On the 31st October 2014 at the premises of Hotel Rogner, the Institute for Democracy and Mediation (IDM) organized the roundtable: “Challenges to conflict of interest management in Albania”. The event gathered several national and international key stakeholders to present and discus the findings of a study on the legal framework and practice on the conflict of interest as well as the challenges that are faced in countering conflict of interest in the Albanian public administration. 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. Sotiraq Hroni, IDM Executive Director. He presented the context for undertaking this study and stated the importance of the conflict of interest as a sensitive issue 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 the conflict of interests in Albania states clearly the importance of this study and the need to dedicate proper attention to this issue to fight corruption in Albania. Moreover, Mr. Arjan Dyrmishi, IDM researcher and author of the study presented the main findings and relevant recommendations. During the presentation, there was an emphasis on the legal framework that is considered generally appropriate, although a number of changes in recent years and the practice show that there are a number of issues and problems in order to be fully and properly implemented. Some of the main problems identified during the research include conflicting interpretations of legislation, lack of additional by laws, insufficient human resources and administrative capacities and weak political support for HIDAACI.
The meeting was addressed also by Mr. Flori Karaj, Secretary General of HIDAACI who held a presentation of the achievements, challenges and problems in the HIDAA’s work with regard to the conflict of interest in Albania. Whereas, Ms Edlira Nasi, Anti corruption Policy Coordinator, at the Minister of State on Local Issues stated the fact that conflict of interest preventive policies have served as a means to fight corruption and strengthen institutional integrity.
The discussion was followed by an effective question and answer session. During this session in general the participants argued on the difficulty to track case by case conflict of interest. Furthermore it was highlighted the need to decentralize fully the conflict of interest issue and transfer this responsibility to the implementing institutions at the central and local level. Moreover, it was emphasized the need to strengthen the responsible authorities’ capacities to effectively carry out their role.