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Albania

Creation of online beneficial ownership register (AL0066)

Overview

At-a-Glance

Action Plan: Albania Action Plan 2020-2022

Action Plan Cycle: 2020

Status: Active

Institutions

Lead Institution: Ministry of Finance and Economy

Support Institution(s): State actors involved - Other government agencies involved: National Business Center

Policy Areas

Anti-Corruption, Beneficial Ownership, E-Government, Legislation & Regulation, Private Sector

IRM Review

IRM Report: Pending IRM Review

Starred: Pending IRM Review

Early Results: Pending IRM Review

Design i

Verifiable: Pending IRM Review

Relevant to OGP Values: Pending IRM Review

Potential Impact: Pending IRM Review

Implementation i

Completion: Pending IRM Review

Description

What is the public problem that the commitment will address? A beneficial owner is the real person or real people who own, control or benefit from a legal entity, such as a company or organization. Criminals can use an ‘anonymous owner’ or a ‘nominee’ as owner of a company in order to secretly move, launder and spend money from criminal activity. Often these secret companies are used to pay or receive bribes or engage in other corrupt practices or to avoid taxes. When open registries require legal entities to disclose the individuals who own or control the legal entity, through direct ownership or indirect ownership through shares for example, money is more easily traceable. Therefore, it becomes more difficult to use legal entities to hide the profits from corruption and crime and therefore, reduces the attractiveness and ease of engaging in such criminal activity. In Albania only the Law no. 9917/2008 ‘‘On the prevention of money launderingand terrorist financing’’ has included explicit mention of beneficial ownership. The legal entities under the jurisdiction of this law are obligated to identify the beneficial owners of their customers; however, this data has not been recorded in a designated national register. Furthermore, under current legislation legal entities registered in the Republic of Albania are not obligated to identify and register data on their beneficial owners in a designated national register.Thus, there has lacked the legal framework necessary to require by law the disclosure and register of beneficial owners of legal entities. Furthermore, without the adequate establishment of procedures and manner of registration and storage of the beneficial ownership data or the punitive measures for non-registration of beneficial ownership, criminal activity and corrupt practices can more easily be hidden.

What is the commitment? This commitment outlines the pathway to establishing a functioning central register of beneficial owners in order to reduce the opportunities for hiding corruption and criminal activity and its profits. Through the development, approval and implementation of the law “On the Register of Beneficial Owners” (the UBO Law) and by-laws that explicitly define beneficial ownership, outline the requirements of legal entities to report to the register and the rules and procedures for the register itself the commitment establishes the legislative basis necessary for an effective beneficial ownership register. The implementation of the register of beneficial owners will consist of an electronic database held by the National Business Center (NBC). All legal entities required to report and register their beneficial owner information will be obliged to submit information regarding their beneficial owners as outlines by the UBO Law or face financial sanctions for non- Commitments | Open Government in the Fight against Corruption |Commitment 2 compliance.Thus, through this initiative, transparency regarding the real ownership and control of legal entities will be promoted and provided, as well as more data to which the public may have access. Objective: The drafting of the law “On the Register of Beneficial Owners” and the accompanying by-laws through a consultative process with stakeholders aim to establish the manner and procedures of data registration for beneficial ownership that accounts for the technical and operational challenges of identifying beneficial owners in Albania. The implementation of the register through this framework aims to establish a system that promotes transparency, due diligence and ethical practices and severely reduces the opportunities for money laundering, bribery, tax evasion and other forms of corruption. Expected results: • Approval of the draft law ‘Register of Beneficial Ownership’; • Drafting and approval of the bylaws: -“On determining the manner and procedures of data registration for beneficial ownership, as well as the notification from the competent state authorities and from the obligated subjects”; -“On determining the rules for the functioning of the Register of Beneficial Ownership, on the way of communication in electronic form and exchange of data between the National Business Center and responsible state bodies, as well as for the manner and terms of communication between the Register of Beneficial Ownership, the Trade Register and the Register of Non-Profit Organizations” • Implementation of the Law on the Register of Beneficial Ownership; • Creation of the Register of Beneficial Ownership by the end of 2021.

How will the commitment contribute to solving the public problem? In order to meet the 'Beneficiary Ownership' objective, MoFE efforts have focused on adapting the necessary legal basis. The Law no. 112/2020 "On the register of beneficial ownership"(milestone 1), fulfils one of the recommendations of MONEYVAL. The law partially approximates Directive (EU) 2015/849 of the European Parliament and of the Council, dated 20 May 2015 on the prevention of the use of the financial system for the purposes of money laundering or terrorist financing, amending Regulation (EU) No 648/2012 of the European Parliament and of the Council, and repealing Directive 2005/60/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council and Commission Directive 2006/70/EC.This law regulates the definition of the beneficial ownership; the obligated entities which must register the beneficial owners; the creation, functioning and administration of the Register of Beneficiary Ownership; the procedure and the manner of registration and storage of the registered data of the beneficial ownership as well as the punitive measures in case of non-registration of the beneficial ownership. More specifically, this law applies to the reporting entities, legal entities registered in the Republic of Albania according to the provisions set in the law. The register will be set up and managed by the National Business Center and will be accessed only by the persons authorized to represent the reporting entity and bythe competent state authorities. Any person wishing to obtain information from the register that is not freely accessible and public can only do so if they are able to prove that they have a legitimate legal interest in obtaining this information. Another task derived by legislative base adaption is the drafting of bylaws, which will be realized with the financial and technical assistance of GIZ, specifically: the DCM “On determining the manner and procedures of data registration for beneficial ownership, as well as the notification from the competent state authorities and from the obligated subjects” (milestone 2) and the DCM “On determining the rules for the functioning of the Register of Beneficial Ownership, on the way of communication in electronic form and exchange of data between the National Business Center and responsible state bodies, as well as for the manner and terms of communication between the Register of Beneficiary Owners, the Trade Register and the Register of Non-Profit Organizations” (milestone: 3) , are in the drafting process. Finally, the Ministry of Finance and Economy and the National Agency for the Information Society must establish the Register of Beneficial Ownership until 2021 (milestone 4). OGP challenge affected by this measures Improve public services Increase efficient management of public resources Increase public integrity Increase corporat e accountability Create a safer community for citizens & civil society ☒ ☐ ☒ ☒ ☐

Why is this commitment relevant to OGP values? Transparency & Access to Information • Does the ide a disclose more information to the public? • Does the ide a improve the quality of information disclosed to the public? • Does the ide a improve accessibility of information to the public? • Does the ide a e nable the right to information? ☒Y es ☐N o The creation of the Register for Beneficial Ownership is foreseen to function as a state electronic databa se, in which the data of the beneficial ownership of the subjects obligated to report is registered, which collects in r eal time the data registered in the respect iv e state registers, administer ed by the relev ant state in stitutions, and serv es as an official electr onic archiv e, thus en suring transparency in the field of ben eficial owners. Public Accountability • Does the idea create or improve rules, re gulations, and me chanisms to publicly hold governme nt officials answerable to the ir actions? • Does the ide a make the government accountable to the public and not solely to inte rnal syste ms? ☒Y es ☐N o By ensuring transparency in the field of beneficial ownership and the definition of the institutions in charge of data registration and their administration, a s well as all other institutions responsible for fulfilling of the resulting legal obligations, aims to improv e public accountability . Public & Civil Participation • Does the idea create or improve opportunities, or capabilities for the public to inform or influe nce de cisions? • Does the ide a cre ate or improve the e nabling e nvironme nt for civil socie ty? ☐Y es ☒N o Any person may obtain information about the data recorded in the register, which is not freely accessible and pu blic, only if he proves that he has a legitimate interest in obtaining this information. Technology & Innovation • Will te chnological innovation be used in with one of the othe r three OGP values to advance participation, transpare ncy or accountability? ☒Y es ☐N o The use of an electronic register provides a means to ensure traceability and transparency and a verifiable record to hold public insti tutions responsible for fulfilling their obligations for the maintenance and continu ous and accurate u pdate of the register.

Milestone Activities Milestones Indicators Responsible Institution / s New or Continued Idea Timeframe Measurable & verifiable achievements to accomplish this objective Result Indicators Output Indicators Lead Responsible Institution Supporting / Coordinating Agencies / Institutions New or continued from 2018- 2020 OGP AP Start Date End Dat e Priority Measure 1: Approval of the draft law “Register of Beneficial Ownership” Milestone 1: Approval of the draft law “On the register of beneficial ownership” Drafting, consulting with stakeholders and following the procedures of the approval of the draft law N o. of working grou p meetings. Law approved Ministry of Finance and Economy (MoFE) Line Ministries ☐N o ☒Y es Beneficiary Owners Jan. 2020 Dec. 2020 Priority Measure 2: Implementation of the Law on the Register of Beneficial Ownership Milestone 2: Drafting and approval of bylaw: - DCM “On determining the manner and procedures of data registration for beneficial ownership, as well as the notification from the competent state authorities and from the obligated su bjects” Drafting, consulting with stakeholders and following the procedures of the approval of the draft law Adopted bylaw MoFE Line Ministries ☐N o ☒Y es Beneficiary Owners Jan. 2020 Dec. 2021 Milestone 3: Drafting and approval of bylaw: DCM “On determining the rules for the functioning of the Register of Beneficial Ownership, on the way of communication in electronic form and exchange of data between the National Business Center and responsible state bodies, as well as for the manner and terms of communication between the Register of Beneficial Ownership, the Trade Register and the Register of N on-Profit Organizations” Drafting, consulting with stakeholders and following the procedures of the approval of the draft law Adopted bylaw MoFE Line Ministries ☐N o ☒Y es Beneficiary Owners Jan. 2021 Dec. 2021 Milestone 4: Creation of the register of Beneficial Ownership. Drafting, consulting with stakeholders and following the procedures of the approval of the draft law Register of beneficial ownership created MoFE NBC, Line Ministries ☐N o ☒Y es Beneficiary Owners Jan. 2021 Dec. 2021


Commitments

  1. Create and implement integrity plans across all ministeries

    AL0065, 2020, Anti-Corruption

  2. Creation of online beneficial ownership register

    AL0066, 2020, Anti-Corruption

  3. Establish online portal for feedback on public service delivery

    AL0067, 2020, E-Government

  4. Expand open data portal and promote access

    AL0068, 2020, Access to Information

  5. Implement citizen assessment process to improve public service delivery

    AL0069, 2020, E-Government

  6. Establish directorate to improve citizens' access to legal aid

    AL0070, 2020, Access to Justice

  7. Publish more accessible and transparent information on Ministry of Justice website

    AL0071, 2020, E-Government

  8. Publish accessible budget information online for citizen engagement

    AL0072, 2020, E-Government

  9. Improve reporting on public finance information

    AL0073, 2020, E-Government

  10. Transparency of Government Reporting

    AL0061, 2018, E-Government

  11. e-Government

    AL0062, 2018, Access to Information

  12. Improved Business Regulation

    AL0063, 2018, Capacity Building

  13. Safe Communities

    AL0064, 2018, Anti-Corruption

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

    AL0044, 2016, Access to Information

  15. Budget Transparency

    AL0045, 2016, E-Government

  16. Integrated Registry of Citizens’ Housing

    AL0046, 2016, Citizenship & Immigration

  17. Establishment of Electronic Registry for Public Notification and Consultation

    AL0047, 2016, E-Government

  18. Digital Archive

    AL0048, 2016, E-Government

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

    AL0049, 2016, E-Government

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

    AL0050, 2016, Capacity Building

  21. Commitment to Open Standards for Contracting

    AL0051, 2016, Access to Information

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

    AL0052, 2016, Anti-Corruption

  23. Provision of Electronic Services

    AL0053, 2016, Capacity Building

  24. Establishment of Multifunctional Centralized System for Building Permits

    AL0054, 2016, Capacity Building

  25. Establishment and Distribution of Digital Counters

    AL0055, 2016, E-Government

  26. Service Passport Standardization

    AL0056, 2016, Capacity Building

  27. Citizen Card

    AL0057, 2016, Capacity Building

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

    AL0058, 2016, E-Government

  29. Electronic Monitoring System of Forests

    AL0059, 2016, Anti-Corruption

  30. 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

  31. Standardization of Corruption Complaints

    AL0031, 2014, Anti-Corruption

  32. Electronic Registry of Energy and Industry Permits

    AL0032, 2014, E-Government

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

    AL0033, 2014, Access to Information

  34. Promoting OGP Values Among Local Authorities

    AL0034, 2014, Local Commitments

  35. Database on Economic Assitance Beneficiaries

    AL0035, 2014, E-Government

  36. Electronic Portal on Water Resources Administration and Management

    AL0036, 2014, E-Government

  37. Single Window

    AL0037, 2014, E-Government

  38. Electronic Access to Protected Areas

    AL0038, 2014, E-Government

  39. National Geoportal

    AL0039, 2014, E-Government

  40. e-Albania

    AL0040, 2014, E-Government

  41. e-Document

    AL0041, 2014, E-Government

  42. Starred commitment Law on Whistleblowers Protection

    AL0042, 2014, Anti-Corruption

  43. Police Service Offices

    AL0043, 2014, E-Government

  44. Open Data Portal

    AL0001, 2012, Access to Information

  45. e-Acts

    AL0002, 2012, E-Government

  46. e-Parliament

    AL0003, 2012, E-Government

  47. Extension of the Governmental Network, GOVNET

    AL0004, 2012, E-Government

  48. e-Government Interoperability Framework, e-GIF

    AL0005, 2012, E-Government

  49. Government Datacenter

    AL0006, 2012, E-Government

  50. Excise System

    AL0007, 2012, E-Government

  51. Starting of the e-Tax System

    AL0008, 2012, E-Government

  52. Starred commitment Online State Matura

    AL0009, 2012, E-Government

  53. The Regulation on Ethics in Research and Publishing

    AL0010, 2012, Education

  54. Digitalization of Higher Education Accreditation Process

    AL0011, 2012, E-Government

  55. U-Gov System

    AL0012, 2012, E-Government

  56. Online Inspections of Courts and Judicial Hearings

    AL0013, 2012, E-Government

  57. Digitalization of the File Transfer Process

    AL0014, 2012, Judiciary

  58. e-Employment Project

    AL0015, 2012, E-Government

  59. e-Concessions Procedures

    AL0016, 2012, Anti-Corruption

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

    AL0017, 2012, Access to Justice

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

    AL0018, 2012, Legislation & Regulation

  62. Tracking Project

    AL0019, 2012, E-Government

  63. Digitalization of the Notary Register

    AL0020, 2012, Access to Justice

  64. Online Citizens’ Claims in the Judiciary System

    AL0021, 2012, Access to Justice

  65. Work Inspection, Online Complaint

    AL0022, 2012, E-Government

  66. Financial Module of All Educational Institutions

    AL0023, 2012, Education

  67. Starred commitment Audio and Video Recording of Judicial Hearings

    AL0024, 2012, E-Government

  68. Starred commitment e-Albania Portal

    AL0025, 2012, E-Government

  69. e-Inspection Portal

    AL0026, 2012, E-Government

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

    AL0027, 2012, E-Government

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

    AL0028, 2012, Access to Information

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

    AL0029, 2012, Anti-Corruption

  73. Implementation of the EITI Recommendations

    AL0030, 2012, Anti-Corruption

Open Government Partnership