Open Data Albania is analyzing the structure and volume of the immovable assets owned by Mayors elected for 2015 – 2019. The analysis includes also the source of the immovable assets as declared on their Initial and Annual Asset Declaration Form. These individuals are required to make a regular declaration to the High Inspectorate of Declaration of Assets and Control of Conflict of Interest (HIDACCI) according to Law No. 9049, dated 10.04.2003 On Declaration and Control of Assets and Financial Obligations of the Elected Officials and some Public Employees.

In addition, mayors are required to voluntarily declare their Criminal Records and Data according to the Lawon Decriminalization of the Public Institutions by Forbidding Persons with Criminal Records from Exercising, being Elected, or Appointed to Public Functions. Such data are assessed based on the Initial Declaration of Assets and Annual Declarations. These data are published as declared under the Money and Powersection  of the Spending Data Albania portal.

The assessment and analysis in this article identify and describe the types of properties, their sources, number of properties and the value of the immovable properties owned by mayors. There have been difficulties in identifying and categorizing properties by their value, which include: failure of the mayors to specify the source of their properties; values of properties privatized or obtained years ago, which are not converted into today’s market value, lack of accurate values for agricultural lands and properties obtained through legalization.

The analysis ofOpen Data Albania of Immovable Properties owned by Mayors as individuals or as part of their marital property regime has structured the properties into: Residence Buildings; Land for Construction, Surface of Constructions; Agricultural Land, Pastures and Forests; Service Premises like Shops, Offices and Parking; etc.

Out of 61 mayors elected for 2015 – 2019, the analysis includes 46 mayors in office until the end of their mandate, i.e. 2015. These mayors for whom we have an initial declaration and annual decl arations result to own, together with their family members, 317 immovable properties in total. Mayors own an average of 7 properties each. Constructions, where the building and the site are specified separately, are considered separate properties.

Out of 317 properties, 141 are residence buildings; 50 construction sites; 46agricultural lands, pastures and forests; 72 Service Premiseslike Shops, Offices, and Parking Lots. These immovable properties are declared to be located in the territory of the country, except for Mayor of Cërrik Altin Toska, who has declared that he owns an apartment of 85 square meters, a garage of 25 square meters, and a canteen of 8 square meters in Brescia, Italy.

Mayors 2015 – 2019, Immovable Properties Owned Individually or as Part of their Marital Property Regime, Declarations of 2015.

Comments and Analysis: Open Data Albania

There are 2 mayors, who declare that they do not own any immovable properties, 15 mayors who declare that they own from 0 up to 3 immovable properties, 14 mayors with 4 or 5 immovable properties, and 9 mayors with 6 up to 10 immovable properties. According to this analysis of Open Data Albania, it results that 6 mayors have more than 10 immovable properties owned individually or as part of their marital property regime.

These mayors are Basir ÇUPA, Municipality of Klos; Eduart KAPRI, Municipality of Pogradec;  Fiqiri ISMAILI  , Municipality of Vora;  Gjon GJONAJ, Municipality of Puka;   Majlinda BUFI  , Municipality of Roskovec, and Tonin MARINAJ , Municipality of Malësi e Madhe.

Comments and Analysis: Open Data Albania

Comments and Analysis: Open Data Albania

Regarding the monetary values of these properties, they cannot be calculated accurately for as long as the market price declared belongs to different years. Values have been declared by mayors according to the process of legalization, time of privatization, and earlier purchases. Their obligation to declare their properties does not include an obligation to also declare any reference prices for their buildings or land.

Such practice in a very dynamic market recently makes it impossible to make a realistic evaluation of their properties. Referring to the self-declared values, it results that 25 mayors declare that they own properties worth less than EUR 50 thousand, 10 mayors EUR 50 up to 100 thousand worth of properties, and 11 mayors, who own properties worth more than EUR 100 thousand.

Categories of values of Immovable Properties of Mayors and their Family Members according to 2015 Declarations
Value (thousand) Euro

Comments and Analysis: Open Data Albania

Comments and Analysis: Open Data Albania

What is interesting is the declarations of some mayors, who own the four different categories of properties at the same time, i.e. residence buildings, construction sites, agricultural land (pastures and forests), and service premises like shops, offices, and parking space. These mayors include: Basir ÇUPA, Fatos TUSHE, Fiqiri ISMAILI , Gjon GJONAJ, Jorgo GORO,  Përparim SHAMETAJ  and Rajmonda BALILAJ.

Another element of research in this Open Data Albania article is the declared source of property. The article authors have identified several categories of sources of properties or ways of obtaining properties. Thus, some of the categories are Properties Purchased by Incomes from the Declared Job or Business (this is usually proven by the employer’s payrollsor business financial tables; Properties obtained through Legalization;  Properties through Privatization; Properties obtained through Inheritance by law or by a will; Properties obtained through Loans from Banks or Third Parties; Properties obtained through Donations; Properties through Incomes from Legitimate or Clandestine Immigration; Properties obtained through Law No. 7501 on Division of Agricultural Land and Properties obtained through Compensation and Restitution of former Owners.

The analysis identifies also Propertiesfor which the source is not specified in the Declaration submitted to HIDACCI. This irregular practice is obvious in some declaration.Properties obtained through incomes from incomes from immigration are declared by five mayors:

Structure of Sources of Immovable Properties owned by Mayors and their Families according to 2015 Declarations

Comments and Analysis: Open Data Albania

There are five mayors who declare that they own properties obtained from incomes from immigration. Properties obtained from inheritance are declared by 7 mayors, properties obtained through incomes generated from work by 23 mayors, and properties obtained through privatization by 10 mayors. The declarations include also 24 properties for which the source is not specified.

Comments and Analysis: Open Data Albania

Mayors are elected for running sixty one local government units. They have a four-year mandate, and the right of being re-elected. Their integrity, properties, and conflicts of interestsare very sensitive issues and important from the perspective of good governance and accountability. This analysis is made as part of the activities of the   Money, Government and Politics project (MG&P)    implemented by  AIS.

Comments and Analysis: Open Data Albania
Contribution by: Griselda Ruci