Kosova Democratic Institute (KDI) has held today a ceremony of signature of Memorandum of Understanding with the heads of Ministry of Infrastructure, Ministry of Health, Central Procurement Agency and Kosovo Energy Corporation J.S.C, in order to increase accountability, transparency and good governance in the procurement process. Also, present in this event was the British Ambassador in Kosovo.
Through this MoU, KDI got the commitment of the signatory parties for cooperation in the project of monitoring the spending of public funds in the tenders of MI, MoH, KEK and CPA through the project for increasing the public oversight and accountability of public institutions of Kosovo, supported by the British Embassy.
On this occasion, KDI executive director Ismet Kryeziu stressed that KDI as a branch of Transparency International has long been engaged in the fight against corruption, and this project is also an attempt to provide our expertise on the principles of good governance, on the principles of accountability and transparency on public funds spending. “We thank the British Embassy for supporting of this program through which we will scrutinize procurement processes from planning to execution of public contracts in order to make this process as transparent as possible, with as fewer defects as possible and as fewer opportunities of misuseing of public money, “he said.
According to Kryeziu, taking into account the commitments of the Government of Kosovo at the London 2016 Summit on Combating Corruption and all agendas of both the international community and local actors, it’s time when Kosovo should seriously approach spending of public funds, transparency and accountability to the citizens.
British Ambassador in Pristina, Mr.Ruair O’Connell, said that public procurement in Kosovo is facing numerous challenges and has often served as a source of corruption and organized crime. “We are all witnesses of consecutive scandals and accusations of breacked procurement contracts. When it comes to a private bussines, people can decide how they want, and can give the contracts to whom they want, but when public officials make decisions on behalf of Kosovo citizens, they should think about the interest of citizens, on how they spend their public money, and not for their personal benefits, “he added.
According to Mr.O’Connell, in Kosovo, there have been initiatives, structures, and bureaucracies one after the other to prevent corruption, but the main factor is the political will, factor that has been missing and has allowed corruption. “I hope that the participation of the two ministers in this project and support of monitoring shows that this political will may exist. The results of the project may or may not prove whether this will really exists, “he said among other things.
The Minister of Infrastructure, Pal Lekaj, emphasized that this memorandum will make it easier, always according to the law, access to official documents for KDI. “From the very beginning when I came to the head of this ministry, I repeated strongly that we are open to being transparent before taxpayers, citizens of Kosovo and all other institutions that show interest in contracts and other documents within this ministry. The signing of this memorandum is one of the evidence that all documentation that is in interes of the public and that is not sanctioned by law will be accessible to all “, added Lekaj.
Minister of Health,Uran Ismaili, said that he has welcomed this project. “Just our presence here, shows that this is a project we have been dedicated to,” he said. According to Ismaili, the MoH has started a series of practices that precisely aimed at combating corruption. He added that in the past there have been numerous scandals with drugs in this ministry while today there are purchases at much cheaper prices of the same products. “We need to help each other to have a sustainable system to fight corruption. We need a system that does not depend on one minister alone, “he said among other things.
The Chairman of the Board of Directors of Kosovo Energy Corporation, Faruk Hajrizi, emphasized that KEK supports this initiative by saying that he hopes this will serve positively in numerous corporate processes in the field of public procurement. He added that they needed a different look at the work done within the corporation, and provided support for this project.
Also, the Director of the Central Procurement Agency, Behxhet Rrukiqi, stated that they welcomed this initiative and will support KDI in this project.