“Open government is an international trend and an obligation”
When asked what he understood by Open Government during the OGP Brasilia 2012 meeting, Genc Pollo, Minister for Innovation and ICT in the Albanian government replied
Open government is an international trend
In the interview Minister Pollo put the accent on transparency: governments have an obligation to tell people what they are really doing. As the minister for ICT, he also made reference to the importance of technology as an enabler of open government.
Albania and OGP
Albania expressed its intention to join the Open Government Partnership in August 2011 with a letter of intent. Even before joining the OGP, Albania could already claim a number of successes. For instance in 2009 Albania was the first country in the world that carried out a mandatory electronic procurement system for all public sector procurements above the threshold of €3,000 euros ($3,670 USD). For implementing this project, Albania received the second prize of the 2010 UN Public Service Award [PDF] for excellence in public service. The e-Cabinet system was also set up in 2009.
By now Albania has advanced quite well on its action plan implementation. For instance e-Government Projects in Albania are numerous and have contributed towards better governance and the fulfillment of the government’s objectives of increasing transparency. The new 2012 platform e-Acts incorporated into the system more than 1500 users from all ministries. This platform includes all the necessary steps for composing and approving a law or bylaw with an entirely electronic procedure. The National Agency for Information Society is establishing a governmental portal in the open data format.
Fighting corruption is also a key priority of the government, and to this purpose the government will create a single portal of inspections, “e-Inspection”, for the coordination, management, unification and monitoring of inspection procedures. This portal will help improve the transparency and accountability of the inspection system in the country and will reduce corruption. Another way the government is fighting is by disclosing the list of payments made daily by all general government units since January 2012.
Vision for the future
In view of the OGP annual meeting of London 2013, Albania wishes to develop the e-Government Projects in the Local Government. And Minister Pollo said that
Consultation with NGOs and the public in general will continue and we trust that the OGP initiative will benefit further from it next year.
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