From: Alice Taylor
Albanian Prime Minister Announces Network of Anti-Corruption Staff in Public Institutions

Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama has announced that in every state and public institution, the government will place people whose job it will be to look out for corruption.

These individuals will be placed inconspicuously into various administrative departments in entities such as hospitals, schools, and similar.

During a meeting for the inauguration of the construction work at the Queen Geraldine Maternity Hospital, Rama said the fight against corruption has to take place within the state institutions themselves.

“We are in the process of building an anti-corruption network through our public system. This is the reason that in hospitals and in all institutions, there will be a network of individuals who will be there for this work, and to contribute to separating the corrupt from the non-corrupt.”

He added:

“There is no fight against corruption if it doesn’t take place within the state. Only then will income, trust, dignity, and respect increase. Albania will climb to the top. The State will become the necessary ally of the citizens.”

Recent data from the Institute for Democracy and Mediation shows that citizens place more trust in healthcare and education institutions than the government. In fact, political parties, the courts, parliament, law enforcement, the prosecution, and the president are the least trusted in the country.

They placed the highest amount of trust in religious institutions, educational institutions, armed forces, and civil society.

A third of people said they had paid a bribe to receive services from the central government in 2020.

Another survey, carried out by the Centre for the Study of Democracy and Governance confirmed that citizens consider the government to be the most corrupt. This was followed by the courts, prosecutors, police, and government ministries.

In recent weeks, mostly since Albania failed to receive the go-ahead to formally open EU accession negotiations, there has been an apparent crackdown on corruption. Administrative staff, a mayor, low to medium level officials, and some members of the judiciary have found themselves arrested for instances of corruption.

The data from the aforementioned surveys would suggest that it’s necessary to ensure those involved at higher levels are held accountable before citizen trust increases.