The third meeting of the National Council Anti Corruption was held

Under the direction of the President of the Republic of Kosovo, Mrs. Atifete Jahjaga, today the third meeting of the National Council Anti Corruption was held, which focused on the topic of “Corruption in public procurement”. President Jahjaga stressed the importance of the adoption of the Anti-Corruption Action Plan 2012 - 2016, according to which the general policies in the fight against corruption are determined. The President of the Republic of Kosovo said that this strategy must be adopted as soon as possible as it includes the actions that should be undertaken in the field of public procurement, public finance and their management.

President Jahjaga stressed that the public procurement system should be transparent and the public money must be managed efficiently. She said that the raising of awareness campaigns related to corruption is necessary, in order to extent wider impact on all groups of society, including the business community.

At the third meeting of the National Council Anti Corruption, the representatives of the mandated institutions for combating this phenomenon and those of civil society presented, from their perspective, the problems of corruption which are faced in the public procurement field as well as recommendations for overcoming the situation created.

The representatives of the Kosovo institutions emphasized the need to strengthen the central procurement institution which would deal with the review of cases and monitoring the implementation of the public procurement law. The Auditor General, Lars Lage Oloffson stated the need for human and financial capacity building of this institution, which should have central role in implementing the law in this area.

The chairman of the Parliamentary Commission for Supervision of Public Finance Ali Sadriu recommended that there must be rigorous control in the implementation of contracts, and in particular of Annex-contracts as additional activities prescribed in procurement. He said there is need for a better interagency coordination between the PPRC, the budgetary organizations and the Treasury and the cooperation between the Auditor General, the Anti Corruption Agency and the State Prosecution must increase.

The Head of the Judicial Council of Kosovo, Enver Peci, stressed that the empowerment of the Procurement Review Body would create greater opportunities for increasing efficiency in combating corruption in public procurement and recommended the inclusion of competent judges with a assigned rotating term, in order that this Body to serve as a kind of Court for public procurement matters.

In their addresses, the representatives of the institutions highlighted the problems of tendering and the non implementing of the law in these cases. The Head of the Kosovo Prosecutorial Council, Ismet Kabashi said that the number of prosecutors of Kosovo must increase to fight corruption and recommended the establishment of a working group to review and harmonize bylaws with the law on public procurement.

During the third meeting of the National Council Anti Corruption, the representative of the Institution Riinvest presented a summary for the public procurement field in Kosovo and offered a number of recommendations in this area.

The NCAC meeting lasted two hours and in the debates, attended by ministers Hajredin Kuçi, Bajram Rexhepi and Vlora Çitaku, the representative of EULEX and the one of the European Commission as well as other representatives of nongovernmental institutions and organizations, among other things the increasement of transparency in the public procurement law, the implementation of electronic procurement and the further improvement of procurement procedures and standards in order of their alignment with the European level was requested.

The President of the Republic of Kosovo, Mrs. Atifete Jahjaga, in the conclusion of the meeting stated that the discussion on public procurement will also continue at the next meeting with the presentation of concrete recommendations for this area. She said it is necessary to analyze all the work so far and to assess the achievements to date. President Jahjaga said that an Action Plan will be drafted based on the recommendations deriving from the Council meetings, to monitor their implementation.

The National Council Anti Corruption, created by decree of the President of the Republic of Kosovo, will continue its work at the next meeting which is announced to take place in a month.