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Governance, Administrative Reform and Anticorruption


Related Links

- The World Bank Governance and Anticorruption  
-Governance and Anticorruption - Europe and Central Asia
Governance Indicators 2007

Related Studies

- Albania: Decentralization Study  (284 KB, PDF)
The World Bank and Anticorruption in Europe and Central Asia (448 K B, PDF)

A merit-oriented, depolicized civil service plays an essential role in enabling the public sector to deliver services and limiting the spread of corruption. Through its analytical studies, policy dialogue and lending operations, the World Bank is helping governments in many countries in Europe and Central Asia to begin to instill the features of transparent and accountable civil service institutions .

One of the Country Assistance Strategy (CAS) objectives in Albania is to improve governance and strengthen institutions. The World Bank - in close coordination with other donors - has focused on building critical central capacities, including public administration and the civil service, public expenditure management, and legal and judicial institutions. The Bank will extend institution building efforts to selected priority sectors - education, health, power, water, and transport - through sector-specific operations. Bank operations are also designed to support Albania's decentralization process, and to build capacity at local levels .

Fighting corruption - both a symptom of and a contributor to weak institutions - remains a part of the the Bank's strategy in the country. Since 1998, as part of a broad governance and anticorruption agenda defined and supported by the Friends of Albania, the Bank has helped the government develop and implement its Anti-Corruption Plan (ACP), which includes 150 specific actions affecting economic policy, rule of law, public administration, public finance, customs administration, procurement, audit, and public awareness. The Bank has undertaken surveys of public officials in order to establish baseline measurements of the performance of the public administration and its constituent parts. Surveys continue to be implemented due to raised concerns of weak governance and poor business climate reflected in recent data from the second Business Environment and Enterprise Performance Survey (BEEPS), covering the period 1999-2002, which showed an increase in perceived administrative corruption and state capture in Albania compared to the first BEEPS, which covered the period 1996-1999. However, the overall remaining corruption suggests that long-term efforts are required. An April 2002 report produced under the guidance of the Southeast European Legal Development Initiative indicates once again that Albanians rank corruption as the country's top problem. As a result, the Bank intends to continue supporting anticorruption efforts through a number of operations (including PRSCs II and III) and nonlending acitvities. In particular, building on the NSSED process, the Bank's future operations will focus on increasing transparency and accountability as a means to strengthen institutions and reduce corruption .

In response, the Albanian Government has demonstrated commitment through an agreement to be resurveyed in the coming years in an attempt to systematically monitor medium-term improvements in the functioning of the public administration. The World Bank has also supported the Government of Albania undertake a survey of salaries in the public sector, the private sector and within the local offices of the donor community; a survey which has provided important information in designing salary reform measures in Albania.

The foundations for public administration reform are in place, following the adoption of the Civil Service Law in November 1999. The Bank is supporting better public expenditure management - essential to poverty reduction. The government is improving budget formulation by adopting a Medium-Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF), which adds a strategic focus to the budget process. The Bank is also supporting better budget execution and financial accountability by improving the treasury, accounting, and internal audit.

The fundamentals for legal and judicial reform are in place: the Constitution of November 1998 provides for judicial independence, strengthened through the 1998 Law on Judicial Organization, amended in 1999. However, there is a need for continued institutional strengthening. There is slow progress in law enforcement, including enforcement of property rights. Corruption and incompetence in the judiciary remain serious problems and major obstacles to economic growth.



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