Presentation by: Aranita BRAHAJ, Executive Project Coordinator

Viktor GUMI, AIS’s Legal Expert

October 19th, 2023, h.13.00.

AIS’s commitment towards Transparency, as well as Improving Accountability and Dialogue within the Cluster 1 negotiation framework.

AIS is a local organization founded in 2011, best known as the promoter of Open Data Albania, working on Transparency, Accountability and Good Governance.

SIDA Support and Partnership. For the March 2021 – February 2024 period AIS is implementing the “Open Data Access and Transparency over Sectors exposed to Risk of Corruption” project. Supported by the Swedish International and Development Cooperation Agency, SIDA.

Focus: Open Data, Evidence Based Approach and Anti-Corruption.

AIS has contributed to fostering dialogue for better public policies through Research Articles; Publications, Litigation and drafting of Policy and Position Papers.

AIS is working with young people through its OpenDataFellowship Youth Network on educating, capacity building, as well as internshiping the fellows on articulation and public debate based in facts and data.

AIS is part of a Consortium of 4 Local NGO-s, aiming to Improve Policy Debate and Accountability in the Fulfillment of the First Group of Negotiating Chapters Cluster One, C1-EU-NPA.

AIS and IDM are local partners with Transparency International in the implementation of the Project “EU4Rule of Law: Citizens Engagement for Public Integrity (CEPI) in the Western Balkans and Turkey”.

Download document here.

AIS has built digital databases, based on the Open Data Standards, which have enabled the empowerment of public actors, through easy access to information and facilitation on the monitoring of the public sector (expenditures, procurements, contracting, asset declaration).

Open Procurement Albania.

For each tender we create a Passport containing information on the tendering procedure, by the first notification till at the Budget payment. The passport lists all the Tender Documents (the institutions stop publishing/advertising the relevant tender documents after the finalisation of the tendering).

The information, distributed by institutions is closed formats pdf, not consistent in time and not integrated or comprehensible to third parties.

The AIS team collects and gather all documents, data and information regarding a Tender and creates the integrated tender PASSPORT according to the Open Contracting Standard.

In the end, an algorithm for risk assessment makes it possible to mark with a Red Flag tenders displayingrisk of potential irregularities. The algorithm assesses only the variables of Competition and Competitiveness. Models: Instruments and Principles of Open Contracting Partnership; Risk Assessment Tools from Transparency International.

What have we found

Disclosed Data and RedFlag Assessment prompt media investigations; public debates; audits of the Supreme State Control, in some cases even Criminal Complaints in SPAK are based on Open Procurement Albania evidence.

15 to 35% of Tender procedures are RedFlaged, marked for displaying concerning competition and potential clientelism. Municipality tenders score 15% Redfleg procedures, while the Health Sector 30%.

Concentration of Tenders in the hands of Select few Competitors. Absence of foreign companies: 42% of the value tendered in the frame of the State Reconstruction Program was awarded to only 15 local companies.

Businesses Companies allegedly involved in money laundering of organized crime, were given the status of Public Contractor in tenders. (SPAK has started several investigations, complaints have been filed by MPs and the Opposition and evidence can be accessed via the OpenProcurementAlbania Database).

Special laws for certain programs and natural disaster situations have created room for Clientelism.

In 2021, around 28% of the tendered value was tendered through the Restricted Procedure, as established through the Special Law.

Debate and Accountability on Fulfillment of the First Group of Negotiating Chapters Criteria, chapter on Public Procurement

  • Policy Paper, February 2022

Public Procurement Albania through the lens of European Integration. Author V. Gumi

Debate and Accountability on the Fulfillment of First Group of Negotiating Chapters Public Procurement Chapter Criteria

  • Policy Paper, February 2023

Integrity Control of Public Contractors. EU Practice and Contracting in the Albanian Context – The document was drafted by AIS, in collaboration with renown expert Eduard Halimi.

Comments/Recommendations in the framework of the Public Consultation Process regarding the Draft Law presenting Amendments to Law 162/2020.

The organization AIS, promoter of Open Data Albania, engaged in monitoring and identifying issues related to the Public Procurement, comments and recommendations regarding the draft law “On several additions and amendments to law no. 162, dated 23.12.2020 on Public Procurement”, that is currently in the Public Consultation Process and was presented by the Albanian Government in June-July 2023.