Supporting Public Procurement Best Practice and Instil a Watchdog Culture, Open Contracting in Albania

The Public Procurement sector represents risk number “One” for government corruption, with 30% of public expenditures allocated through tenders. AIS plays a crucial role in advancing Open Tendering Standards and strengthening the Watchdog model. The Open Procurement Database serves as a transparency and accountability instrument in tendering process. Passports containing information on all tendering phases are accessible for the Local Governments LGUHealth sector, Albanian Road Authority ARRSH, Albanian Development Fund and Public Companies. Simultaneously, a risk assessment algorithm and RedFlag marking scan and publish in real-time tenders with problematic competition and bids. Similarly, data on contract concentration in a few businesses or the application of the Limited Procedure in over 25% of annual public tender values are readily available in published articles. AIS has litigated in court against Special Legislation for emergencies in cases of Natural Disasters beyond the deadlines of the State of Emergency. AIS is recently participating in Public Consultation for Legal Changes aimed at sector digitization. Initiated by the Albanian Government in June 2023, the initial draft potentially addressed the necessity for interventions and the assurance of equality and transparency principles. AIS will persist in its participation in the Consultation, now in the parliamentary process of the Law. The ongoing objectives include supporting Best Practices, strengthening the Watchdog Culture in tendering, and promoting Open Contracting Partnership standards and principles.

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Media Businesses – Increased Profits in Election Years. Economic Power of Media Owners, Interests in licensed sectors, and state contracting

Open Data Albania has published an analytical article providing information on annual revenue and profits of Television Media Businesses. The data reveals higher profits and revenues in the electoral year of 2021 compared to preceding or subsequent years. Earlier, ODA released a report on the Economic Power of Audiovisual Media Owners, emphasizing that individual owners in TV companies own 10 to 39 other companies. Their connections and interests revolve around Building Permits, Public Licenses, PPP Concession Contracts, Strategic Investor Status, or Benefits from the Albania 1- Euro Program. Involvement in sectors with significant economic returns, which include licenses, subsidies, permits, or contracts with authorities, exposes the media sector to conflicts of interest and dependency, including political parties, thereby, posing a risk to media freedom and editorial independence. Analytical articles covering the Media Sector, economic power, revenues, profits, and ownership structures are integral components of the project titled “Open Data Project, Access and Transparency over sectors exposed to Risk of Corruption 2021-2023, a project supported financially by the Sweden International Development Cooperation Agency.

Registry of Magistrates – Improve Access and Public Trust in Justice, Integrity after Vetting

The organization AIS presented the project “Access to Justice – Albanian Register of Magistrates” at a regional event in December with a focus on Knowledge and Idea Exchange for Open Governance. Alongside NDI Montenegro, activists and officials gathered in Budva to delve into various models and initiatives related to Open Governance. The Mine of Data, the Registry of Magistrates, showcases Passports containing information and documents for each judge and prosecutor, encompassing even those associated with the new Justice Institutions. Owners of the database have noted a substantial interest from citizens accessing profiles of judges and prosecutors who are involved in investigations related to corrupt activities among high officials, some already under investigation or facing accusation. The Registry of Magistrates is a project activity implemented with the financial support of the Commission for Democracy’s Small Grants Program at the US Embassy in Tirana. The opinions, findings, conclusions, and recommendations expressed in this project are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the State Department. Project activities encompass the creation of a Policy Paper on Legal Regulations and Practices for Access to Information within the new Justice Institutions.

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Conference on Exchanging Knowledge and Ideas for Open and Transparent Governance – AIS presents the Justice Access database as an inspiring model for OGP in the Region

Justice Access – The Magistrates’ Registry is the latest database created by the AIS organization promoting open data for Albania.

The Data Mining Magistrate’s Register is designed to increase access and public trust in the Critical Reform in the Judicial System.

At the invitation of the National Democratic Institute NDI Montenegro, this Civil Society Initiative for Improving Access, Control, and Public Trust in Justice was presented on December 8 at an International Learning Event focusing on the exchange of knowledge and experiences regarding the Open Government Partnership (OGP).

Project Director Aranita Brahaj explained how AIS has contributed by creating this essential instrument to improve public access, control, and trust in the Justice Reform and Justice Institutions, probing into the integrity of Magistrates after the Reform.

The Magistrates’ Registry involves creating a Passport with data and documents for each judge, prosecutor and justice official.

The information provides public access to familiarize themselves with the profile, integrity, career, performance, and aspects of professionalism, ensuring control over the integrity of the Magistrates.

Similarly, profiles have been established for the new institutions of justice, where the catalogue displays all decisions and documents related to the institution and decision-making.

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Every day, citizens click on the Passports of judges and prosecutors investigating corrupt affairs of high-ranking officials already under accusation. Beneficiaries of Enhanced Access to Magistrates’ and Justice Institutions’ Data and Documents include media representatives, justice system employees, academics, organizations, and the general public.

As part of the activities of this project, AIS has prepared a Policy Paper on Legal Regulations and Practices that the new institutions of justice have established regarding access. This policy document reviews current practices and provides conclusions and recommendations for the future.

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The Magistrates’ Registry is an activity of the project with the financial support of the Commission for Democracy’s Small Grants Program in the US Embassy in Tirana. The opinions, findings, conclusions, and recommendations expressed are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect those of the State Department.

Four years after the Earthquake. The government has no concrete results in mitigating its consequences. Problems with the Budget, corrupt tenders and serious cases of abuse

Four years after the Earthquake of November 26, 2019 and its severe Consequences in human life, housing and infrastructure, AIS finds that the State and the Albanian Government cannot make an inventory of where we are in dealing with its consequences and rehabilitation.

November 2023 There is no Clear Report on:

  • the number of families provided with housing through the Reconstruction Program
  • Reconstructed public works,
  • Families treated with individual grants,
  • Progress in reconstruction for these cases or
  • completed public works.

Similarly, AIS/Open Data Albania finds that the Budgetary Discipline for the Financing of this Project is a missing process where no planning, granting, contracting, allocation and implementation data are reconciled.

Neither the Government, nor any of the 11 affected Municipalities guarantee a deadline for the Finalization of the Reconstruction Program after the Consequences of the Earthquake.

AIS, an organization also known as Open Data Albania has carefully monitored and raised awareness about issues with this program. In the same way, it has been litigated against the clientelistic law in violation of the constitutional rights, the special law through which Contractual Businesses were designated in the reconstruction.

4 years after the Earthquake and the announcement of the Program, we are sharing with you some findings and evidence on the mismanagement of the Reconstruction Program, specifically:

  • on February 17, 2020, the Albanian Government presented at the Donors’ Conference in Brussels held by the European Commission, the need for Aid for the Reconstruction Program after the earthquake with a cost of over 1 billion Euros.
  • In this conference, Donors and states, based on financial requests for recovery, promised aid and credit for Albania as a State affected by an Earthquake in the amount of 1.15 billion euros or about 140 billion Lek. See Link
  • In the fourth budget year of this program 2023, AIS/Open Data Albania finds that the State Budget has consolidated until March 2023 only 75 billion lek (16.6 billion in 2022; 29.5 billion in 2021; 28.9 billion in 2022, and only 5 billion Lek in 2023).
  • The absurdity is that in the meantime, through 11 municipalities and the Albanian Development Fund, the Government has announced Public Procurements and Winners for 856 tenders with a total fund limit of 96.65 billion ALL, where 84.69 billion ALL result from contracts.
  • The difference in Reconciliation becomes deeper by analyzing that apart from Public Procurement, the Reconstruction Program has distributed 11.5 billion ALL in individual grants.
  • Individual Grant plus Public Procurement require about 108.15 billion, while the State Budget without detailing the works and objects of this Program gives only 75 billion. Another 7 billion is planned for 2024. A difference still remains and none of the Ministers of Finance who have exercised their duties in this period have made explanations in Parliament for such Budgetary Discrepancies. Link
  • Corrupt Reconstruction Law. AIS has previously asked the Constitutional Court to annul the Normative Act of December 2019 through which the Government decided to make a non-detailed Budget of Investments and Contracts for the Reconstruction program. The law created different procedures from the Public Procurement Legislation and established contracts with Limited Procedures, shortened deadlines and table bidding (outside the electronic tendering system). For AIS, this law limits economic freedoms as constitutional freedoms and makes the process clientelistic.
  • The lawsuit in the Constitutional Court, prepared by AIS, was joined by 28 Opposition MPs, but the Constitutional Court in the period 2021-2022 did not function with a full judicial body. Out of 7 judges, 4 Voted for the repeal of the Corrupt Law. At least 5 judges need to agree for the law to be repealed by the Constitutional Court. Read more Constitutional Control over Corrupt Laws, Vacancies of several years in the Constitutional Court bring Serious Consequences for the Prevention of Corruption by Law – Albanian Institute of Science (
  • On the eve of the 2021 elections, Public Procurement was deepened with limited Problematic Procedures and outside the electronic system, where the emphasis was on Contracting for the Reconstruction Program.
  • Individual Grants for Reconstruction were given through the State Treasury to Individuals who had minor damage to their Homes. Decision-making for distribution and payments through Treasury Transactions were made prominently on election dates, especially in April 2021. AIS informed the CEC about this Misuse of Public Funds during the electoral period. The administrative investigation of the Chairman of the Electoral Commission and KAS did not clearly refer to the need for investigation and punishment for such cases. Read more
  • Among the contracting companies, they managed to penetrate businesses with problems and owned by people announced as internationally wanted for drug trafficking Link

AIS Open Data Albania expresses concern for the lack of seriousness with the financial transparency of the Post-Earthquake Reconstruction Program and the need for a fairer legal regulation for the handling of emergency cases and programs for the implementation of needs after Natural Disasters.

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The database for the Reconstruction Municipality and the Albanian Fund for Development ADF are a product for transparency Created by AIS / Open Data Albania



This paper analyzes the current state in the level of transparency, but also the main challenges and obstacles faced by the HJC, HPC and HIJ regarding the volume of transparency offered by the Register of Magistrates, including the disciplinary proceedings of judges and in general, the public details about the promotion, movement and command or the professional activities of the magistrates. Faced with this diagnosis, AIS has undertaken and developed this paper to analyze the problem and propose relevant solutions. Furthermore, in this context, the implementation of transparency and access to information reforms by the HJC, HPC and HIJ contribute to the regaining of the general lack of trust by the public in judicial institutions, promoting as much as possible a greater proximity between citizens and the justice system. In addition to the legal framework, the paper also briefly analyzes the practical initiatives undertaken by the HJC, HPC and HIJ to increase transparency and accessibility. These initiatives include communication strategies developed by these institutions in order to eliminate gaps in communication with the media and the public. At the end, general conclusions based on the collected information are presented, and concrete 2 recommendations offering solutions in dealing with ongoing challenges are formulated.



Policy Paper


The document was drafted by AIS, with the financial support of the Commission for Democracy’s Small Grants Program in the US Embassy in Tirana. The opinions, findings, conclusions and recommendations expressed are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect those of the State Department

Open Contracting Albania Project – Impact on the Media

During the period of May to November 2023, data and products from the project titled ‘Instil a Watchdog Culture, Open Contracting Albania, and Red Flag Index Project’ have become part of the Information Sessions with Journalists and Media Representatives in the country. Using information and tender passports, journalists have prepared dozens of investigative articles shedding light on irregularities and issues within municipality tenders or Reconstruction Program contracts.

Some of them are listed as follows:

Open Procurement on the Media

May – October 2023

Title: ADF Tender raises red flags. Skan TV

Open Data Albania has raised the red flag regarding the tender that envisages the construction of the embankment of the Shkumbin River, as supportive infrastructure for the Auto-Moto Park in Elbasan. On Monday, the Albanian Development Fund announced the winning company for this procedure with a value exceeding the upper monetary limit, while the ODA system has classified the tender as at risk for corruption or non-compliance with legal procedures.

Title: Public Procurement: 50 Major Companies Receive 55% of Funds

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Title: Centre for Quality Journalism Publishes Problems with Delays and Unjustified Expenses in the Reconstruction of Schools in Tirana

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NewsBomb published: 12 Tenders Annulled Within a Week, Full List of Annulments Published.

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Title: Key Tenders of 2022 Database: Which Companies Have Won Billions

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Title: Mayor Allocates Millions to Business Cleaning Company Silvio, Fiqiri Allmuca the Preferred Choice of the Municipality with 25 Won Tenders.

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Billions ‘Swept Away’ with 24 Tenders of Tirana Municipality. 150 million Lekë for Traffic Light Buttons

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Title: Arrests by SPAK for Tenders, Aranita Brahaj Reveals Procurements with Red Flags: No Halt, Risk of Clientelism

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Investigative Network Albania: Invested 1.2 million Euros, Cameras Meant to Monitor Forests Sold as Scrap

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Portali Bold News: Concession Policy Leads to a Huge Financial Pit.

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Syri Tv, Title: Reconstruction under SPAK: 10 Major Contractors of the Program Implemented by Rama with Corrupt Law

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TV MCN, Fact-Checking Program Publishes Article: 40% of Concession Contracts in Albania Linked to Offshore Companies.

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Gazeta Telegraf: Reconstruction also in SPAK: Companies Established by Former Mayors Linked to MPs and Individuals Convicted for International Trafficking Benefited.

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At the Ais office, weekly briefings and communications with journalists and media representatives are held. These communications allow journalists to acquire the necessary information and updates.

This is in line with journalists’ interest in information regarding contracts, tenders, risk assessment indexes in tendering, etc.

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