Declaration of assets by officials in Albania undergoes changes

Declaration of assets by officials in Albania undergoes changes

Tirana, April 22, 2014/Independent Balkan News Agency

In Albania, declaration of financial assets by high state officials is undergoing some fresh changes which aim of avoiding tax evasion and dishonest profits.

Law parliamentary committee is discussing these amendments in the bill. The opposition has decided not to participate in the debate, as these amendments lift the powers of the President to propose the general inspector of the High Inspectorate of Declaration and Audit of Assets and Conflict of Interests (HIDAACI).

The most arguable point of the bill

The declaration of financial assets by new officials who are subject of the mandatory declaration of assets at HIDAACI for the first time.

Now, public officials will not be allowed to hold more than 1.5 million ALL in cash or 12 thousand Euros. Amounts larger than this must be deposited in banks.

The chairman of the law parliamentary committee and former minister of Justice, Fatmir Xhafaj explains this incentive:

“Newly appointed officials declare 200-300 thousands Euros in cash. This is done with the purpose of making this money in the upcoming period and once it’s time to fill the next form of the declaration of assets, to justify these amounts”.

The head of HIDAACI, Shkelqim Gani says that a study has been carried out on new officials who make a declaration of their assets for the first time.

“According to a preliminary study that we have done, it’s thought that there are 50-60 million Euros that officials declare for the first time in cash. It’s not normal for an official to say that he has 400 million ALL at home, under his pillow. To me, it’s not normal for someone to keep 400 million ALL at home. It’s important for us to put an end to this phenomenon once and for all”, said Gani.

Socialist Movement for Integration considers HDAACI request as unacceptable and the study carried out by this institution as unfounded.

The vice chairman of SMI, Petrit Vasili says: “It seems to me that this study has not been deposited to the Committee and I consider it as unfounded. If we continue with the idea that we’re administrating a corrupted administration and that all these high officials are being watched because we truly believe that they’re going to steal, then we have been mistaken in the principle of the consolidation of the administration and in principle, we have all been positioned in the wrong way”, says Vasili.

HIDAACI penalizes a vice minister and an MP of the majority

The High Inspectorate of Declaration and Audit of Assets and Conflict of Interests (HIDAACI), announced today (22.04) that it had issued a 400 Euro fine to Dritan Hila, deputy minister of Defense and Rakip Suli, MP. The general inspector of HIDAACI said today that following the examination of the acts of the declaration of the private interests of Dritan Hila and Rakip Suli, there was a delay in the submission of the declaration. According to the law, the declaration is made before taking office.

HIDAACI announced that in the days to come, it will make public the names of other officials who have breached the law and for which he said that fines will be issued. /ibna/