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Albania

Transparency of Government Reporting (AL0061)

Overview

At-a-Glance

Action Plan: Albania Action Plan 2018-2020

Action Plan Cycle: 2018

Status: Active

Institutions

Lead Institution: Ministry of Finance and Economy

Support Institution(s): The Prime Minister's Office, the Ministry of Europe and Foreign Affairs, Public Procurement Agency, Public Procurement Commission, the High State Control, INSTAT, the General Directorate of Taxation and the General Directorate of Customs

Policy Areas

E-Government, Fiscal Openness, Publication of Budget/Fiscal Information

IRM Review

IRM Report: Albania Design Report 2018-2020

Starred: Pending IRM Review

Early Results: Pending IRM Review

Design i

Verifiable: Yes

Relevant to OGP Values: Access to Information

Potential Impact:

Implementation i

Completion: Pending IRM Review

Description

Component I: Open Government to Increase Transparency in Government Reporting and
Improve Accessibility to Information
The policy objective of this activity is to guarantee a public finance system that promotes
transparency, accountability, fiscal discipline and efficiency in the management and use of public
resources to improve the quality of service delivery and economic development.
COMPONENTS I: OPEN GOVERNMENT TO INCREASE TRANSPARENCY IN
GOVERNMENT REPORTING AND IMPROVE ACCESSIBILITY TO INFORMATION
Leading institution Ministry of Finance and Economy
Other steakholders Government The Prime Minister's Office, the Ministry of Europe and Foreign
Affairs, Public Procurement Agency, Public Procurement
Commission, the High State Control, INSTAT, the General
Directorate of Taxation and the General Directorate of Customs
Civil society,
private sector
Status quo or problem / issue being
addressed
The vision of the PFM reform strategy is to guarantee a system of public
finances that promotes transparency, accountability, fiscal discipline and
efficiency in the management and use of public resources for the provision
of improved services and economic development
In the first half of 2018, MoFE launched the Mid-Term Review (MTR)
of the 2014-2020 Public Finance Management Strategy. The MTR's
objectives are to identify progress, achievements, challenges and gaps to
plan the next agenda and SMART approach to PFM reform.
The mid-term evaluation report of the PFM strategy contains a brief
description of the methodology followed, the progress of each component
of the pillar strategy during the years 2014 to the first half of 2018;
addressing the recommendations issued by international evaluation
reports; setting priorities for each pillar as well as describing a new
framework for revision of the strategy.
The Ministry of Finance, in the framework of Public Finance Management
(PFM) activities, fulfilling budget activities
/ documents that are criteria and required by the Open Budget Index (OBI)
so that the information on the budget is published on time, easily
accessible and understandable to the citizens, has undertaken to continue
further the progress on Budget Transparency.
Transparency is one of the eight basic principles of "Good Governance".
According to the OECD, budget transparency is defined as "full disclosure
of all relevant budget information in time and systematically".
Transparency in public finances is a key element of governance, which
leads to macroeconomic and fiscal stability, and determines higher rates
of economic growth. In addition, it helps to improve the efficiency of
16
public spending, while the increase of non-transparency leads to the
reduction of fiscal discipline.
The Ministry of Finance has paid attention to the transparency of the
budget, placing it in one of its priorities, materialized in the 2014-2020
Public Finance Strategy.
Lack of budget transparency leads to: lack of availability of required
information, lack of public information, reduction of citizens' confidence
in how public funds are spent, etc. Problems also arise when there is a lack
of publication of the monitoring reports, mid-year report, year-end report,
"Citizens Budget", which is a simple language pamphlet that illustrates the
main aspects of the annual budget, which should published on time and of
course, understandable to citizens.
However, despite the measures taken in this context, Albania, according
to the "Open Budget Survey 2015" report, is among the countries that had
declined in the state budget transparency, ranked first in the region, with
a score of 38 points 100 possible. In addition, it is necessary to further
advance with the improvement and increase of Budget Transparency.
Main objective / Purpose of the
policy
The policy objective of this activity is to guarantee a public finance
system that promotes transparency, accountability, fiscal discipline
and efficiency in the management and use of public resources to
improve the quality of service delivery and economic development.
OGP challenge affected by this meaure Improving
public
services
More
efficient
management
of public
resources
Increas
e
public
integrit
y
Increasing
corporate
accountabilit
y
Creating a safer
community
X X X
It is important in order to improve: Transparenc
y
Responsibilit
y
Citizen Participation Technology and
Innovation
X X
Measurable and
verifiable
achievements to
accomplish this
measure
Result
Indicators
Output
Indicators
Responsible
Institution
New or
continued
engagement
from the 2016-
2018 action
plan
Start
Date
End Date
1.1 Establish a
comprehensive
statistical system
covering the needs of
budgetary and semibudgetary entities.
1. Improved
statistical
system
2. The
standard skid
model
Drafting of
National
Government
Accounts
according to
International
Methodologi
es (ESA
INSTAT Continuous
engagement
2014 2022
1.2 Creating
standardized
information
17
1.3 Creating
alternative methods
for gathering
information
1. New
methods
developed
for the
exchange of
data
3. Standard
formats /
models
4. Report on
approved
results
2010 and
GFS 2014)
1.4 Integration of
Additional
Information on the
Treasury System
(AGFIS)
1.5 Integration into
New Templates for
Exchange of
Information
1.6 Compare the
results and approve
new information
1.7 Drafting a
detailed statement of
fiscal risks and
inclusion in the
budget
documentation
Statement of
Fiscal Risks
MFE Continuous
engagement
2014 2022
1.8 Monitor public
institutions regarding
the implementation of
FMC requirements
FMC
applications
applied
All budget
units will
use the
Internal
Financial
Control
requirement
s to improve
the internal
control
system and
to achieve
the
objectives
and results
MFE Continuous
engagement
2014 2022
1.9 Implementation
of FMC funds in
public sector entiti

IRM Midterm Status Summary

I. Open Government to Increase Transparency in Government Reporting and Improve Accessibility to Information

Language as it appears in the commitment: [1]

Main Objective: The policy objective of this activity is to guarantee a public finance system that promotes transparency, accountability, fiscal discipline and efficiency in the management and use of public resources to improve the quality of service delivery and economic development.

Milestones:

  • Establish a comprehensive statistical system covering the needs of budgetary

and semi-budgetary entities.

  • Creating standardized information
  • Creating alternative methods for gathering information
  • Integration of Additional Information on the Treasury System (AGFIS)
  • Integration into New Templates for Exchange of Information
  • Compare the results and approve new information
  • Drafting a detailed statement of fiscal risks and inclusion in the budget documentation
  • Monitor public institutions regarding the implementation of FMC requirements

1.9 Implementation of FMC funds in public sector entities

Start Date: 2014

End Date: 2022

Context and Objectives

This commitment is linked to Albania’s 2014–2020 Public Finance Management (PFM) [2] and seeks to make the country’s public finance system more transparent and efficient. According to an interviewed specialist from the Institute of Statistics (INSTAT), Albania’s legal framework on statistical infrastructure is partly in line with the European Statistics Code of Practice, and classifications are in line with EU standards. Albania adopted a five-year program on official statistics for 2017–2021 in February 2017 but does not yet have a detailed action plan. Also, INSTAT’s budget and staffing are insufficient to fully implement the EU acquis in statistics. [3]

The Ministry of Finance and Economy (MoFE) facilitates public access to budget data. The has established a “Transparency Portal” on local finances on its website, and publishes a variety of important budget-related documents to its website as well. According to the International Budget Partnership’s 2017 Open Budget Survey, [4] Albania scored 50 out of 100 possible points on budget transparency (slightly higher than the global average). [5] Since 2017, the MoFE has prepared and published a Mid-Year Report. [6] Furthermore, some progress has been made on raising awareness on managerial accountability, piloting external audit manuals in line with international standards, and establishing quality control measures. However, several institutions do not fully implement the public internal financial control (PIFC) legislation, and the rate of implementing internal and external audit recommendations remains low. [7]

This commitment includes a variety of activities that could help INSTAT close some of the gaps between the legislation and statistical practices in the Statistical System of Government Financial Statistics (GFS). This could help build a more transparent and independent statistical system that produces timely and reliable GFS data. It could also help bring Albania in line with EU standards, like the EU’s European System of National and Regional Accounts (ESA 2010). [8] The commitment is relevant to the OGP value of access to information by seeking to improve transparency of government statistics in the implementation of internal control systems and the effective management of public funds. The milestones are verifiable. For example, one can check whether a statistical system has been established, additional information on the Treasury System has been integrated, and if detailed statement of fiscal risks has been drafted.

According to a 2017 Public Administration Reform (PAR) report, there is need to improve transparency and comprehensiveness of budget reporting and scrutiny in Albania. [9] This commitment could help build a more transparent and independent statistical system that produces timely and reliable GFS data. It could also help bring Albania in line with EU standards, like the EU’s European System of National and Regional Accounts (ESA 2010). [10] During the ongoing monitoring of the Financial Management and Control (FMC) staff on the evaluation of internal control systems for 2018, it is noted that institutions have already created the necessary conditions for effective control with all its constituent elements, but there are some problems in the FMC system. These include the risk management process, lack of accurate documenting of the work-flow processes, and lack of written procedures concerning the reporting form within institution and subordinate units. [11] Milestones 1.7–1.9, if fully implemented, could contribute to improving the performance in the implementation of an internal FMC system. However, given the lack of detailed performance indicators for the milestones, the commitment’s overall potential impact is considered minor.

Next steps

The improvement of government statistics, the implementation of internal control systems, and the effective management of public funds could provide an important foundation for greater accountability. For effective implementation of this commitment, the IRM researcher recommends that the MoFE makes information on institutional innovations and lessons learned available on Albania’s OGP website. Moving beyond the current action plan, the IRM researcher recommends the following:

  • Publish open data about the government statistics on Albania’s OGP website through an “open data” window;
  • Publish information about the performance of financial internal control systems, including public institutions' financial data;
  • Provide formal opportunities for the public to engage in the budget process in order to develop a more structured citizen engagement budget; and
  • Provide actions and tools to measure the citizen’s satisfactory on the public service delivery.


[1] For the complete text of this commitment, see: “The Open Government Partnership Fourth Open Government National Action Plan for Albania 2018–2020”, Open Government Partnership, 10 January 2019, https://www.opengovpartnership.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/Albania_Action-Plan_2018-2020_EN.pdf.

[2] “Albania Public Finance Management Strategy 2014–2020”, Republic of Albania Ministry of Finance, December 2014, https://financa.gov.al/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/Albanian_PFM_strategy_2014-2020-1.pdf.

[3]2 Vjollca Simoni, specialist at Institute of Statistics (INSTAT), interview by IRM researcher, 17 July 2019.

[4] “Open Budget Survey 2017”, International Budget Partnership, January 2018, https://www.internationalbudget.org/wp-content/uploads/open-budget-survey-2017-report-english.pdf.   

[5] “Open Budget Survey 2017: Albania”, International Budget Partnership, https://www.internationalbudget.org/wp-content/uploads/albania-open-budget-survey-2017-summary.pdf.

[6] See: https://financa.gov.al/raporti-i-mes-vitit-mbi-zbatimin-e-buxhetit-2018/.

[7] “Commission Staff Working Document: Albania 2018 Report”, European Commission, 17 April 2018, https://ec.europa.eu/neighbourhood-enlargement/sites/near/files/20180417-albania-report.pdf.

[8] “About ESA 2010”, Eurostat, European Commission, https://ec.europa.eu/eurostat/web/esa-2010.

[9] “The Principles of Public Administration: Albania”, SIGMA, OECD, European Commission, November 2017, http://www.sigmaweb.org/publications/Monitoring-Report-2017-Albania.pdf .

[10] Ibid.

[11] Data collected from the questionnaire fulfilled by the Ministry of Finance and Economy staff. This refers to the 2018 assessment report on the functioning of the FMC system in the public institutions.


Commitments

  1. Transparency of Government Reporting

    AL0061, 2018, E-Government

  2. e-Government

    AL0062, 2018, Access to Information

  3. Improved Business Regulation

    AL0063, 2018, Capacity Building

  4. Safe Communities

    AL0064, 2018, Anti-Corruption

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

    AL0044, 2016, Access to Information

  6. Budget Transparency

    AL0045, 2016, E-Government

  7. Integrated Registry of Citizens’ Housing

    AL0046, 2016, Citizenship & 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, Access to Information

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

    AL0052, 2016, Anti-Corruption

  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

  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

  23. Electronic Registry of Energy and Industry Permits

    AL0032, 2014, E-Government

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

    AL0033, 2014, Access to Information

  25. Promoting OGP Values Among Local Authorities

    AL0034, 2014, Public Participation

  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, Anti-Corruption

  34. Police Service Offices

    AL0043, 2014, E-Government

  35. Open Data Portal

    AL0001, 2012, Access to Information

  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, Anti-Corruption

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

    AL0017, 2012, Dispute Resolution & Legal Assistance

  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, Access to Justice

  55. Online Citizens’ Claims in the Judiciary System

    AL0021, 2012, Access to Justice

  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, Access to Information

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

    AL0029, 2012, Anti-Corruption

  64. Implementation of the EITI Recommendations

    AL0030, 2012, Anti-Corruption

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