1- Digitalization of Shkodra Museum
On April 17 Minister Harito inaugurated ‘’Oso Kuka’’ Museum, the first completely digitalized museum in the city of Shkodra. A cross border project to ‘’Promote fast internet connection in the cross border area of Bjeshket e Namuna’’, financed by the European Union, IPA Cross-Border Cooperation Program Albania-Montenegro. Such initiatives would be beneficial for the whole country in cooepration with the Ministry of Culture. The aim would be to promote our culture and historical heritage, naturally within the security limits of cyber attacks, or by combining strategies for defense from different attacks to this cultural heritage.
From available public information, this museum involves around 1200 artefacts from the fund of the Historical Museum of Shkodra, which are undergoing a technological process. For that, audio and video guides in the Albanian and English language were created for tourists containing information on the museum and history of Shkodra. The museum has been enriched with time through gifts, purchaces and findings or archeological diggings or from personal collections of families in Shkodra. It is divided into: ethnography, archeology, visual arts and libraries that serve as a background to the scientific studies.
This inauguration consisted in the closure of the first phase in Shkodra, after 1 year since the start of its implementation and is expected to continue with a project for internet access in the area of Bjeshket e Namuna.
A positive step that serves integration programs in the European family, in which regard more needs to be done, not forgetting wider access to internet in other parts of Albania and the improvement of public services and facilitation of procedures to increase transparency towards each Albanian citizen.
In the framework of cooperation between the two governments, Minister Harito and Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Information Technology of Montenegro, signed another agreement to continue joint cross-border projects keeping the focus on technology projects.
The current project aims to promote tourism through the internet by establishing a website for said museum. These lacking services in Albania or not implemented by responsible parties.
This is a positive step in boosting cultural tourism in our country, referring to contemporary models and standards of technological development and intercultural integration.
We would welcome a wide distribution of these projects throughout the country, as their impact would be positive and bring relief in access to information for citizens, tourists and those passionate about history, cultural heritage or distant academics. It should be kept in mind that our country possesses values and special historic assets that would be of great interest to foreign and Albanian visitors.
2- Public Administration or Pre-Electoral Administration?
In addition to positive and innovative developments, we should not forget processes under way for preceding projects. If we look at the website of Public Adminstration, a considerable number of calls for applications for available positions can be found, which come two months before local elections. Is this a coincidence or continuation of the good management and increase in transparency regarding employment processes and selection according to all requirements?
If we refer to the report from February, time when from all notifications of the administration a new recruitment phase was expected to start after interventions in the online application system, after several months of inefficiency of the system, a facilitation of the application process was expected to participate in competitions organized in groups. Meanwhile, transparency remains an issue after several claims by citizens, who declare to have participated in fictive competitions and that the winners are selected outside the format and in advance, even before the position is advertised, which makes them pessimistic and doubtful towards these processes. In the same way several citizens are unsatisfied with the required documentation in each respective institution, where often they face difficulties and delays in receiving these services.
Therefore, problems continue to affect this actuality according to public contestations and different debates regarding the bad management of selective and competitive processes, as well as the lack of transparency from respective institutions as well as through online procedures.
In following months, news on the new strategy according to EU standards, was considered a positive initiative in the modernization and increase in the performance of the Albanian public administration, as a necessity and guarantee towards the development and increase of capacities for the wellfunctioning of each institution. However, it seems that current problems affect the implementation of new programs and this creates discontent among citizens or former employees of the Albanian public administration, by making them sceptic toward new initiatives.
At the same time, we are aware that the challenge of ‘’modernization and increase in the performance of the Albanian public administration’’ is the best indicator of what we are today and what we will be tomorrow in the EU family. Lets hope the Ministry of Innovation and Public Administration as the main responsible legal actor in the implementation of the initiative has the awareness and willingness required, as this remains the main indicator and regulator of these initiatives and programs. We also welcome reforms in line with EU standards, but without added costs to the current administration and offering a comprehensive treatment, not only of current employees bur also citizens in recruitment process as well as a comprehensive information through informative sections for those who wish to be part of the structures in the future.