The Central Purchasing Agency is a state institution established in 2018 in order to concentrate the purchasing of goods and services for ministries and their subordinate institutions. The Albanian Government created this institution to increase efficiency and to better counter corruption in the use of public money for actual expenses. AIS has established a monitoring and assessment instrument regarding risk of favoritism and clientelism in these tenders. From February 2018 until May 2019, the Agency has procured 293 contracts in total, including 65 that lacked competition. AIS finds delays with the publication of contract signing or lack of publication of documents related with the monitoring of the execution of contracts in its database for transparent procurement. The Agency will continue to be monitored for its two first years of operation.
Tenders without competition, direct negotiations, or tenders with only one economic operator competing, involve a high risk of irregularities and misuse of public contracts and funds. Through its Transparent Procurement Program, AIS has found that 18% of the total number of tenders carried out by municipalities involve at least one risk in this process. The assessment is made using RedFlag algorithm as an anti-corruption instrument. Municipalities and their subordinate institutions announced calls for tenders from January 1st to December 31st 2018 for 5642 contracts that were worth 21.9 billion Albanian lekë. The Redflag assessment system, on the other hand, marked 997 contracts by red flags for this period, i.e. 18% of the total. The Database for Municipality Transparent Procurement offers opportunities to monitor and assess every tender conducted by Municipalities for their first term in office, i.e. 2015-2019.
The TV program “31 Minutes ” is one of the attempts to qualitative journalism. The program is being broadcast for the last few months on the public television thanks to cooperation between the Albanian Radio and Television and the Albanian Center for Quality Journalism. The Albanian Institute of Science AIS joined the program supporters by helping journalists write their articles of an investigative nature. Promoting qualitative journalism based on facts and expertise is one of the most important elements relevant to freedom and quality of journalism in a courageous and independent manner.
The kursori.org Platform was presented in the framework of May the 9th, Europe Day in TiranaThis instrument in the Albanian language is developed as part of a project implemented by ODK and AIS on Open ICT Education for Youth Employability. The project offers free vocational training courses on Information Technology to “Kolin Gjoka” Vocational School in Lezha, “At Shtjefën Gjecovi” High School in Laç, “At Shtjefën Kurti” High School in Gorre, “Arif Halil Sula” High School in Mamurras, Miloti High School and two Universities “Ukshin Hoti” in Prizren, and “Haxhi Zeka” in Peja. ICT skills represent very good opportunities for employment in the European market without having to immigrate. The project is supported by the EU Delegation as a cross-border IPA Project for Albania-Kosovo. The Head of the EU Delegation in Albania, Ambassador Soreca, joint the promotion of the kursori.org and its activities benefitting youth vocational and economic development.
Besjana Hysa, founder and activist of AIS organization promoting Open Data Albania was honoured with the “White Dove” award, a recognition in token of appreciation for figures who have contributed to the best public interest and beyond through courageous civic actions. The motivation for the prize was her unique contribution in enhancing transparency and accountability for public assets through the platform OpenCorporates.Al.
The ceremony took place on 3 April in Tirana.
This prize follows up on the initiative by Partners Albania in collaboration with Partners for Democratic Change in Slovakia seeking to strengthen and improve partnership and co-operation among local NGOs to ensure a most transparent and comprehensive decision-making. Open Corporates Albania is an open-data platform for business companies contracted by Municipalities to execute major public investment and services contracts. The platform helps accountability indicating how public contracts are distributed among various economic operators. Open data are easily accessible, comprehensible and useful in scanning the integrity of private operators executing public contracts.
Albanian Institute of Science
Nr 13 /25, Kati 3