Case Study – Public Procurement Big Contracting

Another activity of our project Improve Integrity of Public Contractors was the preparation of two case studies for two large public contracts and procurements. The object of the first one is the Concessionary Agreement for the financing, design, renovation, supply, reorganization, and functioning of the PPP concessionary for providing laboratory services to hospitals, regional and municipal ones. The second case study refers to the procedure for Buying uniforms for the State Police for several years.

The first procedure is a procedure conducted in 2017 and finalized with a contract being awarded only in 2019. The selection was done through an open tender and a consortium of several companies was selected as the winner, [1]with these companies established a concessionary company later[2]. The procedure was followed by a wide debate about the selection of the winning operator, as one of the companies of the winning consortium was registered in a country under the shell regime. The local authorities did not demonstrate any efforts to make any verifications of the integrity of this company or to check for potential conflicts of interest of its owner(s).

The case study developed as part of the project identified some wrong procedures that had already been opposed by the Government-contracted Consultant. Upon review of this case study, it was found that:

1) The Contracting Authority – the Ministry of Health, did not meet one of the essential conditions provided by the Law and Regulations on concessions/PPPs, namely: The legal obligation of comparing the PPP Model with the Public procurement to prove the cost effectiveness of the PPP project compared to the Public procurement, which would allow for the development of this Project;

2) The Contracting Authority has not published any reference for the financial analysis based on technical, quantitative, or statistical elements for the laboratory services as the basis for calculating the value of the Project in the amount of 13,005,966,000 lekë, without VAT;

3) The Implementation of the Laboratory Project for almost the entire Territory of the Republic of Albania carries an edit risk for the Public party because, in case of failure, this could lead to a collapse of the Public laboratory system, which would be a health catastrophe;

4) The Contracting Authority has failed to deliver on its commitment to reduce the social impact of the project.

5) The Winner of the Project is selected in contradiction with the legal framework on concession/PPPs, the criteria published by The Contracting Authority, and without taking into consideration the Opinion of the IFC international expert;

6) The contract does not provide for one of the main insurances for projects of this nature, such as “Insurance of Professional Liability”.


Please find the Study Case here: Sq and En

The case of central purchases represents the highest value tender held so far by the Central Purchasing Authority. This tender is held on behalf of the State Police Directorate. The procedure selected for contracting, in this case, is a particular procedure rarely used, given its limits regarding the high monetary values. What is interesting is that this tender is being held at the same time the project is implemented. This case was selected given the problems already evident with the type of procedure followed[3], already excluding interested operators from competing by selecting them through the limited procedure

Please find the Study Case Here.

[1] http://openprocurement.al/sq/hconcession/view/id/6

[2] http://opencorporates.al/sq/nuis/L91923002T

[3] http://openprocurement.al/sq/agency/view/id/344

AIS Recommendations for interventions related to the Public Procurement Sector

AIS has carried out several activities under the Improvement of the Integrity of Public Contractors Project, aiming at creating an impact through two components of the project: i. strengthening civic actors, media, and non-governmental organizations ii. Public pressure for improving Public Procurement legislation and practice in the country

Regarding the second component, AIS became officially part of the working table with the Albanian Government in drafting the new Public Procurement Law. Our organization presented its findings and proposals regarding problems of legislation on public procurement, and mainly the integrity of public contractors at this working table (government; agencies; parliament; international assistance bodies). Also, AIS has proposed that the Government should develop a public procurement strategy, and is already working on proposing the priorities that such strategy should have, such as improved digitalization of e-Procurement and the practices of scanning competitors through shortlisting in the process of public procurement.

Some of AIS Recommendations for interventions related to the public procurement sector you can find HERE

Transparency, Monitoring and Evaluation of Procurement of Central Purchasing Agency

The project entitled “Transparency, Monitoring and Evaluation of Procurement of Central Purchasing Agency” aims at disclosing data regarding procurement and contracts signed by this newly established agency. For that, a data catalogue shall be developed containing data concerning all the tenders carried out by the Central Purchasing Agency (CPA) for its two first years. Transparency, Monitoring, and Evaluation shall be done using Open Contracting Standards, which are not currently used by the Government Procurement System in Albania. A well-structured database to evaluate performance and identify risk of corruption shall be created, containing data that are easy to find and use regarding CPA tenders for 2018-2019. Every procurement shall be automatically scanned for risk of corruption, and identified by RedFlag markers.

Evaluation: Activities and Objectives are relevant to the anti-corruption strategy. The project delivers results for two years of CPA public tender, evaluates its performance, quality of tenders, measures integrity and efficiency indicators. This project strengthens the culture of monitoring and evaluation, and identifies potential risk of problems with the quality of competition.

Beneficiaries: citizens, media, actors engaged in anti-corruption, non-public sector (accountability) and the public sector (good governance). 

Project Justification:

Council of Ministers Decision No.81/2018 led to the establishment of a Central Purchasing Agency in line with the objectives of the Anti-Corruption Strategy, responsible for procurement on behalf of ministries, agencies, and executive authorities. There is a need to monitor and evaluate its performance for the first months, especially before and during the 2019 elections, with a view to identifying potential risk of public contracts being used for electoral influence.

Open Government against Corruption – Open Gov for Good Governance

The Project Open Government against Corruption – Open Gov for Good Governance aims at implementing an activity on citizens’ participation in the process of ensuring information, control, and monitoring of local government spending and budgets. Another objective of the project is also to enhance the capacity of journalists, municipality councillors, and officials in using ICT instruments for transparency and accountability. The project is being implemented in three municipalities of Elbasan region, Cërrik, Belsh Përrenjas Availability of information instruments and enhanced capacities of the main stakeholders contributes to increasing citizens’ participation in decision-making, and makes institutions more accountable.

Visualizations and linked data on spending and budgets of each of the three municipalities shall be created and be made accessible through applications in the Open Government against Corruption Project. Thus, the intention is to create an application called “How does the Municipality spend my money”, of one stop integrate data source categories for expenditures on public works; expenditures on public services; expenditures on the municipality staff; clients contracted by the municipality; incomes from the use of Municipality-owned territories. The data include details like time, descriptions, beneficiaries, and descriptions of expenditures following the Open Data Principles.

The “Open Government against Corruption – Open Gov for Good Governance” project is supported by the “Anticorruption and Capacity Development” sub-grant fund within the EU-funded CIVILISC project, implemented by IDM in partnership with the RiskMonitor Foundation, Bulgaria

Open Local Government Procurement and Red Flag Index

This project is opening data for each procedure of public procurement of the 61 municipalities for their two first years, i.e. 2015 – 2017. The OpenLGP Program created a database with data pertaining to public procurement and public contracts of the municipalities (from July 2015 onwards). The database became applicable through a web platform with an open data format and search and selection filters that enable a listing and reuse of information by municipality, date, type of procurement, value of offers, and selected contractor. This platform became accessible for the public in February 2016, and since then, it has served as a reference point for qualitative and quantitative use by citizens, journalists, stakeholders involved in transparency and engaged in evaluating the performance of the municipalities. The ongoing project will also create some options for an indexing of the municipalities based on the level of exposure of their procurement process to phenomena like abuse, lack of competitiveness, lack of competition, interventions in the competition, or indications of clientelism. The problematic tenders will be marked by a red flag [1]. The database is being updated on daily basis, giving thus opportunities for monitoring, watch dog activity, evaluation and citizens’ reaction in real time.

The aim of the project and its activities is openness, publication, provision of access to, and friendly and analytical use of all data related with public procurement and public contracts of Local Government. Eventually, this is all about creating and applying some instruments for purposes of information, transparency, and watch dog processes.

Open Procurement contains information about the announcements for tenders, technical criteria, fund limits, deadlines for application, types of contracts, types of procedures, offers, complaints, cancellations, number of participants in a tender, and winners. Procurement is finalized when a contract is signed. This is where the structuring of the data begins, which corresponds with Open Contracting.

Open Contracting contains information about the date when contracts are signed, contracting parties, contract value, technical criteria, and object of contracts, contract terms, and payments emerging from the contract.

[1]Red Flag is a fact, event, or set of circumstances, or other information that may indicate a potential legal compliance concern for illegal or unethical business conduct, particularly with regard to corrupt practices and non-compliance with anti-corruption laws.

Open Procurement in the Media

Public Health Sector Procurements

The Public Health Sector Procurements Project has enabled the creation, promotion, and use of a well-structured database, which serves as an instrument (tool) for transparency, information, citizens’ monitoring about procurement processes of the Public Health Sector for 2016. The database contains well-structured data, updated in real time[1] and filters for ensuring user friendly information. It serves as an instrument for anti-corruption. Fact-based journalism and fact-base public debate is the final purpose of the creation of the well-structured database. It provides exhaustive information about every public procurement process in the health sector, and every public health policy-making and service institution, including the Institute for Health Insurance as an institution responsible for the obligatory public insurance scheme. Procurement processes of all kinds and values shall be controllable by the public in real time and in compliance with open contracting data standard

The objective of this project is to establish a platform that makes the public tenders and procurement contracts of the public health sector (institutions) open and easily monitor-able by citizens. The platform allows the citizens to observe which high-value services, works, or public purchases are being contracted, as well as monitor aggregated amounts of money allocated to public health programs. These data are interlinked with the Open Corporate Albania, creating a complete profile for each company that serves as an online Corporate Passport. The proposed platform and the dissemination activities around it shed the missing light on the procurement procedures and tenders, which are directly related to the citizens’ quality of life and health services for citizens.

Donator :  US Embassy through the Democracy Commission Small Grants Program

[1] Open tender, calls for proposals, direct negotiations, public-private partnership procurement, consultations, and auctions for the period 1 January – 30 December 2016


Electoral Room for Electoral Reform – a lobbying project, an initiative of the civil society

AIS is now engaged in a new lobbying project in favor of as fair Electoral Code as possible. The name of the project is ‘The Electoral Room for Reform’, and it is an initiative of five organizations, supported by the Open Society Foundation for Albania OSFA.

Money Government & Politics

Money, Government and Politics project and its activities address issues of abuse, corruption, and conflict of interest in the context of governance and politics in Albania. The program opens up and well-structures data about the wealth of high state officials, and expenditures of state institutions, concessionary corporates, and electoral spending.This process enables to track cases of nepotism, embezzlement, and conflict of interest. Access to such data increases transparency, accountability and public pressure in cases of favoritism, and embezzlement of public funds or assets.

Spending Transparency for Municipalities

Open Governance – Good Governance

USAID/Albania and PLGP, in collaboration with the Albanian Institute of Science (AIS), has launched an “Open Governance as Good Governance” initiative. This initiative will draw upon the AIS project experience to make model municipalities’ budgets more transparent by publishing municipal finance information using an Open Data format.


Get Online Week 2016

Get Empowered, Get employed

The European Get Online Week is an annual digital empowerment campaign that engages and empowers people to use technology and the Internet with confidence and skills that allow them to benefit of the world of online opportunities. The campaign is organized each year in March by Telecentre-Europe.