Municipal Transparency Report

According to a national report on municipal transparency and public information, published by BIRN Albania, municipalities meet only half of the legal requirements on the area.

Transparency and citizens information is well covered by the Albanian legislation with three main laws and many bylaws and municipal regulations.  The laws provide for 50 duties on municipal transparency for municipalities to meet, but the report showed that municipalities carried out from 63% of the duties (first ranked municipality) to just 18 % (last ranked municipality).

Surprisingly, the size of the municipality was not related to the performance on this issue.  There are many cases of large municipalities with poor performance and small municipalities performing quite well.  Main reasons for the lack of transparency related to the thinking that official documents should be kept a secret and that lack of awareness on relevant legislation.

Another interesting finding was that the lack of transparency was far more evident online compared to information provided in the offices of municipalities.  Only 23 out of 61 municipalities have a web page and only a few have an updated one.

The financial transparency was the weakest with municipalities not willing to publish their budget and other financial data.

Agron Haxhimali, the Executive Director participated in the presentation of the report and discussed on the difficulties of the larger municipalities in being closer to the citizens.  The municipalities with larger territories, more authorities face now far more challenges when it comes to public transparency.  But, the report will serve the municipalities to figure out where they stand with the transparency and to work harder on improving their performance.