The National Media Top Channel has launched one of its news editions in July 2021 with the title: Vetting for Public Tenders. Corruption in Tenders and Procurement has been a very sensitive aspect of the Political and Public Debate for weeks before the beginning of the Third Mandate of the ruling Socialist Party led by Edi Rama.

Transcript of the interview:

Journalist: The biggest weaknesses of the public procurement system, which even the frequent legislative changes do not seem to be able to solve, are the main cause of abuse with tenders. The expert of this field, Aranita Brahaj, explains that legislation leaves significant room for violations and what is most problematic is the contracts signed by circumventing the procurement system. What is a concern now, she adds, is the tender procedures for reconstruction.

Aranita Brahaj: Contracting through special laws or contracting on basis circumventing legislation on public procurement are the largest malfunctions. While a tender may have irregularities and problematic criteria, the way these contracts are made are not subject to any system in charge of monitoring the process before the call for tender is about to be published. The Public Procurement Agency does not have anyone in charge of monitoring these specific tenders either. There is no system in place to provide a lawyer’s evaluation of public procurement. The level of risk and corruption in a system relying only on an automated evaluation of 3 or 4 indicators is very high.

Journalist: Even though a new law on public procurement entered into force since January this year, Brahaj argues that this law does not put an end to the chain of abuse. She proposes a deep public procurement reform.

Aranita Brahaj: We should start with those responsible for making special laws. A control mechanism should function at the Public Procurement Agency. So, we need an evaluation system in place for the public procurement employees, an automatic system. Once they reach a certain margin of error, they should lose their right to exercise their function.

Journalist: Only a few days ago, PM Edi Rama, admitting problems with the tenders, said that some of the institutions did not take into consideration the recommendations of the Public Procurement Agency.

Link to the interview :