Meeting of ALSAI Chairman, Mr. Bujar Leskaj with the staff of the institution at the end of his term

10.01.2019

On January 8th 2019, the Chairman of ALSAI, Mr. Bujar Leskaj, at the end of his seven year term as the head of the institution, organized a meeting with the staff in the hall “Lech Kaczynski”.

Mr. Leskaj first thanked the SAI directors and auditors for the work accomplished in these seven years, underlining that “we have had our constitutional mandate sanctioned in Articles 161-165 of the Albanian Constitution and our international ISSAI standards as a guiding compass, which ensure that you never miss the essential elements of independence and the quality of our audit work.”

Mr. Leskaj made a 7-year summary of the institution, referring to the strategic platform for the development of ALSAI, presented before the Committee on Economy and Finances of the Albanian Parliament on December 14th 2011, in the capacity of the candidate nominated by the President of the Republic for the Chairman position of the SAI and conducted an analysis of eight key objectives, such as: rigorous compliance with international auditing standards; returning attention to the performance audit, in addition to increasing the efficiency of financial audit; synergizing policies and actions with other institutions of control, war and corruption prevention; intensifying consultations with the Economy and Finances Committee on Strategic Approaches of SAI 2012-2018; intensifying cooperation with university and academics of public finances auditing, as well as professional organizations in the field; intensifying the cooperation with international organizations INTOSAI and EUROSAI, with the audit institutions of the EU countries, the countries of the region and in particular with Kosovo’s National Audit Office, as well as improving transparency in public relations through a wide partnership with the media and non-profit organizations fighting corruption.

It can be concluded that all these objectives have been achieved:

- After seven years, the institution has a well-defined vision of where it wants to be in one year, three years or even in the next five years. The new 2018-2022 SAI Development Strategy was prepared, complying with the requirements of the ISSAIs and based on the methodological guidelines published for this purpose by the International Professional Organizations and the INTOSAI Development Initiative (IDI).

- Fight against corruption and abuse of state property as a major goal for improving public governance. For the period January 2012 - October 2018, ALSAI submitted to the Prosecutor's Office 300 criminal reports for 953 civil servants and former state administration officials. The institution during the past 7 years, 2012-2018, addressed a criminal report every week for low, middle and high level officials, ascertained with serious violations, or otherwise 1 report for every 3 audits.
- Over the years 2012-2018, it results that 1095 audits were completed;

- The total economic damage for the period 2012-2018 amounts to €2,689 billion.
- Performance audits are seen as one of the pillars of development and modernization of the SAI, a working philosophy, which considers that auditing is not an end in itself, but primarily a precautionary instrument, correction instrument, and counseling for the institution being audited. During 2017, 15 performance audits were carried out on governmental reforms, important aspects of public finances, public procurement, education system, environmental projects, and public services.

- With regard to the institution's objective (carrying out regular IT audits), an IT Audit Directorate was established during 2015 as part of the Department of Central Government Audit, Public Administration, Financial Management and Internal Audit.

- During 2012-2018 we have tried to create a synergy for good governance, cooperating with other state institutions in the system. In this period, ALSAI has signed 57 cooperation agreements, of which 30 with NGOs, and 17 with homologous institutions or other state institutions and public universities. Collaborations with professors from universities and professional organizations in the field over the years, has maximized their contribution to the SAI’s scientific journal, scientific conferences, training, staff recruitment, participation of civil society experts in the audits of the SAI, peer review to assess the performance, etc.

- During 2012-2018, the Supreme State Audit has signed 17 cooperation agreements with counterpart SAIs: Austria, Poland, Croatia, Slovenia, Turkey, Kosovo, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Montenegro, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Macedonia, Kuwait, Hungary, Cyprus, Moldova, Ukraine and Romania, complementing the regional partnership map with almost all SAIs in the region, where, of course, the first one is with the Kosovo’s National Audit Office. These partnership agreements have been materialized in areas such as exchange of information, trainings, joint regional audit activities, etc.

Praising his mission as an agent of the public and Parliament, for using public funds and resources with effectiveness, efficiency and economy, ALSAI in the last seven years, has aimed at strengthening the trust of citizens and the general public, through transparency of its activities, audits and outcomes, as well as the partnerships it has created inside the country and abroad to improve public governance, trying to fight corruption in depth.

Based on the motto of the 9th EUROSAI Congress in the Netherlands, “When is the last time you did something for the first time?” Mr. Leskaj highlighted the 10 innovations of ALSAI during 2012-2018, which were unimaginable before and now have become tangible for everyone: New ALSAI organic Law, Performance audits, IT audits, Criminal reports, ALSAI publications, Scientific journal “Public Audit” , Open Month, Annual Scientific Conferences of ALSAI , Cooperation with NGOs, The new building and the Museum of the SAI.

Chairman of the ALSAI, Mr. Leskaj informed the auditors about his decision to delegate the powers of the President to the Vice/President of SAI, Mrs. Lindita Milo, starting on 8th of January 2019, after the publication in the Official Gazette of the Republic of Albania, no. 193, of the Decision of the Chairman of ALSAI no. 244, dated 22.12.2018, which delegates the exercise of the duty and responsibilities of the head of the institution during the transitional phase from the end of the constitutional mandate of the Chairman (23rd December 2018) until the appointment of the new Chairman by the Albanian Parliament, to Vice/President of the SAI, Mrs. Lindita Milo (Lati).

Mr. Leskaj wishing success to Mrs. Milo also made a summary of her CV. She has completed her undergraduate studies in Finance-Accounting, holds the scientific title “Professor”, her doctoral degree “Doctor” in Accounting (1996) from the University of Tirana and Ph.D. in Economics (2001) from Staffordshire University, UK.

During 2006-2016, Mrs. Milo has been the Chairman of the Albanian Competition Authority; since 1990 she has been a lecturer at the Accounting Department, Faculty of Economics, University of Tirana. During 2004-2010, Mrs. Milo has been a member of the National Accounting Council, and an External Associate in IEKA since the early years of the establishment of the external auditor profession. She is the author of several texts, monographs, articles and other scientific papers in the field of accounting, competition, auditing, etc.

The ALSAI Chairman concluded his speech.... “This journey, seven years after, looks now safer and clearer in tasks, targets set and implementation plans. This clarity and security comes first and foremost from your honest and professional work, for which I have to thank you!”

Based on the performance indicators of a SAI, the experience gained, the trust in the value of the principles we are defending and the mission we carry out, assured by the assistance and support from the Assembly, other public institutions, civil society and citizens, INTOSAI and EUROSAI as well as partner SAIs, we continue our auditing work in the future with full confidence.