Open Data Albania is exploring data on the transactions conducted by the State Treasury in an election year versus an earlier ordinary year. Data are explored in a comparative analysis to see if there are changes and specified expenses in a year where the ruling political forces engage in electioneering. The data are compared to the corresponding quarter February 1 to April 30, 2012 versus 2013. All the transactions ordered by the State Treasury are analysed. Finding these data is made possible by the implementation of the commitment of the Government of Albania in the framework of the Partnership for Open and Transparent Governance (OGP).

According to the commitments to participate in this partnership, the Albanian government is forced to make public every day available data such as: values, beneficiaries, legal basis and transaction form for each expense of the budget and public assets. The ease in accessing to these data is made possible within the Open Spending Albania project as a civil society contribution to transparency for citizens. In this case we are analyzing ministerial apparatus expenses headed by the Council of Ministers.

In the comparative data of the table it can be noted that the quarter of year under review for 2013 is characterized by higher values of expenses for some ministries. Specifically: the Council of Ministers, the Ministry of Justice, the Ministry of Labour and the Ministry of Tourism, Culture, Youth and Sports, has spent in the quarter of 2013 over 50 % more than in the corresponding quarter of the year 2012.

Comparative Analysis of the expenses of the government apparatus on an election year 2012 vs. 2013

Processing and comments: ODA

Processing and comments: ODA

The Ministry of Labour has the highest level of spending for 2013 compared to 2012. Excess in an electoral year in this case is 632 % positive. Specifically this ministry in 2012 ordered transactions worth about a hundred and seventy million all. Again in this quarter, but for 2013 the amount of ordered transactions was worth about one billion two hundred and seventy million all, that’s about a billion a hundred million all more. According to the Treasury it appears that compensation payments for politically persecuted citizens were the reason of such expenses.

In such a high level of expenses with about 180 % of excess in 2013 we mention the Ministry of Justice. According to the data, about 53 % of the expenses of this ministry in the first quarter of 2013 went to build detention facilities in Fier, Berat and Elbasan.

The Council Of Ministers apparatus has spent 79 % more than a year ago for three months: February, March and April 2013. The concrete value of 2012 is about eighty-six million seven hundred thousand all and in 2013 it?s about one hundred and fifty -five million, thus over sixty- eight million more. The Ministry of Tourism, Culture, Youth and Sports have resulted in a set of high-value transactions versus 2012 too. The ministry in a three month period spent about twenty- two million five hundred thousand all more.

Resulting with smaller value transactions are: the Ministry of Public Works, Transport and Communications, Ministry of Defence, Ministry of Agriculture and Food, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Economy and that of Integration too .

The Ministry of Public Works is resulting in lower comparative expenses due to the change of the structure of the apparatus of the ministry. In 2013 telecommunications became part of the Ministry of Innovation and this has led to lower costs for this institution. The Ministry of Economy has this marked contraction since 2012 because of qualified expenses worth two billion all. This amount, is in fact a loan provided by the Ministry of Economy to the Albanian Energy Corporation, according to the Decision no. 81 dated 13.02.2013. This amount, according to the lending agreement, was given with 0.5 % interest rate and expired six months after the date 13/02/2013

No clear performance revealed about the Ministry of Agriculture, which has ordered a limited number of transactions in the three month period analyzed, but it also marked a progressive number in the fifth month of the year.

This kind of analysis provides a clear picture of how Albanian taxpayers’ money is spent. Although, analysis for electoral years and public confrontation, contribute to ensuring that public money is used for public interest purposes and not for personal or party interests.

Comments and Analysis: Open Data Albania
Contributed by: Aranita Brahaj