The Non-Governmental Organization, AIS/Open Data Albania, addressed on 25 May 2021 the Commissioner for the Right to Information, complaining about the Municipality of Tirana. The complaint against this municipality follows the latter’s refusal to publish the decisions of the Municipality Council on the “List of names of beneficiaries from the Reconstruction Fund” for the dates corresponding with the 2021 electoral campaign.
AIS addressed the Municipality on 6 May 2021, requesting access to the decisions of the Municipality Council of Tirana, on the Full List of Beneficiaries of the Reconstruction Fund for Tirana.
The requested documents were not published on the Municipality website, under the “Decisions of Tirana Municipality Council” section.
On 18 May, the Coordinator for Information of Tirana Municipality refused to meet our request submitted by letter no. A-9928/2 Prot., arguing as follows: We may not provide you with the names of the beneficiaries of these funds, because the lists attached as annexes to the Municipality Council Decisions contain personal data of the beneficiaries, such as ID numbers, information about their economic benefits, etc., which are protected by Law No. 9887, dated 10.03.2008 „On protection of personal data“.
According to AIS, promoter of Transparency and Accountability, the refusal of Tirana Municipality is not based on the law, it hinders accountability and transparency about public money and taxpayers’ money. The European law, national legislation, and practice require the principle of proportionality to be considered in disclosing the identity of the beneficiaries of the public grants. The European Court of Human Rights has issued a decision in favor of disclosure as an opportunity for citizens’ participation in the process of learning and assessing how their taxes are spent.
Therefore, the organization reacted by Complaining against the Municipality of Tirana, asking the Commissioner to order the Municipality to ensure Transparency over the Beneficiaries of the Reconstruction Grant during dates of the Electoral Campaign.
The Lists of Beneficiaries are approved by the Municipality of Tirana Council and grants are issued on dates within the Electoral Campaign for the 25 April 2021 Parliamentary Elections. Transparency and citizens- information is related to the need to verify potential doubts of misuse of public money during electoral campaigns for electoral purposes.
Therefore, the organization addressed the Commissioner, asking him to order the Municipality of Tirana to publish the full decisions on the beneficiaries of Albanian taxpayers’ money through the Reconstruction Fund Grants on 2021 electoral dates.
By this act, the Municipality is applying a double standard, affecting transparency only for the beneficiaries during the 2021 Electoral Campaign, as it was the Municipality itself, which has already published the Nominal Lists of the Families in 2019 and 2020. (Illustrative Video and PDF)
An article is prepared on the use of the Reconstruction Grant in Electoral Campaign Dates under #FollowTheMoney Electoral Period and Reconstruction Fund Additional Budget through Unconditional Transfers for 11 Municipalities.