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Report on new anticorruption actions

Press statement by the National Anticorruption Coordinator, Minister of Justice Etilda Gjonaj, on anticorruption fight results:

I stand here in front of you today in my capacity as the National Anticorruption Coordinator to unveil the first 2019 report on the actions and results achieved by the anticorruption structures in the public administration.

Although a usual weekly report, I have to start with a rather unusual and disturbing situation.

Taking notice of a denunciation against two staff members of the Immovable Property Registration Office in Durres aired during the “Fiks Fare” investigative TV show last night, the case in question and the actions committed by employees involved in it have been immediately verified.

The chief registrar of the Immovable Property Registration Office, Durres, and two Registration and Cartography Sector specialists have been dismissed for serious violation and abuse of duty, including violation of ethics and public communication.

I have to point out that the Durres Immovable Property Registration Office has been on focus of several administrative inspections.

The case denounced by “Fiks Fare” investigative show coincides with an inspection action carried out at this office by the Central Immovable Property Registration Office regarding a number of files being treated by the local office in question.

Following the inspection action that ended on 16 January 2019, disciplinary actions, including 12 dismissals were recommended, namely:

12 employees, including 2 head sectors and 10 specialists at the Immovable Property Registration Office in Durres;

Meanwhile, warning notice of termination of employment were issued for two employees.

An audit team from Tirana will conduct a thorough investigation into the case and the functioning of the Durres Immovable Property Registration Office.

All employees who have committed violations and involved in abuse of office practices will be dismissed.

At the same time, actions are being taken to replace those dismissed today in order to ensure timely service delivery to the citizens according to legal procedures.

If necessary, we will restructure the whole professional staff of the Immovable Property Registration Office.

The Immovable Property Registration offices and every state institution tasked with providing public services to the citizens have been and will remain of focus of attention and continued control regarding the implementation of the law and public service delivery.

The inspection actions have found various violations and due disciplinary measures have been enforced.

I would like to bring to the public attention the fact that in 2018 alone, some 273 disciplinary measures have been implemented against local and central Immovable Property Registration officials and employees following the complaints and denunciations filed by the citizens via the co-governance platform and inspection actions carried out by the Anticorruption Task Force.

As the Minister of Justice, and also as National Anticorruption Coordinator, I am determined not to tolerate any kind of action that violates the rules of functioning of the institution or the ethics of communication with citizens.

We will tolerate no employee or official to act as owners of state offices and we will not allow anyone who behaves in state offices irresponsibly, with arrogance by sending citizens from one office to another and not exercising the legal and functional responsibilities each state employee should obey.

Added attention has been placed on the fight against corruption and abuse of office at the penitentiary system institutions.

In early January, the Prison Internal Control Service has referred to the prosecutor the case against two prison officials in Rrogozhina on charges of abuse of office, respectively for the prison director and the chief of prison police.

Over the first weeks of 2019, the State Police structures have achieved good results in the identification and documentation of criminal and corruption offenses.

Since January 2, the State Police have evidenced and referred 28 cases on charges of passive corruption committed by individuals exercising public functions and abuse of office. Charges have been raised against 55 suspects.

To conclude, let me reiterate the importance of continued cooperation with the citizens and the media for the success of the anti-corruption war.

By thanking citizens and the media for their denunciations, I want to reiterate the government’s determination to pursue harsh measures against any manifestation of corruption or abuse of office practices at any level or any public institution and at any hierarchical level at these institutions.

Thank you!