Improve reporting on public finance information (AL0073)
Action Plan: Albania Action Plan 2020-2022
Action Plan Cycle: 2020
Lead Institution: Ministry of Finance and Economy
Support Institution(s): State actors involved Other government agencies involved: The Institute of Statistics (INSTAT), Budget Institutions; Non-governmental agencies involved: Most of the CSO in Albania, which mission is related with economic development and public finance issues/ Universities/ Faculty of Economy, World Bank, SECO.
Policy AreasE-Government, Fiscal Openness, Publication of Budget/Fiscal Information
Starred: Pending IRM Review
Early Results: No early results to report yet
Relevant to OGP Values: Not Relevant
Potential Impact: Pending IRM Review
Completion: Pending IRM Review
What is the public problem that the commitment will address? Fostering a public administration that operates with integrity requires establish complimentary systems with procedures and rules that eliminate opportunities for public servants to exploit their position for personal gain. When complex and opaque systems are in place a lack of oversight establishes opportunities for corruption. Without fiscal transparency and oversight institutions able to scrutinize revenues corruption can place in the form of: collusion (such as prior agreements to fix prices or terms), patronage (favoritism whereby a person or company is hired/contracted by the public administration regardless of qualifications because of affiliations or connection to government officials), conflicts of interest (whereby an individual is confronted with a choice between their duties and responsibilities and their private interests which can result in a misuse of public resources) and graft (political corruption where government officials benefit from intentionally misdirecting public funds to be purchased at a higher cost from specific venders). Because a lack of transparency on government revenues can provide opportunities to hide corruption it can also hamper public trust. Transparency of government revenues and assets promotes public integrity by deterring corrupt behavior and by enabling oversight institutions to hold accountable government officials and institutions. Systems that require this transparency help ensure public officials remain honest which consequently build public trust in government.
What is the commitment? Increasing revenue transparency consists of publishing and making available all relevant financial data regarding the revenues collected by government from various industries- bringing industry, government and civil society stakeholders into the monitoring process.Information will be in a format that is understandable and accessible to all citizens, such as through the use of plain language and accompanying information to explain more complex aspects. To promote transparency of public revenues this commitment establishes and publishes a public asset inventory and register that aligns with international public-sector accounting standards and follows an updated and improved methodology and policies for public asset valuation including depreciation and impairment of assets. Commitments |Fiscal Transparency | Commitment 9 Objective: The objective of this commitment is to enhance accountability and transparency through better financial and non-financial performance reporting in line with international standards to improve coverage, quality and accessibility of information on public finances. Further efforts shall be made to engage the public in the process. Expected results: • Accounting is in compliance with appropriate international public sector accounting standards; • Preparation and publication of the full asset registry of public sector, based on the improved regulations for the valuation and inventory of these assets.
How will the commitment contribute to solving the public problem? To develop a sustainable system for increasing the transparency and accessibility of public revenue information this commitment will take a phased approach to presenting accruals-based government financial statements. It will ensure that public accounting and legal acts are in compliance with international best practices (International Public Sector Accounting Standards (IPSAS)) through an approved strategic action plan (milestone 1). Guided by an approved methodology an inventory of assets will be implemented in all central government institutions (milestone 2). Guidelines and policies will be improved or developed for the recognition and valuation of assets (milestone 3) and the depreciation and impairment of assets (milestone 4) in compliance with agreed upon standards. Public asset management will be improved through the development and publication of a full asset registry for the entire public administration. Based on the improved regulations established by milestones 1-4 a methodology will be developed with guidelines for preparing the full asset inventory (milestone 5). This methodology will ensure that public institutions accurately and comprehensively disclose public revenues and thus will limit opportunities for unethical practices to be hidden and promote civil engagement and understanding. The public asset inventory will then be recorded into the Albanian Government Financial Information System (AGFIS) (milestone 6) for budgetary institutions with AGFIS access and into excel for budget institutions without direct access to AGFIS (milestone 7) which will enable traceability and oversight. 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 This commitment increa ses the amount of in formation and data on public a ssets. An improv ed sy stem with clear guidelines impr ov es the quality of the information available by en suring that the in formation is comprehensiv e, accurate and updated. It also focu ses on u sing internationally agreed best practices and standards to ensure easy comprehension and comparability of data. Information will be in a format that is under standable and accessible to cit izens through the u se of plain language where possible and supplementary information to explain more complex subjects. Public Accountability • Does the ide a cre ate or improve rules, regulations, and mechanisms to publicly hold government 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 Increa sed transparency makes the g ov ernment more exposed in the ey es of citizens regarding how public m oney is generated and collected. Through the improv ement of certain pr ocedures and methodologies and rules and the establishment of others, all in alignm ent with international best practices, this commitment dev elops the framework necessary to hold the public inst itution s accountable for their asset disclosures and v aluations. Through partnerships with SECO the inv entory and r egister will pr omote accountability to external, as well as internal authorities. Public & Civic Participation • Does the ide a cre ate 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 By making public rev enue information more accessible, through a standardized methodology that utilizes transparent guidelines the public is able to be better informed on public finances and thus, can contribute feedback to inform or in fluence the relevant gov ernment action s and policies. Furthermore, by making available all relev ant financial data regarding the rev enues collected by gov ernment fr om variou s industries this commitment will bring indu stry , gov ernment and civ il society stakeholder s into the m onitoring pr ocess. Technology & Innovation • Will te chnological innovation be used in with one of the other three OGP values to advance participation, transpare ncy or accountability? ☒Y es ☐N o The functioning of the electr onic information sy stem the Albanian Gov ernment Financial In formation Sy stem (AGFIS) will support the functionality of the register. It will also help en sure that the data uploaded is complete and comprehensiv e in compliance with the set standards to ensure it pr omotes transparency and traceability such that the public institution s can be held accountable.
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: Accounting is in compliance with appropriate international public-sector accounting standards. Milestone 1: Legal acts and accounting standards in line with International Pu blic Sector Accounting Standards (IPSAS) and approv ed country strategic action plan are in place. Moving on a phased basis to presenting accruals-based government financial statements Ministry of Finance and Economy (MoFE) World Bank; The Economic Cooperation and Development of the Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO) ☒N o ☐Y es Jan. 2020 Dec. 2022 Milestone 2: Inv entory of assets implemented in all central g ov ernment in stitutions, ba sed on the appr ov ed methodology . Asset inventory implement across all central government institutions MoFE WB; SECO ☒N o ☐Y es Jan. 2020 Dec. 2022 Milestone 3: Guidelines for recognition and valuation dev eloped/updated. Guidelines developed. MoFE WB; SECO ☒N o ☐Y es Jan. 2020 Dec. 2022 Milestone 4: Depreciation and impairment policies dev eloped (in line with the strategy for implementing accounting standards). Policies developed. MoFE WB; SECO ☒N o ☐Y es Jan. 2020 Dec. 2022 Priority Measure 2: Improved Assets management: Preparation and publication of the full asset registry of public sector based on the improved regulations for the valuation and inventory of these assets. Milestone 5: Methodology and guidelines for a full public asset inv entory in Central Gov ernment (CG) inst itution s prepared. Methodology and guidelines prepared based on improved regulations for asset valuation and inventory MoFE WB; SECO ☒N o ☐Y es Jan. 2020 Dec. 2022 Milestone 6: Full public assets inv entory is recor ded in the Albanian Gov ernment Financial In formation Sy stem (AGFIS)by th ose Budgetary In stitutions (BIs) which hav e direct access in this sy stem. Public assets recorded into the A GFIS MoFE Bu dgetary Institutions selected to have direct access in A GFIS ☒N o ☐Y es Jan. 2020 Dec. 2022 Milestone 7: Full public assets inv entory is recor ded in Excel (for BIs which n ot hav e direct access in AGFIS). Public assets recorded into Excel MoFE Bu dgetary Institutions with no direct access in A GFIS ☒N o ☐Y es Jan. 2020 Dec. 2022
IRM Midterm Status Summary
Action Plan Review
Commitment #9: Transparency of revenue
● Verifiable: Yes
● Does it have an open government lens? Yes
● Potential for results: Unclear
IRM End of Term Status Summary
Commitment 9. Transparency of revenue
• Verifiable: Yes
• Does it have an open government lens? Yes
• Potential for results: Unclear
• Completion: No evidence available
• Did it open government? No early results to report yet
This commitment sought to ensure compliance of government accounting with the International Public Sector Accounting Standards (IPSAS) and improve asset management by publishing a public sector asset registry.
The government self-assessment report identifies gaps in relevant national legislation. In response, the MFE developed legal acts, accounting standards, accounting instructions, and a business process review.  Furthermore, the report states that all central government institutions were implementing assets inventories by way of the Albanian Government Financial Information System, and that the MFE identified materials for developing guidelines and impairment policies, which it plans to draft in cooperation with the World Bank. However, it is unclear if the MFE drafted an inventory methodology.
The IRM was unable to verify the completion of any milestones, as the government self-assessment report had no links to primary sources or other evidence of implementation.  The MFE or CSOs involved in this commitment implementation did not provide any further input.