Where does taxpayers’ money go? For each municipality or state budget institution in the country, the well-structured database for Treasury Payments enables full transparency for every payment made to clients by the State Treasury. The system contains authentic data obtained from the Ministry of Finances, structuring them in a way that enables search by date of payment, category of expenses, beneficiary, invoice number and description, category, and value. For every municipality, taxpayers and citizens may monitor payments made by the state budget, searching by the paying authority, name of municipality, or budget institution. The data cover a period starting from 2012.
From July 2015, since the creation of the 61 municipalities emerging from the latest territorial and administrative division, until July 2018, municipalities have signed more than 18 thousand contracts buying goods, services, public works, and organizing auctions or Public Private Partnerships (concesionary contracts). A passport is created in the Open Procurement Albania database for each tender accessible to the public in the OpenContracting format. In addition, the database provides well-structured information enabling search for procurement by the procuring authority, winning competitor, type of contract, date of tender announcement, etc. The system includes also an algorithm, where each contract is automatically scanned on the basis of some criteria, and marked by RedFlag when applicable. The redflag algorithm has led to 10% of the total number of municipalities’ tenders marked by red flags, identifying thus the risk of lack of competition, inequality, favoritism, and economic abuse. The database is used in dozens of investigative articles in the Albanian media.
The organization AIS is a promoter of transparency and open data. Databases created and maintained by AIS enable monitoring of public expenditures, public procurement, management of the public assets and distribution of budgets by local government units. July 2018 marks exactly three years from the emersion of the new municipalities resulted from the latest administrative-territorial division. the latest administrative-territorial division. This year could be well considered the electoral year, carrying the 2019 local elections. AIS invites citizens, activists, and journalists to monitor the work and integrity of municipality leaders by using also transparent databases available in the open format opendata, which are easy to find, use, and reuse.