SAI and IDM organize the National Conference “For a well-established national anti-corruption authority in the governance system”

15.12.2018

On December 14th, 2018, the Supreme State Audit Institution (SAI) and the Institute for Democracy and Mediation (IDM) organized in the premises of ALSAI, the National Conference “For a well-established national anti-corruption authority in the governance system”.

The idea for organizing this joint activity was supported by the products of their common labor, such as the performance audit report on "Anti-corruption Strategy" by AL SAI and IDM's study "Reducing impact of politics on Anti-corruption Agencies".

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The greeting speech at the beginning of the event was held by the General Director of ALSAI, Mrs. Lindita Milo (Lati), on behalf of the Chairman, Mr. Bujar Leskaj. She stated that “...Sustainable economic, political and social development is the main goal of every country, becoming even more important in fragile democracies and developing institutions. Among other things, corruption is one of the main obstacles for achieving this goal. Corruption destroys jobs and hampers development, costing the world’s economy billions of dollars every year. It chains the poor to poverty, while corrupt governments around the world steal the state budget and prevent hard-working people, to earn the fruits of their work. Corruption steals investments that should go to schools and hospitals, since corrupted people evade taxes that need to be paid.”

Referring to the final report of the performance audit on the “Anti-corruption Strategy of the Albanian government”, Mrs. Milo concluded that this strategy failed in its greater extent (objective A.11 and generally the Anti-Corruption Strategy / Action Plan to implement it); and in order to ensure the implementation of such a vital initiative for the country and continuously eliminating the risk of transferring the KKK from one institution to another, ALSAI recommends the establishment of a National Anticorruption Agency. This agency is suggested to be under the dependence of the Prime Minister and responsible for the redeployment and further monitoring of the AC Strategy and its implementation plan, initially getting the Assembly's agreement on strategic documents in the form of a special law.

Then Mr. Sotiraq Hroni, Executive Director of IDM took the floor. Mr. Hroni initially thanked Mr. Leskaj for opening the SAI and especially the cooperation with the civil society, leading to this activity. SAI-IDM co-operation is one of the best examples of co-operation between CSOs and state institutions. Mr. Hroni talking about the anti-corruption strategy and the National Anti-Corruption Office, which is part of the Ministry of Justice, stressed that there is an open conflict of interest because the government cannot control itself. This office should be independent in the true sense of the word like all other independent institutions, because only independence provides quality.

Mr. Rinald Muca, Director of the Department of Performance Audit, presented the results of a performance audit on the “Anti-corruption strategy of the Albanian government”. Mr. Muça presented the audit objectives, the context in which the audit was conducted, the audit period, the audited entities and especially the audit message, conclusions and recommendations. One of the main recommendations of the SAI was the creation of the National Anti-Corruption Agency, in order to ensure the implementation of the strategy with efficiency and effectiveness.

Mr. Mario Mariani, representative of the EU Delegation in Tirana, at the beginning of his speech highlighted the fact that 80% of Albanians confirm that they face elements of corruption in their daily lives. The EU Delegation in Tirana and the European Commission have paid particular attention to this phenomenon and the judicial reform will significantly contribute to the fight against corruption. The recent adoption by the Albanian Parliament of the High Council of Prosecution and the Council of Appointments in Justice shows that the reform is consolidating. Mr. Mariani also stressed that the implementation of the anti-corruption strategy is being monitored by EU institutions.

The following people also referred at this conference: Mr. Boris Divjak, member of the Board of Directors of Transparency International; Ms. Rovena Sulstarova of IDM, who focused on creating a legitimate and ubiquitous Anti-Corruption Authority; Mr. Genc Pollo, member of the Albanian Parliament, “Challenges of the current system and implications of new alternatives”; Mr. Flori Karaj from the High Inspectorate for the Control and Declaration of Assets and Conflict of Interest.

In the end, there were questions and debates from the participants, particularly on the status of the Anti-Corruption Agency.

In addition to the personalities that led the panel, representatives of ALSAI, IDM, Ministry of Justice, UNDP, USAID, media etc., participated in the meeting.