On the 15th of November 2013 at the premises of Hotel Tirana International, the Institute for Democracy and Mediation organized the panel debate “Legislation on whistleblowing: Issues Challenges and Prospect” . The event gathered together several national and international key stakeholders to present and discus the findings of a study on the actual state of legislation and practice of whistleblowing instrument in Albania as well as to share ideas regarding the possibilities to set up this practice in the Albanian public administration as a useful tool in fighting corruption and other malpractices.
The study and the whole project were implemented by the Institute for Democracy and Mediation and were supported by the Rule of Law Programme for Southeastern Europe of Konrad Adenauer Foundation in Romania.
The meeting was opened and moderated by Mr. Arian Dyrmishi, Head of the Center for European and Security Issues of the Institute for Democracy and Mediation. He presented the context for undertaking this study and stated the importance of setting up whistleblowing practice as an instrument that discloses information on corruption or other wrongdoings that occur in the Albanian public administration.
The meeting was also addressed by Mr. Thorstein Geissler, Head of the Programme for Rule of law in Southeastern Europe of KAS, Romania. He conducted a presentation of this programme stating that it focuses on issues such as human rights, rule of law and corruption. Within this framework, Mr. Geissler emphasized also that the study on whistleblowers in Albania sets clear recommendations on the enforcement of such practice in Albania including the need to create the necessary legislation for whistleblowers in public administration, the creation of the proper internal and external channels of disclosure that guarantee safe disclosure, and the guarantee of respective protection for whistleblowers. Moreover it was also stated that to guarantee effective development of whistleblowing practices within the Albanian context there is also a need to consider social perceptions and social barriers that exist regarding this phenomenon.
The meeting was subsequently addressed also by Mr. Clive Rumboldt Head of Political, Economic and Information Section, EU Delegation to Albania. During his speech he focused on the importance of whistleblowing practices within the framework of the fight against corruption and related this also to the integration process of Albania into the EU. He also emphasized that even at EU leve only 17 out o25 member status have comprehensive legislation on whistleblowing and that there is a lot to discus in this direction.
Moreover, the reprezentative from the Ministry of State for Local Issues Ms. Eridana Cano, emphasized the good will of the government to address corruption issues in principle and within this framework also to issues related to whistleblowing as an efficient practice to fight corruption and ther malpractices.
The main findings of the study were presented by Ms. Elira Hroni, researcher at the Institute for Democracy and Mediation. The discussion was followed by an effective question and answer session. During this sesion in gjeneral all reprezentatives shared the recommendation for having specific legislation on whistleblowing practices that guarantees information channels and the neccessary protections for whistleblowers. Moreover, beyond legislation for successful development of whistleblowing practices there is also the need to set up the neccessary structures that guarantee the development of such practice and that generate and make public efficient results. Another recommendation was the need to have efficient and independent structures charged with oversight of the implementation of legislation on whistleblowing practices within the Albanian context.