February, the Month of Civil Engagement for European Integration, began with an event of the Organization AIS, whose purpose was to present a Policy Paper titled “Control of the Integrity of Public Contractors, EU practices and contracting in the Albanian Context”, drafted in the frame of the C1-EU- NPA Project. His Excellency, the ambassador of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Tirana, Mr. Reinout Vos, was also in attendance at this event.
Aranita Brahaj, the head of the Organization, emphasized that many companies in the country that have acquired the status of Contractor in Public Procurement; Investor in State Assets or Public Licenses in Strategic sectors, are Shell or Offshore companies with unidentified beneficial owners, located in fiscal havens. This status raises questions about the control of integrity concerning companies, that are engaged in implementing Public Contracts in exchange of State Assets and Money from the Albanian Taxpayers.
The Policy Paper’s aim was to analyze the existing Practice of integrity control in EU countries and to identify what was lacking in the Albanian legislation and practice, weather it coincided with potential loopholes present or need for intervention. In conclusion, the organization also presented specific recommendations for legal amendments and incorporation of additional measures to the respective legislation on Public Procurement and the Law on the Declaration of the Beneficial Owner.
Conclusions and Recommendations were introduced in the presence of Parliament and Government Representatives. Ms. Klotilda Bushka, Chairperson of the Legal Affairs Committee in the Assembly and Ms. Jorida Tabaku, Chairperson of the Parliamentary Committee for Integration, spoke about the findings and proposals for legal amendments drafted by Civil Society. The General Director of the Public Procurement Agency, Ms. Reida Kashta, concurrently responsible for the EU negotiations concerning the Public Procurement Chapter, also attended the event.
The Policy Paper and the subsequent Event, were carried out in the frame of the C1-EU-NPA project “Improved Policy Debate and Accountability on delivering the Fundamentals First, to fulfill Basic Rights through the Establishment of Cluster I EU Negotiations Platform, Albania”, a project implemented jointly by four Albanian organizations: CSDG, ISP, KSHH and AIS, with the support of the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Tirana.
The document was drafted by AIS, in collaboration with the renown legal expert, Eduard Halimi. The organization AIS, in addition to its contribute through the preparation of Policy Documents and Recommendations, is also a promoter of Open Data platforms for the tracking, making transparent and verification of contracts and public contractors, more specifically through databases like Open Corporates Albania and Open Procurement Albania.
See the agenda HERE
See the Policy Paper HERE