7 January 2020, Top Story Media Programme: 1 in 3 tenders with no fair competition. Open data promote investigative journalism and enable reporting of corruption over Albanian taxpayers’ money

On January 7th, Top Story, an investigative show, reported on forms of fraud with public procurement tenders in the country. Journalist Entela Bajramaj and the national Top Channel TV team introduced shocking facts on Top Story, such as one in every three tenders being conducted without fair competition. 300 million Euros of taxpayers’ money seem to be lost every year due to abuse with, and misappropriation of, clientelist tenders.

 

 

 

 

 

 

AIS, the organization promoting open data in Albania contributed to this courageous television investigation through data released from three important open data databases. Namely:

• Data concerning tenders and contracts with competition issues published on Open Procurement Albania portal

• data concerning clientelist companies published on Open Corporate Albania

• and data concerning payments from the state budget published on Spending Data Albania.

In addition to open data released from our databases, including clear and denouncing arguments, contribution to this programme was also made by Director Aranita Brahaj, who elaborated on the shortcomings of tender procedures.

Corruption is one of the most problematic issues for the country. Justice institutions or anticorruption mechanisms in the country are weak to non-existent. Nevertheless, media and watchdog organisations continue to report facts and contribute against abuse with public money. For four years, AIS has been publishing data and assessing risk of tender irregularities, known as Procurement RedFlag, providing information and identifying issues with every tender conducted by municipalities, the Albanian Development Fund, the Albanian Road Authority, the health sector, and public-owned companies.
Top Story program and Promo are available on YouTube channel

Albania 1 Euro – The Government rented eight state properties for 916 new jobs

The Albanian Government has signed eight contracts in 2019 for economic subjects that have obtained actual rights over state property against a symbolic price of 1 Euro. The Albania 1-Euro programme aims to give potential employers state property to use aiming at increasing private investments and the number of employees. In 2019, six businesses and a non-profit organization have benefited from this programme. Only one of the contractors is a foreign investor. Properties granted for use in 2019 for 1 euro only for up to 60 years are mainly industrial objects and military objects. In total, the Government has granted 537 503 square meters of total surface for 916 new jobs, without any contractual requirements for the people to be Albanian citizens. The investor, who has obtained the largest area is the Albanian company Blu Imperial . More jobs in exchange for the Albania 1 Euro project are expected to be created by the Korean company Yura Co.Ltd , which will open a plant for electric parts for cars. Its investment is estimated to be 6.5 million Euros and expected to create 516 jobs. Open Corporates Albania has prepared transparent passports for the business companies that have won rental contracts for only 1 euro for state property.

Access to Information on Justice, and the integrity and promotion of individuals in the justice system

Data and documents on the justice system after the Reform. Additional access to information on the new justice institutions and individuals being promoted to the system. The new Access to Justice Info database aims at enhancing the integrity of processes and institutions through a data mine and information made available to the public and journalists. All laws, decisions, acts, strategies, reports and conclusions of external monitoring conclusions are published according to the institutions of aksesdrejtesi.al. Similarly, the website contains also a profile for every prosecutor , judge or member of the new justice institutions. The profile aims to provide easy to find documents on the education, professional experience, qualifications, promotion, vetting, self-declarations, and any other documents linked to new individuals in the system. This site is a data mine, which enables also a summary of media articles on the reform.

Open Contracting for Tenders by Albanian Road Authority – Transparency and Risk Assessment of Abuse

Tenders and Contracts awarded by the Albanian Road Authority are now accessible by Open Contracting standards. Following tenders for municipalities, public-owned business companies, health, the Albanian Road Fund and Central Purchasing Agency, the non-profit organization AIS is also ensuring transparency over tender stages and contracts awarded by this key contractor authority in the country. The Albanian Road Authority is the central institution planning contracts for national road infrastructure. The database and the algorithm for corruption risk show that 40 out of 100 tenders 40 are marked by a redflag indicating potential for inequality in the race. Open Contracting – The Albanian Road Authority is one of the activities of the “Improvement of the Integrity of Public Contractors” Project , supported by the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. The Ambassador of the Netherlands to Tirana, Mrs. Guusje Korthals Altes, was also present at the presentation of the database to a group of investigative journalists.

Participants in the Event:

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  • 31 Participants
  • 21 Journalists
  • 24 women and 7 men
  • 10 Audio Visual Media Journalists
  • 8 Print Media Journalists
  • 3 MFE Press Office Journalists

Agenda : Here