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Albania

Integrated Registry of Citizens’ Housing (AL0046)

Overview

At-a-Glance

Action Plan: Albania Third Action Plan 2016 – 2018

Action Plan Cycle: 2016

Status: Inactive

Institutions

Lead Institution: Ministry of Internal Affairs

Support Institution(s): NA

Policy Areas

Citizenship & Immigration, Public Service Delivery, Records Management

IRM Review

IRM Report: Albania End-of-Term Report 2016-2018, Albania Progress Report 2016-2018

Starred: No

Early Results: Did Not Change

Design i

Verifiable: No

Relevant to OGP Values: Not Relevant

Potential Impact:

Implementation i

Completion:

Description

The registration of citizens housing will enable many services that can be offered to citizens from their house; these services will be redimensioned after the creation of this database. An important aspect of this service is the registration of Albanian emigrants housing. This will enable important information with extensive use of state and private institutions (the vote of emigrants, penalties at home and many other uses). The whole process will ensure the involvement of citizens in order to verify the accuracy and integrity of datas; an example for this is that the data on registration of emigrants will be obtained through selfdeclaration. Also, feedback from citizens will be taken through urban offices and civil registry offices spread across the whole country. Status quo or problem addressed by the commitment There is a lack of the Integrated Registry of Citizens’ Housing. Main Objective The registration of citizens housing will enable many services that can be offered to citizens from their house; these services will be redimensioned after the creation of this database. One aspect of this service is the census of emigrants. This will enable important information with extensive use of state and private institutions (the vote of emigrants, penalties at home and many other uses). - Increase quality of services to the citizens through housing registry - Melting of the National Address Registry with the Civil Status Registry - Populating the addresses of residents.

IRM Midterm Status Summary

3. Integrated Registry of Citizens’ Housing[Note61: The correct title of this commitment in English is 'Integrated registry of citizens’ residence' (Alb. 'Regjistri i integruar i banesave te shtetasve'). The commitment’s description uses the same terminology as in the action plan. However, the report will elaborate as per the correct term in English.]

Commitment Text:

There is a lack of the Integrated Registry of Citizens’ Housing.

The registration of citizens housing will enable many services that can be offered to citizens from their house; these services will be redimensioned after the creation of this database.

An important aspect of this service is the registration of Albanian emigrants housing. This will enable important information with extensive use of state and private institutions (the vote of emigrants, penalties at home and many other uses).

The whole process will ensure the involvement of citizens in order to verify the accuracy and integrity of datas; an example for this is that the data on registration of emigrants will be obtained through self-declaration. Also, feedback from citizens will be taken through urban offices and civil registry offices spread across the whole country.

The registration of citizens housing will enable many services that can be offered to citizens from their house; these services will be redimensioned after the creation of this database. One aspect of this service is the census of emigrants. This will enable important information with extensive use of state and private institutions (the vote of emigrants, penalties at home and many other uses).

- Increase quality of services to the citizens through housing registry

- Melting of the National Address Registry with the Civil Status Registry

- Populating the addresses of residents

Responsible institution: Ministry of Interior

Supporting institution(s): N/A

Start date: 2016 End date: 2018

Context and Objectives

According to the civil registry of Albanian citizens, Albania’s population is approximately 4.3 million, while the actual number of Albanian residents is approximated to be 2.88 million as of January 2017.[Note62: INSTAT, http://www.instat.gov.al/al/temat/treguesit-demografikë-dhe-socialë/popullsia/publikimet/2017/popullsia-e-shqipërisë-1-janar-2017/. ] Over the past 25 years, it is estimated that nearly 1.4 million Albanian citizens have emigrated, mostly to western European countries (Italy, Greece, Germany, France, United Kingdom, etc.), as well as to the United States, Canada, and Australia.[Note63: European Commission Report, http://ec.europa.eu/social/BlobServlet?docId=8835&langId=en.] Additionally, internal migration has been a widespread and constant phenomenon: from 1992–2000, about 1.3 million people migrated internally, toward urban centers as well as toward rural areas, including the peri-urban areas of Tirana, Durres, Shkodra, Fier, and Korca.[Note64: Ibid. ]

These migratory movements have not been registered in the civil registry of Albanian nationals, thus causing confusion for a number of public services provided by the state and for other citizens’ rights and obligations, such as voting rights and social welfare.

The integrated registry of citizens’ residence aims to create an accurate database integrated with the civil registry which contains all data of citizens (name, birthday, identification number, etc.) including their residential address. According to the action plan, this will offer online access to services for citizens. A service this commitment aims to achieve is the census of emigrants, through the integrated registry of citizens’ housing. Ultimately, the action plan suggests that the Civil Status registry will be integrated with the National Address registry and contain all the information about Albanian nationals in one place, including their updated residence. Although this commitment targets a very important concern in Albania, its relevance to OGP values is unclear. The registry of citizens’ housing will only be accessible to public authorities.

While this commitment clearly lays out its intended outcome (and subsequent services provided), the commitment text itself does not specify the measurable steps the Ministry of Internal Affairs will take to create an integrated registry of citizens’ housing. It is also not clear how the registry would increase quality of services for citizens and, more specifically, how the government would go about conducting a census of migrants. The specificity of this commitment is low, for the above reasons.

If fully implemented, the potential impact of this commitment is minor. Establishing an integrated registry facilitates the government’s work to verify the accuracy of migratory movements and aggregate citizen data in one place. However, due to the low specificity of the commitment, the IRM researcher cannot consider potential impact to be anything greater than an incremental step in registering migratory movements.

Completion

After clarifying the details of this commitment’s activities, the IRM researcher found that the government envisioned three steps: 1) amend law no. 9270 on the system of addresses, 2) launch the database population process, and 3) pilot the housing registry. The database population process involves assigning new codes to households, and then entering data (e.g. the households’ number of residents, professions) in the database. The integrated registry of citizens’ residence was announced by the Minister of Interior in November 2015.[Note65: Ministry of Interior, http://www.punetebrendshme.gov.al/al/newsroom/fjalime/prezantohet-projekti-i-regjistrimit-te-adresave-dhe-shtetasve-popullimi&page=2. ]

In September 2016, the Parliament of Albania adopted the law no. 89/2016 'On some amendments to the ‘Law no. 9270 date 29.07.2004 on the system of addresses’, as amended.'[Note66: Law 89/2016, https://www.parlament.al/wp-content/uploads/2016/07/ligj-nr-89-dt-15-9-2016.pdf. ] In October 2016, the database population process was launched.[Note67: See Minister of Interior statement launching the process, http://www.punetebrendshme.gov.al/al/te-rejat/lajme/vlore-tahiri-nis-procesi-i-popullimit-punesohen-1200-te-rinj-per-regjistrimin-e-shqiptareve. ] By December 2016, the new system of addresses was in place in the pilot municipalities. Citizens in the pilot municipalities (Tirana, Vlora, Durres) were told to report their residential and alternative addresses in the offices of civil registry at local government units by July 2017. However, this deadline was not realistic: many citizens were not aware of the requirement and faced fines of 10,000 ALL (approximately 90 USD), after which the authorities proposed to postpone the deadline.[Note68: As a result, it was requested to postpone the deadline, http://www.panorama.com.al/adresat-e-reja-kaos-ne-zyrat-e-gjendjes-civile-nga-sot-nis-vendosja-e-gjobave/. ]

The government representative for this commitment reported that the piloting of the Registry is under way. In the pilot phase, nearly 600,000 entries of residences have been verified by the time of the preparation of this report and there are another 800,000 to be verified.[Note69: Interview with Loran Sevi, Ministry of Interior, October 2017.] The piloting phase is being carried out in cooperation with the Electricity Power Distribution Operator, a public company.[Note70: The project is implemented by the MoI and the Operator’s duty in this context was to help the Ministry with information about the residents/buildings with whom the company has a power supply contract. Telephone interview with Adri Kola, October 2017.] However, it remains unclear when the project will be completed at the national level.

Early Results

Across three focus group organized by the IRM researcher, a majority of respondents (ordinary citizens) were familiar with this commitment.[Note71: Focus group discussions were carried out with young people (30 August 2017), women (31 August 2017) and participants from remote and rural areas (4 September 2017).] Civil society representatives and citizens participating in the focus group discussions emphasized the importance of this project for better public services, control of the territory and public safety, electoral processes, etc.

However, the Registry’s datasets will be in use for public authorities only. Civil society representatives suggest that lack of public access to the Register makes the OGP relevance of this commitment questionable, despite its importance.

Next Steps

As written, the commitment addresses an important issue in Albania, and can significantly improve state institutions’ activities in public service delivery. However, the commitment is currently not relevant to any OGP values. The IRM researcher recommends that this commitment be taken forward into the next action, with an amendment to also include an open data initiative. This will provide public access to the integrated registry. In respect of the personal data protection legislation, some of the information which could be made publicly accessible includes: number of residences and voters per residence area, voting stations and voters lists, ratio of resident population and emigrants per area (village, town, region), etc. Such information may be useful not only for municipal and community planning purposes but also for election monitoring.

IRM End of Term Status Summary

3. Integrated Registry of Citizens’ Housing [16]

Commitment Text:

There is a lack of the Integrated Registry of Citizens’ Housing.

The registration of citizens housing will enable many services that can be offered to citizens from their house; these services will be redimensioned after the creation of this database.

An important aspect of this service is the registration of Albanian emigrants housing. This will enable important information with extensive use of state and private institutions (the vote of emigrants, penalties at home and many other uses).

The whole process will ensure the involvement of citizens in order to verify the accuracy and integrity of datas; an example for this is that the data on registration of emigrants will be obtained through self-declaration. Also, feedback from citizens will be taken through urban offices and civil registry offices spread across the whole country.

The registration of citizens housing will enable many services that can be offered to citizens from their house; these services will be redimensioned after the creation of this database. One aspect of this service is the census of emigrants. This will enable important information with extensive use of state and private institutions (the vote of emigrants, penalties at home and many other uses).

- Increase quality of services to the citizens through housing registry

- Melting of the National Address Registry with the Civil Status Registry

- Populating the addresses of residents

Responsible institution: Ministry of Interior

Supporting institution(s): N/A

Start date: June 2016 End date: 2017

Commitment Aim:

Over the past 25 years, it is estimated that nearly 1.4 million Albanian citizens have emigrated, while internal migration has accompanied this trend especially in the first two decades since the fall of communism in 1990. These migratory movements had not been registered in the civil registry of Albanian nationals. This commitment aimed to create an integrated registry of citizens’ residence in order to have a single accurate and complete database with information about Albanian nationals, including their updated residence. This would be achieved by integrating the Civil Status Registry, which contains all data of citizens (name, birthday, identification number, etc.), and the National Address Registry.

Status

Midterm: Limited

Although they were not clearly stated in the commitment text, the IRM researcher found that the government envisioned three steps to create the integrated housing registry: 1) amend Law No.9270 on the system of addresses; 2) launch the population database process; and 3) pilot the housing registry. The population database process involves assigning new codes to households, and then entering data (e.g. the households’ number of residents, professions) in the database. The integrated registry of citizens’ residence had been announced by the Minister of Interior in November 2015. [17] In September 2016, the Parliament of Albania adopted the Law No.89/2016 “On some amendments to the ‘Law No. 9270 dated 29 July 2004 on the system of addresses’”. [18] In October 2016, the population database process was launched. [19] In July 2017, Albanian authorities postponed the deadline for citizens in the pilot municipalities of Tirana, Durres and Elbasan to register their residence to January 2018. [20] In October 2017, the government representative for this commitment reported that the piloting of the integrated registry was under way. [21] Albania’s progress in the implementation of this commitment at the midterm phase was limited.

End of term: Limited

The deadline for registering addresses in the pilot municipalities was postponed to 30 January 2018. [22] The Electricity Power Distribution Operator, a public company which was involved in the project “One citizen, one address”, invited citizens to update their residence in the portal http://oshee.al/perditesim/. The process of registering citizens’ addresses was extended to the national level. In October 2018, the Ministry of Interior, General Directorate of the Civil Registry, proposed a six-month amnesty for citizens who had failed to report their residence in the civil registry. [23]

Based on law on identification and registering of addresses of Albanian citizens residing outside the territory of Albania, [24] the Council of Minister Decision No. 405, dated 4 July 2018, elaborated the rules and requirements for reporting the residence abroad. [25] By the time of writing this report (October 2018) the online portal for registering the addresses has not been launched on the Ministry of Interior’s website.

Following the piloting phase in three municipalities, progress on the implementation of this commitment at the national level is unclear as there is no publicly available official information from responsible institutions on the state of completion. Additionally, it is unclear whether the unification of the two registers – the National Address Registry and the Civil Status Registry – is complete. [26]

Did It Open Government?

Access to Information: Did Not Change

Civic Participation: Did Not Change

Public Accountability: Did Not Change

The commitment was not relevant to any OGP values as it entailed the registration of citizens but did not foresee any disclosure of information or citizen participation in decision making. As implemented, the commitment did not lead to any changes that would be relevant to opening government.

Carried Forward?

At the time of writing this report, Albania’s fourth OGP action plan was not published and therefore it is unclear whether this commitment will be continued.

[16] The correct title of this commitment in English is “Integrated registry of citizens’ residence” (Alb. “Regjistri i integruar i banesave te shtetasve”). The commitment’s description uses the same terminology as in the action plan. However, the report will elaborate as per the correct term in English.

[17] Ministry of Interior, http://www.punetebrendshme.gov.al/al/newsroom/fjalime/prezantohet-projekti-i-regjistrimit-te-adresave-dhe-shtetasve-popullimi&page=2, accessed September 2018.

[18] Law 89/2016, http://www.qbz.gov.al/botime/fletore_zyrtare/2016/PDF-2016/185-2016.pdf

[19] Minister of Interior’s statement on launching the process, http://www.punetebrendshme.gov.al/al/te-rejat/lajme/vlore-tahiri-nis-procesi-i-popullimit-punesohen-1200-te-rinj-per-regjistrimin-e-shqiptareve

[20] Deadline postponed for registering residence, http://www.panorama.com.al/adresat-e-reja-kaos-ne-zyrat-e-gjendjes-civile-nga-sot-nis-vendosja-e-gjobave/

[21] Loran Sevi, Ministry of Interior, interview by IRM researcher, October 2017.

[22] “Deadline for registering of the address, postponed to 30 January 2018”, http://www.spektrum.al/afati-per-regjistrimin-e-adresave-deri-me-30-janarit-2018/

[23] Scan TV “6 month amnesty for citizens who have not registered their right address”, October 2018, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QfP8A_yq2_U

[24] Law No. 14/2016 dated 18 February 2016, http://www.qbz.gov.al/botime/fletore_zyrtare/2016/PDF-2016/37-2016.pdf

[25] Council of Minister Decision No. 405 dated 4 July 2018, http://www.qbz.gov.al/Botime/Akteindividuale/Janar%202018/Fletore%20101/VKM%20nr.%20405,%20date%204.7.2018.pdf

[26] National Agency for Information Society (NAIS) 2017 report states that the National civil registry is operational, page 36, http://akshi.gov.al/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/raporti-vjetor-2017-AKSHI.pdf


Commitments

Open Government Partnership