From: Exit News
Albanian Prime Minister Warns Cabinet to Crack Down on Public Procurement Abuses

Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama has warned his ministers that if they don’t fix issues with public tenders whenever they arise from now on, the government will report them to the Special Anti-Corruption Prosecution Office (SPAK).

In a televised meeting with his ministers and heads of government agencies on Tuesday, Rama revealed that the Public Procurement Agency had found issues with 70 percent of public tenders issued since 2020.

Moreover, 20 percent of government institutions took no action to improve the problems following recommendations by the procurement agency.

The main issues reported by the agency included higher limit funds allocated to tenders, special qualification criteria for participating companies that did not relate to the tender object, and awarding of tenders to unqualified companies.

Rama’s meeting with ministers came after SPAK arrested a number of former and current officials at the Ministry of Interior on charges of abuses with public procurement over the weekend.

Earlier last week, Rama warned Albanian mayors in a similar fashion, following the arrest on corruption charges of one of his Socialist Party mayors. 

He revealed that problems with public procurement at the local level were found in about 90 percent of cases, higher than the 70 percent discovered at the central government level. Rama called on all mayors to follow the example of his government and increase competition in public procurements.

At the next session of parliament in September, Rama’s government will presents amendments to laws on public procurement in order to improve the tools available for accountability and monitoring.