Information Memo on the State of Schools, where the project is being implemented, in Kurbin and Lezha Municipalities, following the earthquake of 26 November 2019

The “Open ICT Education for Youth Employability” Project, Grant Contract no. 2017/394-533 , implemented by ODK and AIS, scheduled to last from 15 January 2018 until 15 February 2020, targets beneficiaries/educational institutions from Kosovo and Albania. More specifically, high schools from Kurbin and Lezha Municipalities are among the targeted beneficiaries.
Following, you may find some information about the damages caused to the project beneficiary schools by the natural disaster, namely the earthquake of 26 November 2019 in this Memo HERE.

The company “Fusha shpk” is awarded a contract for Segment II of Vlora Pedestrian Boulevared, i.e. the segment down to the Tunnel

The company “Fusha shpk” is also awarded another contract for the remaining segment of Vlora Pedestrian Boulevard. The winner is announced last week, while the competition by the Albanian Development Fund was announced in August 2019. The value of the winning bid is 385 173 305 leks. 6 Albanian companies participated in the tender, and the procedure is marked by the Transparent Procurement Sustem by a red flag, finding 3 bidders of lower bids were disqualified.  Check out its passport http://openprocurement.al/sq/albaniandf/view/id/241

Fusha shpk has also won other tenders for reconstruction of bouleevards and pedetsrian sites announced by the Albanian Development Fund:

  1. Remaining part of Vlora Pedestrian Street
  2. Naim Frasheri Pedestrian Street Saranda
  3. Vlora Boulevard reconstruction
  4. Construction of Mac Albania Pedestrian Street in Golem Kavaje
  5. Rehabilitation of green road sides and exit/entry points to inhabited centres on Levan-Kakavija segment
  6. The construction of Saranda Pedestrian Street.

The passport of this company is updated on Open Corporation Albania http://www.opencorporates.al/sq/nipt/j61922018s

The list of contracts list signed with the Albanian Development Fund is published under Open Procurement Albania http://openprocurement.al/sq/albaniandf/list/corporate_id/J61922018S

Asset Declarations of MPs elected in 2019

The Spending Data Albania database, its Money and Power Section is updated with asset decalrations for the MPs elected in 2019. The data has been taken from the official statements made to the High Inspectorate for Declaration of Assets and Control of Conflict of Interest by applying for access to information. They are processed by reformatting their content by better structured categories. This provides easy access to data on real estate, cars, valuable items, liquidity, balance, loans and debts, and incomes from labour, business, third-party payables, heritage, donations, or subsidies. Such categorisation reflects also expected assets related to orders, enterprises, and investment. Those requires to declare their assets are supposed to declare both their personal and family assets. The MPs who received their mandate in 2019 and their assets are as follows:

  1. Andi Permeti http://spending.data.al/sq/moneypower/view/id/1069
  2. Alban Zeneli http://spending.data.al/sq/moneypower/view/id/124
  3. Adriatik Alimadhi http://spending.data.al/sq/moneypower/view/id/1067
  4. Arben Elezi http://spending.data.al/sq/moneypower/view/id/1070
  5. Arlind Cacani http://spending.data.al/sq/moneypower/view/id/1071
  6. Amina Cela (Borova) http://spending.data.al/sq/moneypower/list/pos_id/48/off_id/1068
  7. Elda Hoti http://spending.data.al/sq/moneypower/view/id/1077
  8. Edola Braha http://spending.data.al/sq/moneypower/view/id/1074
  9. Fationa Dhimitri http://spending.data.al/sq/moneypower/view/id/1081
  10. Halil Jakimi http://spending.data.al/sq/moneypower/view/id/1082
  11. Enada Kapllani http://spending.data.al/sq/moneypower/view/id/1078
  12. Ylli Shehu http://spending.data.al/sq/moneypower/view/id/204
  13. Eugen Bojaxhiu http://spending.data.al/sq/moneypower/view/id/1080
  14. Maljlinda Halilaj http://spending.data.al/sq/moneypower/list/pos_id/48/off_id/1085
  15. Ralf Gjoni http://spending.data.al/sq/moneypower/list/pos_id/48/off_id/1088
  16. Enver Roshi http://spending.data.al/sq/moneypower/list/pos_id/48/off_id/1079
  17. Edlira Hyseni http://spending.data.al/sq/moneypower/view/id/1075
  18. Nikolin Staka http://spending.data.al/sq/moneypower/view/id/1086
  19. Korab Lita http://spending.data.al/sq/moneypower/list/pos_id/48/off_id/1083
  20. Nimet Musaj http://spending.data.al/sq/moneypower/view/id/1087
  21. Ligoraq Karamelo http://spending.data.al/sq/moneypower/view/id/1084
  22. Zef Shtjefni http://spending.data.al/sq/moneypower/view/id/1089

You may find other declarations of MPs who have held mandates in the current legislature in the Spendingh Data Albania database, under the Money and Power section, MPs Legislature IX category http://spending.data.al/sq/moneypower/list/pos_id/48

 

7 days after earthquake, donations for Government only 4.2 million Euros

Porta Vendore collects business promises for 61 million euros of donations publicly announced. What is happening to solidarity? Don’t they trust the Government, or do they just promise more than they actually give?

The Ministry of Finances does not welcome requests for transparency and accountability.  Donor conference to be held

The Ministry of Finances has published the sums donated by individuals, subjects and foreign governments via the Ministry’s website as to 3 December Afterwards, the Ministry has not made any updates, and it has removed earlier publications

According to the Ministry of Finances, donations for the Albanian Government up to 3 December through second-level banks, e-Albania, and Bank of Albania (donations from other states) was: 132 912 131 lekë; 2 797 120 Euros (or 344 045 819.04 Lekë), and 310 888 USD (or 34 197 730 Lekë).

In total, 7 days after the earthquake, the Albanian Government received 511 155 680 (five hundred eleven million and one hundred fifty-five thousand and six hundred and eighty) lekë only as donations for its post-earthquake response fund.

Some foundations have demonstrated a lack of trust by not depositing the charity funds they have collected in the State Treasure to be managed by the Government. Similarly, international-renowned Albanian construction businesses or artists have decided to build homes for several families directly.

Journalists Elisa Gjerani and Eljona Ballhysa have made some inquiries into the total amount donated as a sign of solidarity for this natural disaster. The article published with the Porta Vendore shows a total of 61 million Euros, several times higher than 4.2 million Euros collected in Albanian Government accounts until 3 December. Journalists Gjerani and Ballhysa have also calculated the amounts committed by members of the civil society or people like Lazim Destani, Shefqet Kastrati, Behxhet Pacolli, Samir Mane, Salillari, Gener 2, Rinas Airport (https://portavendore.al/2019/12/06/heronjte-e-vullnetarizmit-ne-shqiperine-pas-termetit-qindra-vullnetare-ne-terren-dhe-miliona-euro-te-dhuruara/ )

Meanwhile, the Albanian government’s decision to recognize the donations of Albanian companies as amounts to be deducted for tax purposes does not clearly specify whether this applies to in kind natural donations.

AIS addressed the Ministry of Finance and the Treasury Directorate (see Here) asking for transparency over the list of donors and respective donations. After that request, not only has the Ministry of Finances not published any transparent lists, but it has also stopped updating its online information every 24 hours, underestimating the principle of transparency and accountability for the entrusted donations.

Municipality tenders, Water Supply Programs

From October 1st to today, municipalities have announced 4 tenders worth over 400 million leks. Two of them are tenders for Public Work, one is for cleaning service, and another one for purchasing security services for schools and institutions (cameras).

They also include two tenders for Belsh and Lac water supply utilities, with fund limits of 408 million and 416.6 million leke. List http://prokurimetransparente.al/sq/tender/list/limit_fond/100%20infinit/from_announcement_date/2019-10-01/to_announcement_date/2019-11-09?

AIS founder and activist wins the price for her unique transparent contribution through Open Corporates Albania.

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.

Top Channel Chronicle for Shell Companies

Journalist: A significant part of the high value and long-term concessionary agreements in our country are awarded to shell companies, whose shareholders are not known, and which are registred in countries like the Netherlands.

Aranita Brahaj: If we take a look at only 11 concessionary agreements, which are supported by the state budget, we will see that for maybe 50% of them, we do not know who their owners are, or that their control packages are registered in countries, which allow for shell or off shore companies.

Journalist: According to Mrs. Brahaj, authorities are not willing to check the integrity of foreign companies being awarded huge monetary values through public funds in our country. Such companies, though, must not be allowed to benefit from public money.

Aranita Brahaj: There is probably nothing wrong with accepting such companies exercising commercial activity in Albania, while they preserve the right of not disclosing their owners. Such criterion, however, must cease once they are awarded public contracts.

Journalist: The lack of detailed check of these companies is, in Brahaj’s opinion, also related with the interests f certain parties.

Aranita Brahaj: In some cases, certain companies could also be involved in conflicts of interest, which could also be an indication of state capture, i.e. the Government, through its lack of will or legislative gaps, allows for such practice benefitting certain parties or entities. This has nothing to do with good governance or governance in the public interest. This is governance in the interest of certain parties instead.

Journalist: Actually, the fact is that certain companies, which have no background in certain sectors are awarded public contracts exactly in those sectors.

Youth in Kurbin and Lezhe benefit from cross-border IPA projects for Albania –Kosovo.

  • Youth in Kurbin and Lezhe benefit from cross-border IPA projects for Albania –Kosovo.
  •  Vocational Training on IT, Kurbin ad Lezha get support from EU programmes
  •  Employment without immigration, ICT a potential sector for online jobs

 

Open Data Kosova and AIS donated 18 computers to five schools in Kurbin and Lezha this week.  These computers were made available to the schools as part of the Open ICT Education for Youth Project, a cross-border project funded by EU IPA funds. the beneficiaries in Albania include the vocational public secondary school “Kolin Gjoka” and four public secondary schools in the territory of the municipality of Kurbin, i.e. Laci, Gorre, Milot, and Mamurras schools. Representatives from the management of the education office of Kurbin and the vocational schools of “Kolin Gjoka” in Lezha attended the donation ceremony. The project representatives handing over the donation were Dafina Olluri as the representative of ODK, and Besyana Hysa, representative of  AIS.

 

The project aims at increasing youth vocational skills in Albania and Kosovo in the ICT sector. ODK and AIS have created a platform in the Albanian language, called Kursori. The platform offers free online courses and training for local young people .

 

The technology sector is the biggest employer in the EU and the region. Employment in this sector involves decent salaries and jobs can be done online, with the young people having no need to immigrate. IT knowledge and skills guarantee safe and decent employment. ICT skills are also necessary for professionals in sectors like tourism, services, trade, and industry. The project in Albania focused in Lezha and Kurbin, given the concentration of population   in this area, the need for better use of resources, and the human and natural potential that the area offers. Kurbin and Lezha are two municipalities that, thanks to their geographic position and potential for tourism, offer convincing opportunities for co-operation and exchange with Kosovo. The project aims at enabling 500 young people from these five schools to complete at least one of the online training programmes on the Kursori platform. This empowers them in the labour market. The project shall be completed by March 2020. The students of the beneficiary schools shall be assisted during online training even by technical instructors from the Project. The platform is open to everyone. In addition to training, the young students will also be able to benefit from joint events and exchanges with the computer science students from “Ukshin Hoti” University,  and students from the Business Faculty of “Haxhi Zeka” University in Peja.

Foto Gallery

AIS on the Media: The News Edition on a National TV, Top Channel reported on a Complaint made by AIS against Albania in the European Court of Human Rights.

The News Edition on a National TV, Top Channel, reported on 3 January 2019 on a Complaint made by a Non-Governmental Organization against Albania in the European Court of Human Rights. The Constitutional Court and the High Court in Albania are affected by the Vetting and are therefore not functioning. As a result, dozens of cases are left pending. The Organizations AIS has a legal recourse pending with the High Court. On such basis, the organization addressed the European Court of Human Rights claiming that Albania is violating article 6 of the Convention and human rights to trial in a reasonable time. The European Court is asked to adjudicate the merits of the case as long as it is not yet known when the High Court in Albania will resume its work

To see the TV chronic click here and for the English translation of the Interview click here.

ASAI’s new web applications for better monitoring and increased transparency

The Albanian Supreme Audit Institution organized for the second year in a row, in the period between October 25 – December 14, the “Open Month 2018”. During two open days, ASAI invited the Albanian Institute of Science to present the developed tools, within the framework of “Transparency in Health Engagement” USAID Albania Project.

On November 15th and 21st, in the premises of ASAI, AIS presented the four tools developed for this institution, respectively Red Flags and Open Data the first day and Data Mining and Complaint Mechanism the second day. These tools have been developed aiming to increase the transparency of the Albanian Supreme Audit and to facilitate procedures for identifying issues and publishing the results from audit reports.

These web applications aim to empower and increase the transparency of this independent institution, by giving the latter the opportunity to monitor procurement procedures conducted by public institutions; to receive real time signalling of tenders and contracts with potential exposure or risk for unlawful or unethical business conduct, mainly as regards non-compliance with anti-corruption laws; to communicate more easily and efficiently with the citizens; to publish reports in open data format (easier to read, understand, download and re-use); to create a database with media articles prepared by ASAI employees and articles with topics of interest to ASAI.

On the public’s question regarding the sustainability of these tools, the Director of the Directorate of Communication, Publishing and Foreign Relations, Ms. Islami answered that all the indications that will be received through these instruments will be included in the SAI’s audit plan and the use of mechanisms has become part of the SAI’s internal regulation, starting with the Red Flags mechanism.