Open Data Albania is investigating into the Unconditional Transfers allocated to eleven beneficiary municipalities from the Reconstruction Program Fund, focussing on the Unconditional Transfers approved by Decisions of the Council of Ministers during the Electoral Campaign Period 25 March until 25 April 2021. The analysis looked also at pre-election dates from 1 January to 25 April 2021, where such transfers amount to 15 430 836 420 Lekë. This amount is equivalent to 124.44 million Euro.

Reconstruction Program Fund is the Albanian State Program under Albanian Reconstruction Ministry created after the Earthquake of 26 November 2019.

On the 30 election campaign dates only, such Unconditional Transfers allocated to the municipalities affected by the earthquake amounted to 8 574 636 507. This amount is equivalent to 69.1 million Euro.

In the first four months, the Albanian Government has transferred 56% of the Reconstruction Fund to municipalities in the form of Unconditional Transfers. A significant part thereof is transferred to Individuals. In 2020, the Albanian Government was criticized by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for failing to implement the State Reconstruction Program. In 2021, we see a concentration of the implementation of this Reconstruction Program Fund during the election period, i.e. from 25 March to 25 April.

At a meeting of the Council of Ministers on 25 March (election campaign period according to the Code) an amount of 7.49 billion (seven point forty-nine billion) ALL was allocated to municipalities as Unconditional Transfer from the Reconstruction Program Fund. At the meeting of the Council of Ministers on 31 March (electoral period according to the Code) an amount of 391 879 325 ALL and at the meeting of 14 April an amount of 694 301 163 ALL.

The total amount of the Unconditional Transfers according to the State Budget at the beginning of the year, for these 11 Municipalities was 8 299 271 265 ALL. For the same 11 municipalities, the increase of the Unconditional Transfers through a decision of the Council of Ministers in the four pre-election months was 15 430 836 420 ALL. It is an increase of 186 percent. The municipalities of Tirana; Durres; Kurbin and Kamzë have the highest increase. In terms of the highest percentage of increase compared with the Unconditional Transfers provided for in the Law at the beginning of the year, it is the municipalities as Vora (549%); Kurbin (340%); Tirana (250%); Shijaku (228%), which stand on the top.

Municipalities that have benefited from unconditional transfers from this Fund in the election month of March 25 to April 25 are:

Municipality of Tirana. By Decisions of the Council of Ministers, this municipality has benefitted Unconditional Transfers on Electoral Date (30 days of the campaign) amounting to 6 055 001 800 ALL (six billion and fifty-five million and one thousand Eighty ALL). These transfers are ordered by DCM No. 189 on 25 March; DCM No. 202 on 25 March; DCM No. 204 on 25 March.

Municipality of Durres. By Decision of the Council of Ministers was given 1 181 590 365 ALL (one billion one hundred and eighty-one million five hundred and ninety thousand three hundred and sixty-five ALL) during the electoral period. DCM No. 189 date 25 March; DCM No. 201 date 25 March; DCM No. 205 date 24 March and DCM no 213 date 31 March.

Municipality of Kamzë by Decision of the Council DCM of Ministers benefited 227 909 231 ALL. DCM No. 200 dated March 25; DCM No. 201 date March 31; DCM No. 211 date March 31 and DCM No. 235 date April 14.

Municipality of Kurbin. By Decisions of the Council of Ministers benefited 529 262 087 ALL. By DCM No. 215 date 31 March; DCM No. 233 date 14 April and Decision 234 dated 14 April.

Municipality of Shijak. Has benefited 143 662 566 ALL during the Electoral Period. Through DCM No. 212 dated March 31.

Municipality of Vora. By decision of the Council of Ministers it benefited 175 148 070 ALL. Decision of the Council of Ministers No. 189 dated March 25; DCM No. 236 dated April 14 and DCM No. 237 dated April 14.

Municipality of Kavaja. During the election campaign period, through the Decisions of the Council of Ministers, the Unconditional Transfer of 201 959 863 ALL was created (two hundred and one million nine hundred and fifty-nine million eight hundred and six seventy-three ALL). Through DCM No. 206 dated March 25 and DCM No. 205 dated March 25.

Mirdite Municipality received 42 262 535 ALL (forty-two million two hundred sixty-two thousand five hundred thirty-five ALL. By DCM No. 200 dated March 25; and DCM No. 233 dated April 14.

Rrogozhina Municipality and Kruja Municipality did not receive funds during the electoral period. The DCM for Unconditional Transfers from the Reconstruction Fund is made on earlier dates

Municipality of Lezha. This municipality has benefited by Decision of the Council of Ministers transfers amounting to 17 835 093 ALL.  DCM No. 215 March 31, 2021.

The typical Unconditional Transfers are funds from the State Budget for Municipalities for guaranteeing some basic services of the Local Government level, such as basic education, social protection, management of forests, roads, waters, etc. They are estimated according to a formula every year and are approved as a separate table and item in the State Budget Law. If we compare certain values in December 2020 with the increase received by Municipalities as Unconditional Transfers from the Reconstruction Fund before and after elections, we see concentration on the dates, which the Electoral Code recognizes as election dates.

This article was prepared in the framework of risk monitoring, transparency and assessment related with the taxpayers’ distribution and spending, NdiqParate.al. AIS organization is implementing the Open Data, Access and Transparency over sectors exposed to Risk of Corruption Project.

The Excel document in this article has data and information on the basis of which the visualization was made. This document is easily downloadable and free to use. Other AIS databases include spending.data .al; OpenPocurement.al and OpenCorporates.al

Other articles and data of an electoral nature from Open Data Albania can be found by clicking Electoral Processes Themes.

Download excel: The Election Period and the Reconstruction Fund, Additional Budget allocated to 11 Municipalities as Unconditional Transfers
Comment and Analysis: Open Data Albania
Translated by: Etleva Kondakçi