09.07.2021 – 20:10
In Tirana, Prime Minister Edi Rama called on mayors to end corrupt practices with tenders and procurement, not to be the subject of SPAK investigations, as the mayor of Lushnja.
While the monitoring organization Open Data Albania told VOA that the government and its agencies are in the first place, as the most suspected of corruption and clientelism, especially in the sectors of health, roads and reconstruction.
A few days after the arrest of the mayor of Lushnja and other employees of SPAK for abuse of tenders, Prime Minister Edi Rama held a meeting with mayors and called on them to implement the laws, so as not to be subject to investigation by the special antic structure -corruption.
Mr. Rama said that the criteria added especially in tenders as a custom suit for the winners and the lack of competition are a phenomenon that must end along with bribery and corruption in local government.
He said that the municipalities have been indifferent to the requests to improve their work, even when they have had advice from the procurement agency. 2
“88.5% of the procedures have resulted in problems in drafting the criteria, and the relevant municipalities have been sent precise recommendations by the Public Procurement Agency. 52.5% of municipalities did not react and did not make any reflections in the process of its technical recommendations. Manual sewing of the tender procedure directly affects the degree of participation and competition fairness of public operators. It is a predatory technique, ugly, exclusive “- said Mr. Rama.
Prime Minister Rama said that there is a red line between personal and party recognition and law violators, so that the mayors do not interfere with public procurement, do not play with a fire that will become more and more scorching.
But the monitoring organization Open Data Albania, told VOA that municipalities are not the most problematic sector in terms of abusive tenders, compared to others.
The head of the Open Data organization, Aranita Brahaj, when asked by VOA, stated that the government tenders are passed to the municipalities in terms of lack of competition, repeated cancellations, negotiations and non-compliance with deadlines.
It is true that municipalities have a 30% level of tenders with risk of corruption and abuse, but municipalities are not the most problematic sector. According to Open Data, with the same methodology are 40% of tenders in the health sector, which are evaluated with a high risk of corruption and clientelism.
There are also tenders of the Road Authority or the Albanian Development Fund, which are characterized by concentration of funds in a few businesses.
“These tenders have disqualifications of operators that offer lower values, leaving high bids winners” – states Open Data.
Problematic and with major defects is the reconstruction fund after the earthquake, where in the second year after the disaster billions of ALL were used, which are contracted with a limited procedure, without bidding, with deadlines of only 10 days for interest.
“Although they are high values, no foreign company comes on the scene, the money is concentrated in a few hands and the lack of competition is established by law, as the government applies the Normative Act of December 2019, bypassing the procurement legislation” – says Ms. Brahaj Open Data Manager.
The State of Natural Disaster has ended as a status quo, but the Normative Act continues to be used, she stressed. Tender values are concentrated in a few businesses, foreign companies are reluctant to participate in tenders, notes the organization Open Data Albania./ Taken from VOA