AIS’ concerns about the Project Law on Amendments to the Public Procurement Law, noting inconsistencies with the SAA and potential risk of corruption.

Dear Friends, 

On February 8, 2024, the Parliament will vote on a Project Law on Amendments to the Public Procurement Law No. 162/2020 during a plenary session.

Being familiar with the project of the law, currently under review in the Parliamentary Committees this week, AIS expresses strong concern regarding two aspects of the project legislation:

Please find attached the letter from the AIS Organization addressed to the Parliament (and respective committees).

Opposure. Draft Law on Amendments to the Public Procurement Law

  1. Article 48, point 2, makes the law highly susceptible to corruption and introduces the potential for contracts with a risk of abuse. Consequently, this article contradicts the Stabilization Association Agreement, specifically Article 74.
  1. The Project Law, initiated by the Albanian Government, envisions interventions for an Integrated Electronic System for Public Procurement. However, the accompanying Explanatory Report to the Project Law has not anticipated the financial costs of the intervention. The Parliament cannot approve a law without accurate financial forecasts from the Government (Ministry of Finance).

Therefore, AIS has submitted a written request to the Parliament, urging the removal of Article 48, point 2, from the Project Law. According to our analysis for corruption-proofing of legislation, this article poses a high risk.

Content of Article 48, Transitional Provisions, point 2: Within a period of 3 years from the entry into force of this law, the Council of Ministers may authorize state/public administration institutions at the central level to negotiate and conclude international consultancy agreements within the scope of their competence, pertaining to areas of strategic interest, including the application of artificial intelligence, cyber security, critical infrastructure, and the fight against organized crime and corruption.

Additionally, this Project Law should not proceed to the Plenary Session on February 8 without being accompanied by a detailed Explanatory Report from the Ministry of Finance regarding financial costs. Furthermore, a thorough examination of the issues conflicting with the SAA should be conducted in advance.

It is recommended to the Parliament that, prior the Final Review during the Session, it initiates and seeks a Consultative Meeting with organizations serving as Business Associations, as well as those engaged in the areas of the Rule of Law, European Integration, and Transparency.

The AIS organization, known as Open Data Albania, has previously participated in the Public Consultation process of the Albanian Government for this Project Law (June-September 2023). LINK


Best regards,

Aranita BRAHAJ

Director of AIS / Open Data Albania

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


The Money and Power Database enables the public control-verification of the phenomenon of nepotism.

Media reports that such phenomenon affects 70% of Senior Officials

Brahaj: The appointment of family members risks escalating into Structured Corruption

The Inside Story Program by journalist Luljeta PROGNI brought an Investigation Report during the month of November, with evidence on concrete cases of employment of politicians’ family members in State Institutions.

The report entitled “Political offsprings, coveted institutions transformed into nurseries of nepotism” provided evidence extracted from AIS Money and Power database to illustrate Ministers, MPs, Mayors having more than one family member employed in public administration as in Ministries, Independent Institutions, Publicly Owned Companies (SOCs), and Local Government Units.

Inside Story November 2023

Analyzing the data from the asset declarations of 50 MPs, the program found that all of the MPs (subject to analysis) had close family members working in the Public Administration, with none of them standing apart in this regard.

Inside Story

Inside Story is a series of investigative documentaries aimed at transparency and identifying mistakes in governance.

The documentary and journalist Progni revealed that “…the road paved for high positions for the heirs of politicians is not only a phenomenon of the totalitarian regime, but often a project adapted to the rules of the game after the 90s.” The documentary features Politicians and officials, biological heirs of important people with “ready-made paths and no public merits”.

Evidence Based Approach and databases owned by AIS. The Money and Power database was created as an instrument that guarantees public scrutiny of the integrity and interests of high officials. This enables public control of cases of Conflict of Interest, Nepotism, Economic and Family Interests of Politicians. The database enables the public to access asset declaration and encourages investigative journalism to create evidence-based reports on cases of abuse, conflict of interest or nepotism. The documents and information of this database contain consistent and online data for more than 1500 subjects from 2003 when the Albanian Law forced its officials to declare.

Inside Story also interviewed the director of the program, Aranita Brahaj, providing thus an opportunity to emphasize some serious consequences of nepotism and favoritism. Thus, favoritism-based appointments have also affected the promotions made by the Parliament in Independent and Constitutional Institutions, where the ones promoted are always the politicians themselves, former MPs or people close to them. Besides, family appointments in political administration have also created ground and cases where the parties in close relation with each other create a structured corrupt circle.


Aranita Brahaj, Project Director: It is like a chain: Those promoted to the Central Election Commission become candidates for the People’s Advocate, from the High Court to the High State Audit, and from there to the Central Bank or Financial Monitoring Institutions. MPs going to the Bank’s Board. What do you expect? If you start to make the chain of names, you realize that the ones who dare to run for office or promotion are only “those” with political connections.

Aranita Brahaj, Project Director: – We see that nepotism results not only in discrimination, inequality, missed opportunities, wrong quality in public administration, but also in some of the most serious consequences, i.e. structured corruption groups.

Money and Power is part of the activities of the Open Data Access and Transparency program in sectors exposed to the risk of corruption, activities for which funding is closed in February 2024.

CEPI project with Transparency International, Workshop with journalists and activists, Monitoring of public sector databases and use of evidence based practices to accountability

The organization AIS, otherwise known as Open Data Albania, organized a workshop with journalists and activists on the topic of Monitoring Public Sectors, Databases and guaranteeing Accountability through Evidence based practices.

This event was held as part of the EU 4 Rule of Law Project: Civic Engagement for Public Integrity in the Western Balkans and Turkey, a project led by Transparency International, in collaboration with local partners and organizations. The Project is Funded by the European Union.

See the agenda HERE

Albanian journalists and activists worked in the workshop to increase their knowledge on issues related to anti-corruption, evidence based practices as a basis for accountability and the use of databases and other tools for monitoring the public sector. An important moment of the workshop is also the work to create a Registry of High Level Corruption Cases, as seen by Journalists. Below you can find photos and videos from the Workshop  



Presentation Open Corporates Albania

Presentation Money and Power Asset Declaration

Presentation Open Procurement Albania

Presentation Open Spending Data

Activism and Civil Society for Drafting, Consultation and Implementation of the State Budget in Parliament

The organization AIS/Open Data Albania organized, on October 23rd, in the city of Lezhe, a training with activists, journalists and representatives of non-governmental organizations. The subject of the training “Activism and Civil Society for Drafting, Consultation and Implementation of the State Budget in Parliament”.

The event was held within the framework of the Project “Increasing the Parliament’s Responsiveness to Citizens’ Concerns”, supported by the British Embassy in Tirana and implemented by a consortium led by IDM in partnership with AIS and Citizens Channel.

The objective of the Training was to raise the capacities of CSOs, activists and the media to contribute to the State Budget Planning, as well as Policies of Distribution and Expenditure of Public Money.

This training cycle will also be held in the municipalities of Lezhë, Diber, Shkodër, Kamëz, Tiranë and Malësi e Madhe, targeting representatives from Civil Society; Activists and Local Journalists.



The training aims to strengthen comprehension and monitoring skills in regards to the Drafting, Approval and Reporting Process of the State Budget in the Parliament, as well as raise responsiveness and participation capabilities during the phases of Planning and Approval of the State Budget and policies concerning Public Finances. Another aims of the training is to inform about the existing legal instruments who allow for participation, proposals or hearings in the Parliamentary Committees.

See the agenda in Albanian HERE

See the agenda in English HERE

Activists from the Lezha district, apart from gaining insight from the lectures and the training curriculum, worked on practical cases, to help them gain a better response faculty regarding the budgeting and distribution of Public Money. The area of Education and its budgeting  was one of the moments that aroused the most interest among the participants, emphasizing that the region faces two types of difficulties. The urban area faces limited capacities in public schools, overcrowded classes, lessons in shifts and a limited number of teachers. Meanwhile, in rural areas, schools operate with a very limited number of students, endangering the very existence of classes and schools and adversely affecting the education and life of the respective residents.



The event also highlighted the need for more support and more dignity for parents of children with specific needs and better management of social protection.

This project aims to strengthen the Parliament’s efforts to foster an enabling environment for the inherent engagement of citizens in policy making and legislative processes in the country, as a means of promoting public interest and building trust in the institution.



Public Procurement in Albania – Matters of Practice and Legislation

Presentation by: Aranita BRAHAJ, Executive Project Coordinator

Viktor GUMI, AIS’s Legal Expert

October 19th, 2023, h.13.00.

AIS’s commitment towards Transparency, as well as Improving Accountability and Dialogue within the Cluster 1 negotiation framework.

AIS is a local organization founded in 2011, best known as the promoter of Open Data Albania, working on Transparency, Accountability and Good Governance.

SIDA Support and Partnership. For the March 2021 – February 2024 period AIS is implementing the “Open Data Access and Transparency over Sectors exposed to Risk of Corruption” project. Supported by the Swedish International and Development Cooperation Agency, SIDA.

Focus: Open Data, Evidence Based Approach and Anti-Corruption.

AIS has contributed to fostering dialogue for better public policies through Research Articles; Publications, Litigation and drafting of Policy and Position Papers.

AIS is working with young people through its OpenDataFellowship Youth Network on educating, capacity building, as well as internshiping the fellows on articulation and public debate based in facts and data.

AIS is part of a Consortium of 4 Local NGO-s, aiming to Improve Policy Debate and Accountability in the Fulfillment of the First Group of Negotiating Chapters Cluster One, C1-EU-NPA.

AIS and IDM are local partners with Transparency International in the implementation of the Project “EU4Rule of Law: Citizens Engagement for Public Integrity (CEPI) in the Western Balkans and Turkey”.

Download document here.

AIS has built digital databases, based on the Open Data Standards, which have enabled the empowerment of public actors, through easy access to information and facilitation on the monitoring of the public sector (expenditures, procurements, contracting, asset declaration).

Open Procurement Albania.

For each tender we create a Passport containing information on the tendering procedure, by the first notification till at the Budget payment. The passport lists all the Tender Documents (the institutions stop publishing/advertising the relevant tender documents after the finalisation of the tendering).

The information, distributed by institutions is closed formats pdf, not consistent in time and not integrated or comprehensible to third parties.

The AIS team collects and gather all documents, data and information regarding a Tender and creates the integrated tender PASSPORT according to the Open Contracting Standard.


In the end, an algorithm for risk assessment makes it possible to mark with a Red Flag tenders displayingrisk of potential irregularities. The algorithm assesses only the variables of Competition and Competitiveness. Models: Instruments and Principles of Open Contracting Partnership; Risk Assessment Tools from Transparency International.

What have we found

Disclosed Data and RedFlag Assessment prompt media investigations; public debates; audits of the Supreme State Control, in some cases even Criminal Complaints in SPAK are based on Open Procurement Albania evidence.

15 to 35% of Tender procedures are RedFlaged, marked for displaying concerning competition and potential clientelism. Municipality tenders score 15% Redfleg procedures, while the Health Sector 30%.

Concentration of Tenders in the hands of Select few Competitors. Absence of foreign companies: 42% of the value tendered in the frame of the State Reconstruction Program was awarded to only 15 local companies.

Businesses Companies allegedly involved in money laundering of organized crime, were given the status of Public Contractor in tenders. (SPAK has started several investigations, complaints have been filed by MPs and the Opposition and evidence can be accessed via the OpenProcurementAlbania Database).

Special laws for certain programs and natural disaster situations have created room for Clientelism.

In 2021, around 28% of the tendered value was tendered through the Restricted Procedure, as established through the Special Law.

Debate and Accountability on Fulfillment of the First Group of Negotiating Chapters Criteria, chapter on Public Procurement

  • Policy Paper, February 2022

Public Procurement Albania through the lens of European Integration. Author V. Gumi

Debate and Accountability on the Fulfillment of First Group of Negotiating Chapters Public Procurement Chapter Criteria

  • Policy Paper, February 2023

Integrity Control of Public Contractors. EU Practice and Contracting in the Albanian Context – The document was drafted by AIS, in collaboration with renown expert Eduard Halimi.

Comments/Recommendations in the framework of the Public Consultation Process regarding the Draft Law presenting Amendments to Law 162/2020.

The organization AIS, promoter of Open Data Albania, engaged in monitoring and identifying issues related to the Public Procurement, comments and recommendations regarding the draft law “On several additions and amendments to law no. 162, dated 23.12.2020 on Public Procurement”, that is currently in the Public Consultation Process and was presented by the Albanian Government in June-July 2023.