or public assets.

The objective of the Money; Government and Politics Project is to expand the Open Data Albania and Spending Data Albania platform by introducing new data that will empower the Albanian public with information and better decision-making skills.

Project time frame: November 2014 – 30 December 2014. Donor: National Endowment for Democracy, and other potential funds to be raised.

DataThon Albania 2014 – Invitation for participation

Activist, Journalist, or Student of Economics; Journalisms and Political Sciences!
The Marathon of Open Data – DataThon Albania is coming.

This year, competition will be based on the data on Budgetary Expenditures. How do the young people analyse the budgetary expenditures of state institutions, which are the most distinct clients that are provided with money buy the state, and while making these payment available, are there identified cases of abuse, nepotisms or conflict of interest situation. Having a better understanding of the delivery of taxpayers money – this is the goal of this marathon in this fourth year of its organization.

Competition is recommended in groups of 2-3 persons. This year, those that will conduct better analysis during DataThon, there will be 2 rewards for them, each of them consisting in a 15 000 Leke.
In order to be inspired on Transparent Expenditures, you may click in advance. Spending Data Albania .

It organised AIS and ODA

All those who would like to participate in this event, may be registered for free in the following liknk, and be provided with a free participation ticket.http://www.eventbrite.com/e/datathon-albania-2014-tickets-1…

This ticket is necessary to be shown upon your presence at Protik on DataThon

TRANSPARENCY OF PUBLIC ASSETS AND MINERALS RESOURCES

Program’s Impact  Open Data / Spending Albania 

Until now, Open Data Albania has been focusing mainly on the transparency of public funds such as the state budget; programs expenses; individual tax distribution etc. Lately, after the publication of several articles with data about the underground wealth on minerals such as oil, copper, chrome, it was made possible to start a public debate and analysis about how these wealth is being managed; how the mineral products are being sold in the international market and whether the revenues generated are being reported correctly. About 40% of the Albanian exports’ value come from selling of oil products and minerals . The exploitation of the minerals and of the oil wells is being done as concessions foreign companies. After selling the product, a part of the income goes to the state budget in the form of mineral rent.

Is Copper being sold under real market value? 

Open Data Albania has published a few days ago some data about the exploration and exports of copper mineral in the country . The data are based on official sources and have been gathered in the framework of the transparency of exploiting national assets. After the publication of the article by the ODA, some media used the data for their journalistic work. After the publication of some facts on the quantities sold and the declared revenues, immediately some experts of the mineral industry reacted elaborating on calculations which clearly demonstrate that the price for sales is a real price for copper. As a result, according to them, the selling of the mineral with lower price brings lower income for the state budget or economic damage for the national finances.

The magazine titled JAVA  has published an article of eng. Qerim Ismeni where he argues that the quantity of copper (the source site of Munella-Puke) sold out of the country contains some minerals and it has a higher value than that of the one declared. Quote:

“…together with the copper there have been exported about 25 thousand tons of zinc and a quantity of gold and silver, cadmium, indium, selenium, tellurium, etc. From this the calculation grows to $900 million rather than $205 million income published by ODA”. The article of eng. Qerim Ismeni for JAVA magazine was published also by two daily newspapers  on the same day, which drew the attention of the public for more transparency in the management of the assets given on concession.

Oil resources and the problem of having high prices for domestic consumers

Another group of articles that have generated public debate over the way how national assets are being managed has to do with indicators of the oil trade and industry. ODA has recently published articles on the quantities produced and sold out of the country . It has also published a comparative article about the retail prices of oil and diesel in the country compared to countries in the region  and in Europe. In the end, this information has encouraged the media to write articles where the abusive management of the only oil processing company in the country is denounced. The ill functioning of the company that processes the domestic oil has brought to the situation where the domestic consumer has to buy imported oil with high costs as in other European countries with higher standard of living and without oil resources.  Article titles such as: Dita; Shekulli ; Shqiptarja ; Opozita ; Illyria  etc, in their front pages were: “Poor in wealth”; “Rich Land of Poor People” . The analysis of the journalists was based fully on the data published by Open Data Albania.

http://open.data.al/en/lajme/lajm/id/975/Eksportet-dhe-Importet-sipas-grupmallrave-1993-2013 

http://open.data.al/en/lajme/lajm/id/1071/Eksplorimi-rezervat-dhe-eksportet-e-bakrit-2005—2013 

http://open.data.al/sq/lajme/lajm/id/1094/Bakri-shqiptar-700-milion-USD-humbje 

http://www.shekulli.com.al/web/p.php?id=48592&kat=103 

http://open.data.al/en/lajme/lajm/id/924/Eksporti-dhe-importi-i-naftes-ne-vend-2005—2013 

http://open.data.al/en/lajme/lajm/id/866/Trendi-rrites-per-Cmimin-e-benzines-kundrejt-atij-te-naftes-ne-Shqiperi-dhe-ne-bote-1998-2012 

http://www.shekulli.com.al/web/p.php?id=38158&kat=89 

http://www.shqiptarja.com/ekonomi/2733/raportishqip-riam–e-pasura-n–eu-p-r-naft-400-mln-ton-rezerv–195282.html

http://open.data.al/sq/lajme/lajm/id/933/Na-duhen-dy-qeveri-me-shume-shqiptare! 

http://illyriapress.com/shumefishohet-eksporti-naftes-bie-importi-karburantit-2005-2013/ 

http://gazetadita.al/11-janar-2014/