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Albania

Law on Whistleblowers Protection (AL0042)

Overview

At-a-Glance

Action Plan: Albania Second Action Plan for 2014-2016

Action Plan Cycle: 2014

Status: Inactive

Institutions

Lead Institution: Minister of State for Local Issues (MSLI)

Support Institution(s): Ministries, Parliament

Policy Areas

Legislation & Regulation, Public Participation, Whistleblower Protections

IRM Review

IRM Report: Albania End-of-Term Report 2014-2016, Albania Mid-Term Report 2014-2016

Starred: No

Early Results: Marginal

Design i

Verifiable: Yes

Relevant to OGP Values: Public Accountability

Potential Impact:

Implementation i

Completion:

Description

Currently, the trust of the public towards the public administration is low, while the risk that an informant will have when denouncing cases of corruption is very high. In Albania, there is no clear framework which ensures cooperation with informants and protects whistleblowers. This law, together with the awareness campaign that will follow, will ensure that informants that will entrust the enforcement agencies with information regarding corruption in sectors where they work or are involved, will be protected. This law will not only enhance transparency and reporting of cases of corruption, but also the credibility of the administration. A draft law currently exists and is under consultation. The law is in line with the National Strategy on the Fight Against Corruption 2014-2017 which provides for both preventative and awareness-raising objectives. Furthermore, the adoption of the law is also part of the Roadmap Priority Nr. 3 commitment for the fight against corruption in the context of Albania’s integration in the EU. There will be abroad consultation with government agencies and donors, while there are also planned consultation meetings for the civil society and business sector. Following these consultations, the draft will be edited to reflect comments, and after further internal and external consultations, the law is expected to be finalized in fall and adopted before the end of the year.

IRM Midterm Status Summary

For Commitment details, see Albania Mid-Term Report 2014-2016.

IRM End of Term Status Summary

Commitment 4.1. Law on Whistleblower Protection

Cluster 1: Denouncing Corruption – 1.1 and 4.1

Editorial Note: This cluster (C.1) combines two individual commitments pertaining to legislation and bylaws in the fight against corruption.

Commitment 1.1. Standardization of Corruption Complaints

Commitment 1.1. Text: The Minister of State for Local Issues, in the role of the National Coordinator for Anti-Corruption, will undertake the standardization of the process related to complaints addressing corruption. Currently, although many ministries have been given green lines or forms to denounce corruption, there is no standardized procedure, which ensures transparency in the review of the complaint and concrete deadlines to ensure a good service. Some of the indicators and milestones set for this commitment are the drafting of relevant guidelines for addressing corruption complaints, Integrating them in each ministry transparency plan rules, publish them online. Given the specifics and difficulty of the fight and investigation of corruption, this system, through the standardization of processes, can increase confidence in the administration and increase the number of informants. Ministries will have to officially publish relevant standards and inform the public on the progress of specific issues, thus raising the level of accountability of the public administration. This commitment will help improve the transparency regarding the complaint procedures in fact until now there is no clear information on how a citizen can actually address a complaint in corruption cases. The publication of this “standards” will not only create uniformity in the way the complaint will be address but will also serve in raising the efficiency of the public administration while handling corruption complaints.

Responsible institution: Minister of State for Local Issues (MSLI)

Supporting institution(s): Ministries, Parliament

Start date: 2014 End date: 2016

Commitment 4.1. Law on Whistleblower Protection

Commitment 4.1. Text: Currently, the trust of the public towards the public administration is low, while the risk that an informant will have when denouncing cases of corruption is very high. In Albania, there is no clear framework which ensures cooperation with informants and protects whistleblowers. This law, together with the awareness campaign that will follow, will ensure that informants that will entrust the enforcement agencies with information regarding corruption in sectors where they work or are involved, will be protected. This law will not only enhance transparency and reporting of cases of corruption, but also the credibility of the administration. A draft law currently exists and is under consultation. The law is in line with the National Strategy on the Fight Against Corruption 2014-2017 which provides for both preventative and awareness-raising objectives. Furthermore, the adoption of the law is also part of the Roadmap Priority Nr. 3 commitment for the fight against corruption in the context of Albania’sintegration in the EU. There will be a broad consultation with government agencies and donors, while there are also planned consultation meetings for the civil society and business sector. Following these consultations, the draft will be edited to reflect comments, and after further internal and external consultations, the law is expected to be finalized in fall and adopted before the end of the year.

Responsible institution: Minister of State for Local Issues (MSLI)

Supporting institution(s): Ministries, Parliament

Start date: 2014 End date: 2016

Commitments Aim:

Various civil society organizations have concerns about the standardization of the corruption complaints procedure and the Whistleblower Protection Law. Both commitments are currently part of Albania’s Anti-Corruption Strategy 2015–2020 and its 2015–2017 action plan.

Commitment 1.1 aims to standardize the corruption complaints procedure through the creation and operation of an online portal for reporting corruption cases. The commitment also includes the disclosure of transparency rules within each ministry.

Commitment 4.1 aims to finalize and adopt the draft law on whistleblower protection, which will help combat corruption in the public sector.

Status

Commitment 1.1

Midterm: Substantial

On 5 March 2015, the prime minister issued an order adopting the regulation on the procedures for registering, handling, and storing corruption complaints. These regulations and procedures have been integrated into the anti-corruption portal, http://www.stopkorrupsionit.al. The portal was launched in February 2015 and allows citizens to submit corruption complaints online and to upload evidence, such as photos, videos, or documents. Citizens may choose to disclose their identities or submit claims anonymously.

By the midterm assessment, many ministries had not published their transparency programs, registers of requests, and responses. The government’s self-assessment says this commitment is implemented. However, it does not disclose the number of central institutions that have integrated transparency rules and standards by the end of the reporting period. IRM progress report, http://www.opengovpartnership.org/wp-content/uploads/2001/01/Albania_Second%20IRM%20Report_for%20public%20comment.pdf.

End of term: Complete

As of 30 June 2016, the anti-corruption portal has had approximately 9,900 visits during 2016, with 14,410 reports submitted since its launch. Out of 14,410 cases, 6,330 were solved, 6,260 were rejected, and 1,037 were under review. The average review process per complaint takes 16 days. Anti-corruption portal, http://www.stopkorrupsionit.al.

At the end of the implementation period, all governmental ministries have published transparency programs IRM monitoring of government ministries’ websites. containing all categories of publicly available information. In addition to this program, all ministries have published information on the coordinators for the right to information and the register of requests for information.

Commitment 4.1

Midterm: Limited

The deadline for the adoption of the law on whistleblow protection was postponed from the end of 2014 to mid-2015. According to the 2015–17 action plan of the Inter-sectoral Strategy against Corruption 2015–20, the implementation of other measures related to this law (i.e., adoption of bylaws and establishing and strengthening state structures for implementation) was expected to conclude by the end of 2016. IRM progress report, http://www.opengovpartnership.org/wp-content/uploads/2001/01/Albania_Second%20IRM%20Report_for%20public%20comment.pdf.

End of term: Complete

In June 2016, the Parliament adopted the Whistleblower Protection Law (Official Gazette No.115, 23 June 2016). The law entered into force on 8 July 2016. At the time of writing the end-of-term report, the Government was drafting the bylaws and other acts. With the support of the Netherlands Embassy, Partners Albania, a civil society organization based in Tirana, is carrying out a national awareness campaign and a series of roundtables on the implementation of the law.

Did it open government?

Commitment 1.1

Public accountability: Marginal

Civil society representatives have raised concerns about the government’s response to citizens’ complaints made via the portal. In 2015 CSOs suggested that there was an absence of information related to “what happened after the report was made and what concrete measures followed.” The lack of follow-up information could cause the public to lose interest and even become skeptical of these tools. IRM progress report, http://www.opengovpartnership.org/wp-content/uploads/2001/01/Albania_Second%20IRM%20Report_for%20public%20comment.pdf. In order to improve transparency and access to information, the portal has added a “statistics section” (http://stat.stopkorrupsionit.al/). The number of submitted reports sharply decreased in 2016. The numbers dropped from 7,000 in the first half of 2015 (six months) to fewer than 3,000 between July 2015 and September 2016 (almost 15 months). As of September 2016, the portal did not provide any information on the outcome of solved reports.

Commitment 4.1

Public accountability: Marginal

This commitment has a significant potential impact for enabling public-sector employees to report corruption. Civil society stakeholders have confirmed this expectation during the consultations on the draft law (2015) and, currently, during various awareness-raising activities on the implementation of the Whistleblower Protection Law. However, because the law is new, it is too soon to see any tangible results affecting public accountability. Nevertheless, the government has shown signs of ensuring the law’s implementation. For instance, in July 2016 the MSLI, the High Inspectorate of Declaration and Audit of Assets and Conflict of Interests (HIDAACI), and Partners Albania signed a memorandum of understanding, which is the first step in an intensive awareness-raising campaign for public officials.

CSOs interviewed for this report view the adoption of the law positively but note that its success and tangible impact will largely depend on the judicial reform which Albania is currently implementing.

Carried forward?

The commitment on the anti-corruption portal has not been carried forward in the new 2016–2018 action plan. The new action plan does include the commitment on the Whistleblower Protection Law, focusing on reinforcing the law’s implementation, regarding capacity building and subsequent amendments and bylaws.


Commitments

  1. Transparency of Government Reporting

    AL0061, 2018, E-Government

  2. e-Government

    AL0062, 2018, E-Government

  3. Improved Business Regulation

    AL0063, 2018, Capacity Building

  4. Safe Communities

    AL0064, 2018, Anti-Corruption Institutions

  5. Improvement of Database/Portal with Coordinators’ Data of the Right to Information and Transparency Programs

    AL0044, 2016, E-Government

  6. Budget Transparency

    AL0045, 2016, E-Government

  7. Integrated Registry of Citizens’ Housing

    AL0046, 2016, Citizenship and Immigration

  8. Establishment of Electronic Registry for Public Notification and Consultation

    AL0047, 2016, E-Government

  9. Digital Archive

    AL0048, 2016, E-Government

  10. Creating a Database for Archiving and Publication of Research Funds and Programs in Albania

    AL0049, 2016, E-Government

  11. Commitment to Publish Online Central and Local Government Legislation in Open Systems and for Free

    AL0050, 2016, Capacity Building

  12. Commitment to Open Standards for Contracting

    AL0051, 2016, E-Government

  13. Starred commitment Implementation of the Law "On Protection of Whistleblowers", Capacity Building, Amendments and Its Bylaws

    AL0052, 2016, Anti-Corruption Institutions

  14. Provision of Electronic Services

    AL0053, 2016, Capacity Building

  15. Establishment of Multifunctional Centralized System for Building Permits

    AL0054, 2016, Capacity Building

  16. Establishment and Distribution of Digital Counters

    AL0055, 2016, E-Government

  17. Service Passport Standardization

    AL0056, 2016, Capacity Building

  18. Citizen Card

    AL0057, 2016, Capacity Building

  19. Electronic System of Registration of e-Prescription in the Republic of Albania

    AL0058, 2016, E-Government

  20. Electronic Monitoring System of Forests

    AL0059, 2016, Anti-Corruption Institutions

  21. Integrated Electronic System for Professional Licensing of Individuals and Legal Entities That Will Operate in the Field of Study Design and Supervision of Commissioning of Construction Works

    AL0060, 2016, E-Government

  22. Standardization of Corruption Complaints

    AL0031, 2014, Anti-Corruption Institutions

  23. Electronic Registry of Energy and Industry Permits

    AL0032, 2014, E-Government

  24. Implementation of Public Expenses Module in "Open Data" Format

    AL0033, 2014, E-Government

  25. Promoting OGP Values Among Local Authorities

    AL0034, 2014, OGP

  26. Database on Economic Assitance Beneficiaries

    AL0035, 2014, E-Government

  27. Electronic Portal on Water Resources Administration and Management

    AL0036, 2014, E-Government

  28. Single Window

    AL0037, 2014, E-Government

  29. Electronic Access to Protected Areas

    AL0038, 2014, E-Government

  30. National Geoportal

    AL0039, 2014, E-Government

  31. e-Albania

    AL0040, 2014, E-Government

  32. e-Document

    AL0041, 2014, E-Government

  33. Starred commitment Law on Whistleblowers Protection

    AL0042, 2014, Legislation & Regulation

  34. Police Service Offices

    AL0043, 2014, E-Government

  35. Open Data Portal

    AL0001, 2012, Open Data

  36. e-Acts

    AL0002, 2012, E-Government

  37. e-Parliament

    AL0003, 2012, E-Government

  38. Extension of the Governmental Network, GOVNET

    AL0004, 2012, E-Government

  39. e-Government Interoperability Framework, e-GIF

    AL0005, 2012, E-Government

  40. Government Datacenter

    AL0006, 2012, E-Government

  41. Excise System

    AL0007, 2012, E-Government

  42. Starting of the e-Tax System

    AL0008, 2012, E-Government

  43. Starred commitment Online State Matura

    AL0009, 2012, E-Government

  44. The Regulation on Ethics in Research and Publishing

    AL0010, 2012, Education

  45. Digitalization of Higher Education Accreditation Process

    AL0011, 2012, E-Government

  46. U-Gov System

    AL0012, 2012, E-Government

  47. Online Inspections of Courts and Judicial Hearings

    AL0013, 2012, E-Government

  48. Digitalization of the File Transfer Process

    AL0014, 2012, Judiciary

  49. e-Employment Project

    AL0015, 2012, E-Government

  50. e-Concessions Procedures

    AL0016, 2012, E-Government

  51. Amendment of the Law “On the Right to Information for Official Documents”

    AL0017, 2012, Justice

  52. Drafting a New Law on "Notice and Consultation"

    AL0018, 2012, Legislation & Regulation

  53. Tracking Project

    AL0019, 2012, E-Government

  54. Digitalization of the Notary Register

    AL0020, 2012, E-Government

  55. Online Citizens’ Claims in the Judiciary System

    AL0021, 2012, E-Government

  56. Work Inspection, Online Complaint

    AL0022, 2012, E-Government

  57. Financial Module of All Educational Institutions

    AL0023, 2012, Education

  58. Starred commitment Audio and Video Recording of Judicial Hearings

    AL0024, 2012, E-Government

  59. Starred commitment e-Albania Portal

    AL0025, 2012, E-Government

  60. e-Inspection Portal

    AL0026, 2012, E-Government

  61. Starred commitment Portal Www.Gjykata.Gov.Al

    AL0027, 2012, E-Government

  62. Disclosure of the List of Payments Made Daily by the Government Units

    AL0028, 2012, Fiscal Transparency

  63. e-Procurement System for All Small Purchases of Public Procurement

    AL0029, 2012, E-Government

  64. Implementation of the EITI Recommendations

    AL0030, 2012, Extractive Industries