1- Stopkorrupsionit.al an unverifiable success
The fight against corruption is a complementary priority for Ministry of Local Affairs. After the sensational promotion at the beginning of February, this ministry published a few statistical data. Before analyzing these data, lets turn for a moment to two concerning elements of the Prime Minister’s order to approve the regulations for Stopkorrupsionit.al.
Firstly, in the third part of this order, titled: Registration of reported corruptive practices, article a) says: Citizens must report corruptive cases only electronically, by accessing the communication channel, which is also the Unique Page for Corruption Reporting. At first glance, one might say ‘’it is self-evident that to access a website one needs to use the electronic way’’. However, this is not the primary concern. The Prime Minister and respective Minister take for granted that all citizens in this country have access to electronic equipment connected to Internet. Even if we believe the hypothesis for a moment, we are faced with a somewhat ideological dilemma: Is it obligatory for citizens to own electronic equipment connected to the internet, while the state does not offer such service for free? If the answer is no, then we need to stress that this initiative will relieve the lives of a specific group of citizens, marginalizing thus all those who do not have a PC, smartphone or do not have them connected to the internet, or in the worst case scenario do not know how to use them.
Secondly, article 8 of this regulation, point 1, says: ‘’Responsible institutions (dependent on the Prime Minister’s office), respective ministries, Regional Governor, will look into the report as soon as possible, but not later than 30 days from the day of its delivery. This means that, despite the professionalism and accountability of said ministry’s staff, a reported case can take more than 30 days. Let us think objectively for a moment and analyze a few examples: Case 1 – Can a citizens report corruption while he is seeking social assistance and his children are unfed? Case 2 – Can a self-employed wait thirty days while he has a bank loan and debts and has decided to report the bribery asked from him in the customs? and Case 3 – How can a sick person, who needs an operation, wait thirty days while his/her desperate relative has decided to use stopkorrupsionit.al? Of course Public Administration, Police, Health Institutions are not mentioned as the three most affected sectors of corruption. Nevertheless, one can easily imagine a situation for each of them.
Our proposal in this case, would be not only a change in the timeframe, but also a delegation of authority to verify events in terrain, to local police units and economic crime.
On March, 23, the Ministry published in its online page several statistics regarding www.stopkorrupsiuonit.al portal, where in general figures it claims that 4256 cases are reported, of which 2086 are taken into consideration and 412 were refused. These statistics are not followed by respective explanations. For instance, they do not clarify if the closed cases have resulted in unfounded accusations, or were proved. It is not clear if these cases led to warnings, suspensions or expulsion of any from the 2086 employees involved in these cases. Also, no clarification is given as to why 412 cases were refused. APPA staff will request clarification for these questions officially, using the right to public information.
2- Training for merely 36 public officials
The last day of the month served as the closing day for a training of 36 public officials of all prefectures in Albania, regarding the Territorial-Administrative Reform that will enter into force after the local elections of June 21. This training, based on its agenda, did not include any testing or other forms to make sure the 36 public officials from around the country, have digested the technical knowledge, with which Albania will be locally governed in the future.