At least 10% of tenders from the country’s municipalities contain legal, corruptive, clientelist, and procedural issues.
According to an Open Procurement Albania study, based on tenders from July 2015, there are at least 1612 tenders that violate the law and principles of public procurement via lack of competition, inequality, or clientelism.
The most common cases are tenders that lack any competition, with only one economic operator running, a phenomenon that has become fairly common during the Rama government.
According to Open Procurement Albania, the most common violations include:
1. Lack of competition
Procurement takes place with one single competitor. The Albanian law does allow for such procedures, but what such procedures often demonstrate, more than just lack of competition, are criteria and application deadlines that are obviously in favor of a certain company (clientelism). Such tenders deserve to be considered exposed to risk.
Out of 1612 flagged tenders, 953 of them were instances of lack of competition.
2. Winning via disqualification
No matter how many bidders there are in the tender, the only one to qualify is the winner, whereas the rest are disqualified for various technical or procedural reasons and their bids are never considered.
Out of 1612 flagged tenders, 399 of them were instances of winning via disqualification.
3. No tendering process (direct negotiations and above 5 million lekë)
This refers to contracts signed without following any process of competition, but simple negotiations between the contracting authority and companies. Such procedures would have to be allowed only in cases of emergencies which require immediate interventions through a contract. In each case, the publication of contracts must clearly state the reason that led to direct negotiations.
Out of 1612 flagged tenders, 114 of them were instances of direct negotiations.