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Albania

In law
84
In practice
40

In Albania, the legal framework established to regulate political finance receives high marks on the Campaign Finance Indicators. Practically speaking, however, enforcement is riddled with deficiencies. Despite the equitable and transparent distribution of direct public funds to political parties and independent candidates, non-financial state resources, like cars, staff, and buildings, the use of which is explicitly prohibited, were frequently abused during the most recent elections. Restrictions on contributions and expenditures are tightly regulated, but the evidence indicates that such restrictions, especially in regards to spending, are often circumvented in practice. Despite fairly extensive reporting requirements, the information on contributors submitted to the Central Elections Commission (CEC) by parties and candidates is often incomplete. Audit reports of party finances that are available to the public adhere to different formats, and violations and/or abuses of the law happen regularly. Third party actors are marginal figures in Albanian elections, but their influence could increase in the future, as no regulations exist to affect the independent activities of such organizations during campaigns. The CEC, despite having strong legal powers, lacks the practical capacity to investigate and enforce political finance laws. Allegations of abuse, including vote buying, are prevalent, and the CEC in unable to practice effective enforcement in many cases.

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    Direct and Indirect Public Funding

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    78
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      Direct Public Funding
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        1
        Score
        YES
        In law, there is direct public funding for electoral campaigns.More about indicator

        The financing of political parties registered for elections is regulated by the Electoral Code of the Republic of Albania, Part VII, Chapter II "Financing of electoral subjects". Article 87 of the Electoral Code defines that the political parties which participate in the elections and win not less than 0.5% of the votes nationwide, receive funding from the state budget according to the number of votes that each party has won in those elections. The fund for this purpose is determined on a decision of the Parliament and constitutes a separate budget line in the state budget of the respective electoral year. This fund cannot be lower than the total amount of funds allocated to the political parties in the preceeding elections.The fund determined to be distributed, according to Article 87/2 of the Code, is given in advance to each party no later than 5 days from the registration of the multi-names lists, or to the candidates for mayor of the local government unit of the respective party.

        Albania has a proportional regional representation system with closed lists. However, individual candidates not attached to any of the political parties or coalitions running for office, can be proposed by a group of voters in an electoral zone. Although there are no clear or specific regulations on the direct public funding to campaign for individual candidates, the above mentioned article applies to electoral subjects. According to Article 2, paragraph 20 of the Electoral Code "electoral subjects" are the political parties, coalitions and the candidates proposed by voters, as well as the candidates for chair of local government bodies, registered in accordance with this Code. In this framework, the regulation on direct public funding applies both to political parties and individual candidates registered for participation in elections.

        Scoring Criteria

        A YES score is earned where there is direct public funding for both political parties and individual candidates to campaign. A 100 also applies where only one of the two actors can be elected and, therefore, only one is entitled to direct public funding.

        A MODERATE score is earned where per law only one of the two actors (either political parties or individual candidates) is allocated direct public funding to campaign, even though both can be elected.

        A NO score is earned where no such law exists.

        Sources

        Law no. 10 019, date 29.12.2008 "The Electoral Code of the Republic of Albania" - amended with the Law no.74/2012 (Article 87, paragraph 1; Article 2, paragraph 20) http://www.parlament.al/web/pub/kodizgjedhoriazhornuarpdfweb15174_1.pdf http://www.osce.org/albania/14464?download=true (in English)

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        2
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        YES
        In law, there is a transparent and equitable mechanism to determine direct public funding for electoral campaigns.More about indicator

        The mechanism and rules of distribution of public funding to electoral subject are clearly defined in the Article 87 of The Electoral Code of the Republic of Albania. Within a 5 day time period from the official launch of the final results of elections nationwide, the Central Elections Commission (CEC) defines in a decision the value in money of a valid vote by dividing the general fund approved by the general number of valid votes collected by the political parties participating in the elections that have won not less than 0.5% of valid votes nationwide. The CEC calculates the amount for each party by multiplying the value in money of a valid vote with the total number of votes won by each party in the elections. The CEC deducts from this amount the financial sanctions of any executive order applied to the respective political party according to this law. The remaining amount after all the above calculations is the amount disbursed from the state budget to the political party for elections.

        Article 87/2 determines the rules of distribution of public funding as advance payments for the political parties registered as electoral subjects whereas: a) 95% of the total amount is distributed among the political parties registered as electoral subjects, which have won not less than 0.5% of the valid votes in the predecessor elections ; b)5% of the total amount is distributed among the political parties registered as electoral subjects and do not profit according to point "a" of this article.

        Article 87/3 regulates the method of calculation for advance payments as below mentioned: 1) The fund defined according to Article 87/2 point "a" is calculated by dividing this fund with the total valid votes collected by political parties which profit according to point "a" of the Article 87/2. The result of this division is multiplied with the total number of valid votes won by the respective political party in the predecessor elections. 2) The fund defined according to point "b" of the Article 87/2 is allocated through dividing this fund with the number of political parties profiting, but in no case this amount can be higher than the lowest amount profited by a party according to paragraph 1 of this Article.

        For parliamentary elections the criteria used is the announced result nationwide by CEC for the preceeding parliamentary elections. This fund is transferred to each of the political parties not later than 5 days from the registration of their lists of candidates. If the amount paid in advance from CEC is higher or lower than the amount defined in Article 87, the party is obliged to return the balance or is entitled to receive it from the state budget. The party which does not return the balance within 90 days according to the rules of Article 87 loses the right of other financing by public funds for a period of not less than 5 years and cannot be registered in any case as an electoral subject in the upcoming elections.

        Scoring Criteria

        A YES score is earned where: 1) direct public funding for political parties and individual candidates' electoral campaigns is allocated through a clearly defined calculation mechanism that is transparent and equitable, and 2) there are clearly defined eligibility criteria.

        A MODERATE score is earned where direct public funding for political party and individual candidates' electoral campaigns is allocated through a clearly defined calculation mechanism that is transparent and equitable, but eligibility criteria are not clearly defined.

        A NO score is earned where no such law exists.

        Sources

        Law no. 10 019, date 29.12.2008 "The Electoral Code of the Republic of Albania" - amended with the Law no.74/2012 (Articles 87, 87/2, 87/3) http://www.parlament.al/web/pub/kodizgjedhoriazhornuarpdfweb15174_1.pdf http://www.osce.org/albania/14464?download=true (in English)

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        3
        Score
        100
        In practice, to what extent is the mechanism to determine direct public funding for electoral campaigns transparent, equitable and consistently applied?More about indicator

        In practice, the mechanism to determine direct public funding for electoral campaigns is transparent and equitable according to the rules defined in the legal framework. The allocation of public funds to be transferred to the electoral subjects of 2013 parliamentary elections as advance payments was assigned in decision no. 495 of the Central Elections Commission on June 3rd, 2013. However, it is noted that the transfer of the funds was delayed and not made in accordance with the legal dispositions, which mandate that funds shall be transferred before the start of electoral campaign. The electoral campaign begins 30 days before the election date and ends 24 hours before the election date. The electoral campaign of 2013 parliamentary elections began on 24th May 2013 and ended on 22nd June 2013.

        According to Article 87/3, paragraph 4 of the Electoral Code, the public fund determined to be distributed must be given to each party no later than 5 days from the registration of the multi-name lists. The deadline for registration of the multi-name lists of parties and candidates was May 13th, 2013. Thus, the transfer of the funds should have happened no later than May 18th. In practice, the CEC decision was approved on June 3rd and the transfer of state budget was executed by the Ministry of Finance on June 13th, 2013.

        Scoring Criteria

        A 100 score is earned where: 1) electoral campaigns allocations are always defined through a clearly defined transparent and equitable calculation mechanism, and 2) the defined eligibility criteria are applied consistently.

        A 50 score is earned where: 1) electoral campaign allocations are usually defined through a clearly defined transparent and equitable calculation mechanism but exceptions exist, or 2) the eligibility criteria are usually applied but exceptions exist.

        A 0 score is earned where: 1) political campaign allocations are rarely or never defined through a clearly defined transparent and equitable calculation mechanism, or 2) the defined eligibility criteria are rarely applied.

        Sources
        1. [NEWS ARTICLE] The electoral campaign, the Parliament does not allocate 65.000.000 Leke for the campaign of parties, Newspaper "Shqip", by B.Hoti, May 29, 2013 http://gazeta-shqip.com/lajme/2013/05/29/fushata-kuvendi-nuk-jep-65-milione-leket-per-fushaten-e-partive/

        2. [INTERVIEW] Journalist Arber Hitaj, News 24 TV, Tirana, Phone, July 30, 2014

        3. [OTHER] Review of statistics on Central Elections Commission official website, Decisions 2013, Decision no. 495, June 3, 2013 http://www.cec.org.al/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=329&Itemid=316&lang=sq

        4. [OTHER] Review of statistics on Central Elections Commission official website, Auditing reports of electoral subjects for the parliamentary elections 2013 http://www.cec.org.al/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=368%3Araportet-e-auditimit-te-subjekteve&catid=131%3Afinancimi-i-subjekteve&Itemid=323&lang=sq

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        4
        Score
        50
        In practice, to what extent does the entity in charge of public funding make disbursement information publicly available?More about indicator

        The Central Elections Commission has published online in its official website the decisions taken on the approval of funds for the electoral campaign of 23 June 2013 and on the disbursement of funds to political parties for the 2013 elections. The respective decisions no. 14 and 495 are published on the CEC website with the date of approval and entering into force. However, the decision is not published in full because the attachment showing complete details on the disbursement amounts to parties cannot be opened.

        The Law on the Right of Information over Official Documents empowers the general public to access such information upon request, and the law is respected by the CEC, as information is given to interested persons upon request. Journalists have requested, obtained, and published such information on media articles with details on disbursement of funds to parties within a day of the date that the decision was approved by CEC.

        Scoring Criteria

        A 100 score is earned where: 1) complete information on the disbursements is published less than a month after disbursement, and 2) the information is available on the Internet for free or in hard copy at photocopying cost.

        A 50 score is earned where: 1) the information published is incomplete or published more than two months after disbursement, or 2) obtaining the information costs more than photocopying.

        A 0 score is earned where: 1) disbursement information is published more than four months after disbursement, or 2) no disbursement information is published or released upon request.

        Sources
        1. [INTERVIEW] Journalist Arber Hitaj, News 24 TV, Tirana, Phone, July 30, 2014

        2. [NEWS ARTICLE] “Elections, the Parliament approves the disbursement of funds, 26 million Leke for Socialist Party, 25 million Leke for Democratic Party”, by Shqiptarja.com newspaper, May 30, 2013 http://www.shqiptarja.com/home/1/zgjedhjet-kuvendi-jep-fondet-ps-26-mln-leke-pd-25-mln-159626.html

        3. [NEWS ARTICLE] “CEC approved the financial fund for parties, DP and SP obtain the largest part”, by News24 TV/Balkanweb.com, June 3, 2013 http://www.balkanweb.com/bw_lajme2.php?IDNotizia=135195&IDCategoria=2685

        4. [OTHER] Review of statistics on Central Elections Commission official website, Decisions 2013, Decision no. 14,15 January 2013; Decision no. 495, June 3, 2013 http://www2.cec.org.al/sq-al/Vendimet2013

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      Indirect Public Funding
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        5
        Score
        YES
        In law, use of state resources in favor of or against political parties and individual candidates is prohibited.More about indicator

        Article 88 of the Electoral Code regulates the issue of prohibiting the use of public resources in support of electoral subjects. For purposes of this article, "resources" are considered the current and fixed assets provided for in article 142 of the Civil Code, including buildings and vehicles, as well as any human resources of state institutions. Use of “human resources” means the obligatory use for electoral purposes of the institution’s administration within the work hours, as well as the obligatory and organized use of students of the pre-university system within the lesson hours, in the electoral campaign. Resources of central or local public bodies or entities, or of any other entity where the state holds capital or shares or/and appoints the majority of the supervisory or administrative body of the entity, regardless of the source of the capital or ownership, may not be used or made available to support candidates, political parties or coalitions in elections.

        During the electoral campaign, the recruitment, dismissal, release, movement or transfer in duty in public institutions or entities is prohibited, except for legally-justified cases. Legally-justified cases refer to cases when movement or release from duty occurs when the respective legislation is violated, or when recruitment by the public institution or entity, in fulfilling their mission, is carried out within the organisation’s staffing and structure in force before the electoral campaign. This does not apply to cases of emergencies arising from unanticipated events, which dictate recruitment.

        Scoring Criteria

        A YES score is earned where there is an explicit ban on the use of state resources in favor of or against political parties and individual candidates. A YES is also earned where there are clearly defined exceptions, which are accessible to all actors equally.

        A MODERATE score is earned where an explicit ban exists but it only applies to one of the two actors, even though both can be elected. A NO score is earned where no such law exists.

        A NO score is also earned where the law exists, but allows discretionary exceptions.

        Sources

        Law no. 10 019, date 29.12.2008 "The Electoral Code of the Republic of Albania" - amended with the Law no.74/2012 (Article 88) http://www.parlament.al/web/pub/kodizgjedhoriazhornuarpdfweb15174_1.pdf http://www.osce.org/albania/14464?download=true (in English)

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        6
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        0
        In practice, to what extent are no state resources used in favor of or against political parties and individual candidates' electoral campaigns?More about indicator

        Official data from the Central Elections Commission do not indicate that state resources are used by the political parties and candidates for electoral purposes.

        However, data collected by civil society organizations such as the Coalition of Domestic Observers show that the political parties in power occasionally use state resources, such as office space, vehicles, means of communication and personnel from public administration for the purposes of their campaign. Such facts are also noted by the mission of OSCE/ODIHR observes. In Lac, a school director was dismissed for reportedly not following the request of her supervisor to compel teachers to attend a Democratic Party (DP) rally. The Socialist Party (SP) filed a criminal report alleging that a director in the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Energy ordered employees to collect information of committed DP voters. The SP requested the Prosecutor General to establish a national task force to investigate these and other campaign-related criminal acts. The request was officially denied.

        The OSCE/ODIHR observers noted specific instances of schools being closed during daytime rallies, with teachers and students compelled to attend. This was noted during the DP rally in Kukes on 23 May and the SP rally in Divjake on 8 June. At these and other such events, the OSCE/ODIHR observers noted that up to 30 per cent of those present were schoolchildren. Journalists find that electoral meetings are advertised in the websites of public institutions, or public meetings of the institutions/local government units with the community are often used to advertise electoral programs.


        Peer reviewer comment: Agree. In the run-up to parliamentary elections, apart from the mainstream media, the campaign is also monitored also by a citizen's journalism project, which crowd sources incidents and infractions based on submission by Albanian voters. The ZA`LART open source platform (Rising/Loud Voices) gives active citizens the opportunity to report through the web or mobile applications in android cell-phones. In the first phase of the campaign for June 23rd parliamentary elections, citizens filed reports under different categories proposed in the platform. During the electoral campaign, most of the violations reported by the citizens involved ‘misuse of public institutions’ (38 reports). Sixty percent of these reports were confirmed by a group of investigative journalists working on this program.

        Scoring Criteria

        A 100 score is earned where there is no evidence of authorities using state resources in favor of or against political parties and individual candidates. A 100 is also earned where there are clearly defined exceptions and are equally accessible to all actors.

        A 50 score is earned where: 1) documented evidence indicates occasional use of state resources in favor of or against political parties and individual candidates, or 2) clearly defined exceptions are not equally accessible to all actors.

        A 0 score is earned where documented evidence indicates regular use of state resources in favor of or against certain political parties and individual candidates.

        Sources
        1. [INTERVIEW] Kreshnik Kucaj, Journalist, Scan TV, Tirana, August 14, 2014

        2. [NEWS ARTICLE] Coalition of Domestic Observers: The electoral campaign out of control, by Newspaper Shqip, May 18, 2013 http://gazeta-shqip.com/lajme/2013/05/18/kvv-fushata-jashte-kontrollit-ligji-parashikon-monitorim-1-mujor-e-kane-nisur-prej-6-muajsh/

        3. [NEWS ARTICLE] Report of the June elections, by Vizion Plus TV, September 30, 2013 http://vizionplus.al/raporti-i-zgjedhjeve-te-qershorit/

        4. [OTHER] Final Report of OSCE/ODIHR Election Observation Mission, October 10, 2013, page 14: http://www.osce.org/odihr/elections/106963?download=true

        Reviewer's sources: ZA'LART - Report on Citizens' Perception on Albania's Electoral Campaign (May 21st - June 21st). http://zalart.al/ais#raport-en

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        7
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        YES
        In law, political parties and individual candidates have free or subsidized access to equitable air time for electoral campaigns?More about indicator

        The total airtime for political advertisements during the entire election campaign on each private radio and television station may not exceed 90 minutes for each party registered for elections. In any case, radio/television broadcasters apply the same fees for the same time slot throughout the campaign. The electoral campaign begins 30 days before the election date and ends 24 hours before the election date. The day prior to the election date and the election date until the hour of the closing of the polls constitute the period of electoral silence. During the period of electoral silence no electoral campaign through media outlets, as well as rallies or other electoral activities, is allowed. Five days before the beginning of the electoral campaign, the radio/television broadcasters shall submit the fee schedules for each time slot to the CEC. The fee schedules are published on the official website of the CEC. For parliamentary elections, private national and satellite radios and televisions that accept paid advertisements are obliged to make available to the electoral subjects, free of charge, half of the total airtime for advertisement provided. The cost for making the free airtime available to the electoral subjects by private radio/televisions is calculated as a deductible expense for taxation purposes.

        In addition, private radios and televisions make available extra airtime for the advertisements of non-parliamentary parties and candidates proposed by the voters. The airtime for the advertisements of each non-parliamentary party and candidates proposed by voters shall not exceed 10 minutes for the entire electoral campaign. For non-parliamentary parties and candidates proposed by the voters, the same rates as for parliamentary parties as well as the same criteria for the free time shall be applied.


        Peer reviewer comment: Agree. Point 6 of Article 84 of the Electoral Code provides for an additional public financial source for electoral subjects, i.e. free air time for electoral subjects in the case of parliamentary elections. Thus, private radio and television channels that accept paid advertisement are obliged to make available to the electoral subjects, free of charge, half of the total airtime for advertisement provided. This leads to inequality between the parties, with those, which pay more, getting more air time. Costs for making free air time available to the electoral subjects is calculated as a deductible expense for private radios and televisions taxation purposes.

        It is not clear how this article should be applied in practice. Although the CEC, the Ministry of Finance, and the National Radio and Television Council are responsible by law to issue the secondary legislation for ensuring the implementation of the Article, they have not done so yet.

        Scoring Criteria

        A YES score is earned where: 1) free or subsidized access to air time for electoral campaigns is granted in a transparent, equitable way, and 2) there are clearly defined eligibility criteria.

        A MODERATE score is earned where free or subsidized access to air time for electoral campaigns is granted in a transparent, equitable way, but eligibility criteria are not clearly defined.

        A NO score is earned where no such law exists.

        Sources

        Law no. 10 019, date 29.12.2008 "The Electoral Code of the Republic of Albania" - amended with the Law no.74/2012 (Article 80, paragraph 1; Article 84, paragraph 5,6,9) http://www.parlament.al/web/pub/kodizgjedhoriazhornuarpdfweb15174_1.pdf http://www.osce.org/albania/14464?download=true (in English)

        Reviewer's sources: Law no. 10 019, date 29.12.2008 "The Electoral Code of the Republic of Albania" - amended with the Law no.74/2012, Article 84.6. http://www.osce.org/albania/14464?download=true (in English)

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        8
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        75
        In practice, to what extent is free or subsidized access to air time provided in a transparent, equitable way to political parties and individual candidates for electoral campaigns?More about indicator

        The radio and television operators submitted to the Central Elections Commission the official prices for airtime and newspaper publicity for the 2013 parliamentary elections campaign. These prices were equal for all electoral subjects registered to participate in elections, and the CEC has published such information in its official website. The CEC has also published the results of the lot for free airtime on media provided to parties for the 2013 parliamentary elections campaign.

        The Media Monitoring Board reports on weekly basis to the CEC during the elections period on the airtime provided by national television to the electoral subjects. The board reports show that, in the most recent elections, television stations allocated more airtime to certain political parties contrary to the free and independent electoral process. For this purpose, the board demanded that each television station return the minutes of airtime to the respective parties as specified in the decision of CEC. The CEC decisions for airtime compensation were not enforced effectively which caused the biases to not be corrected by all the broadcasters. However, no formal complaints were lodged on media-related issues.


        Peer reviewer comment: Agree. Though this study concerns national level elections, it's important to note that Point 6 of Article 84 of the Electoral Code wasn implemented in an arbitrary way in the 2011 Local Governmental Elections by at least one party and two media companies (although this law applies to Parliamentary Elections only). In these elections, the revenues claimed to have been made based on this legal provision constituted 3.26% of the total campaign funds (for all electoral subjects). The Socialist Movement for Integration party declared officially that it used around USD 110,000 worth of free airtime based on point 6 of Article 84. This is a case of a party receiving more airtime than it was due according to law. This violations was not addressed by the CEC or any other institution.

        Scoring Criteria

        A 100 score is earned where: 1) free or subsidized access to media advertising is always provided in a transparent and equitable way, and 2) the defined eligibility criteria are applied consistently.

        A 50 score is earned where: 1) free or subsidized access to media advertising is usually provided in a transparent and equitable way, but exceptions exist, or 2) the eligibility criteria are not always applied.

        A 0 score is earned where: 1) there's rarely free or subsidized access to air time for political campaign, and 2) access exists but is not provided in a transparent, equitable way.

        Sources
        1. [INTERVIEW] Interview with representative of CEC, Tirana, August 14, 2014

        2. [NEWS ARTICLE] Report of the Media Monitoring Board, by Newspaper Dita, June 5, 2013 http://gazetadita.al/raporti-i-bordit-te-monitorimit-ja-ke-po-mbeshtesin-televizionet-ne-fushate/

        3. [OTHER] Review of statistics on official prices for media airtime and free airtime for 2013 parliamentary elections campaign, available at CEC website: http://www.cec.org.al/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=458%3Atarifat-zyrtare-te-operatoreve-radioteleviziv&catid=133%3Atarifat-zyrtare-te-operatoreve-radioteleviziv&Itemid=328&lang=sq

        The names of anonymous sources are known to Global Integrity and Global Integrity has agreed not to disclose them.

        Reviewer's sources: The Report of the Socialist Movement for Integration - Independent Auditor. The balance sheet of the Collected and Spent Funds in the Local Government Election Campaign, 8 April - 8 May 2011. http://www.cec.org.al/images/stories/zgjedhje-vendore/2011/raportetauditimi/partitepolitike/27_LSI.pdf

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    Contribution and Expenditure Restrictions

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      General Rules on Electoral Campaign Contributions
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        9
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        MODERATE
        In law, cash contributions are banned.More about indicator

        According to the Electoral Code, the non-public funds above the threshold of 100,000 ALL (approximately 960 USD) shall be donated only through a special bank account of the electoral subject. The financial officer of the electoral subject shall declare the number of the bank account opened for this purpose no later than three days from the start of the electoral campaign. The bank account number for each electoral subject shall be published in the official website of the Central Elections Commission. Cash donations below this threshold are permitted.

        Scoring Criteria

        A YES score is earned where cash contributions are banned and all financial contributions must be made via the banking system.

        A MODERATE score is earned where cash contributions are allowed up to a maximum limit, regardless of the limit.

        A NO score is earned where no such law exists.

        Sources

        Law no. 10 019, date 29.12.2008 "The Electoral Code of the Republic of Albania" - amended with the Law no.74/2012 (Article 90, paragraph 2) http://www.parlament.al/web/pub/kodizgjedhoriazhornuarpdfweb15174_1.pdf http://www.osce.org/albania/14464?download=true (in English)

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        10
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        YES
        In law, there is a ban on anonymous contributions.More about indicator

        The Electoral Code requires the identification for each donor donating non-public funds to the electoral subjects, for both political parties and candidates proposed by voters. According to Article 90, each electoral subject shall register the amount of funds received from each natural or legal person, as well as other data related to the clear identification of the donor, in a special register which is approved as a template by a CEC decision. At the moment of donation, the donor signs a declaration affirming that none of the circumstances specified in article 89 applies to him/her and that he/she bears personal responsibility for false declaration. The form and content of the declaration is approved by the CEC and its signing is obligatory for all donations.

        While Article 89 states that donation of funds by a legal person or any of its shareholders is prohibited if one of the following conditions applies: a) has received public funds, public contracts or concessions in the last 2 years, exceeding 10,000,000 ALL (approximately 96,150 USD); b) exercises media activity; c) has been a partner with public funds in different projects; ç) has monetary obligations towards the state budget or any public institution. This obligation is not applicable if the shareholder owns these shares as a result of a public offer.

        Scoring Criteria

        A YES score is earned where the law stipulates that anonymous contributions are banned.

        A MODERATE score is earned where the ban exists, but it applies only to one actor (whether political parties or individual candidates). A MODERATE score is also earned where small anonymous donations are allowed up to a maximum threshold equal to or less than the equivalent to US$300.

        A NO score is earned where no such law exists.

        Sources

        Law no. 10 019, date 29.12.2008 "The Electoral Code of the Republic of Albania" - amended with the Law no.74/2012 (Article 89, paragraph 3; Article 90, paragraph 1) http://www.parlament.al/web/pub/kodizgjedhoriazhornuarpdfweb15174_1.pdf http://www.osce.org/albania/14464?download=true (in English)

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        11
        Score
        YES
        In law, in-kind donations to political parties and individual candidates must be reported.More about indicator

        Article 87/1 of the Electoral Code defines the sources of financing the campaign of electoral subjects (both parties and candidates proposed by voters) as follows:

        a) advanced funds given by the State Budget for political parties registered as electoral subjects; b) income generated by the electoral subject itself, in accordance with the legislation in force; c) gifts in monetary value, in kind or services rendered;; ç) loans taken by the political parties in accordance with the law.

        Reporting of all sources including in kind donations shall be reported to the CEC and auditor for purposes of drafting the audit report of electoral subjects' campaign.

        Scoring Criteria

        A YES score is earned where all in-kind donations must be reported to the oversight authority.

        A MODERATE score is also earned if the requirement to report such information exists, but applies only to one actor (whether political parties or individual candidates).

        A NO score is earned where no such law exists.

        Sources

        Law no. 10 019, date 29.12.2008 "The Electoral Code of the Republic of Albania" - amended with the Law no.74/2012 (Article 87/1) http://www.parlament.al/web/pub/kodizgjedhoriazhornuarpdfweb15174_1.pdf http://www.osce.org/albania/14464?download=true (in English)

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        12
        Score
        YES
        In law, loans to political parties and individual candidates must be reported.More about indicator

        Article 87/1 of the Electoral Code defines the sources of financing the campaign of electoral subjects (both parties and candidates proposed by voters) as follows:

        a) advanced funds given by the State Budget for political parties registered as electoral subjects; b) income generated by the electoral subject itself, in accordance with the legislation in force; c) gifts in monetary value, in kind or services rendered;; ç) loans taken...in accordance with the law.

        Reporting of all sources including loans shall be reported to the CEC and auditor for purposes of drafting the audit report of electoral subjects' campaign.

        Scoring Criteria

        A YES score is earned where all loans must be reported to the oversight authority.

        A MODERATE score is earned where loans must be reported, but the requirement applies only to one actor (whether political parties or individual candidates).

        A NO score is earned where no such law exists.

        Sources

        Law no. 10 019, date 29.12.2008 "The Electoral Code of the Republic of Albania" - amended with the Law no.74/2012 (Article 87/1) http://www.parlament.al/web/pub/kodizgjedhoriazhornuarpdfweb15174_1.pdf http://www.osce.org/albania/14464?download=true (in English)

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      Limits on Contributions and Expenditures during Electoral Campaign Periods
      More about category
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        13
        Score
        YES
        In law, contributions from individuals are limited to a maximum amount.More about indicator

        Article 89 of the Electoral Code stipulates that the amount that each natural or legal person can donate to an electoral subject may not be larger than 1,000,000 ALL (approximately 9,615 USD) or the equivalent value in kind or services.

        Scoring Criteria

        A YES score is earned where: 1) individuals may not contribute more than a maximum amount established by the law.

        A MODERATE score is earned where a maximum amount exists, but it applies only to contributions for one actor (whether political parties or individual candidates). A MODERATE score is also earned where individuals are forbidden from making any contribution.

        A NO score is earned where no such law exists.

        Sources

        Law no. 10 019, date 29.12.2008 "The Electoral Code of the Republic of Albania" - amended with the Law no.74/2012 (Article 89, paragraph 2) http://www.parlament.al/web/pub/kodizgjedhoriazhornuarpdfweb15174_1.pdf http://www.osce.org/albania/14464?download=true (in English)

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        14
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        YES
        In law, contributions from corporations are limited to a maximum amount.More about indicator

        According to article 89 of the Electoral Code, the amount that each natural or legal person can donate to an electoral subject may not be larger than 1,000,000 ALL (approximately 9,615 USD) or the equivalent value in kind or services.

        Scoring Criteria

        A YES score is earned where: 1) corporations may not contribute more than a maximum amount established by the law.

        A MODERATE score is earned where a maximum amount or ban exists, but it applies only to contributions for one actor (whether political parties or individual candidates). A MODERATE score is also earned where corporations are forbidden from making any contribution.

        A NO score is earned where no such law exists.

        Sources

        Law no. 10 019, date 29.12.2008 "The Electoral Code of the Republic of Albania" - amended with the Law no.74/2012 (Article 89, paragraph 2) http://www.parlament.al/web/pub/kodizgjedhoriazhornuarpdfweb15174_1.pdf http://www.osce.org/albania/14464?download=true (in English)

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        15
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        YES
        In law, contributions from foreign sources are banned.More about indicator

        Electoral subjects may receive funds for purposes of their electoral campaigns only from domestic natural or legal persons. For the purposes of this Code, an Albanian citizen who resides outside the territory of the Republic of Albania shall also be considered a domestic natural person.

        Scoring Criteria

        A YES score is earned where it is forbidden for political parties and individual candidates to receive contributions (financial or in-kind) from foreign sources.

        A MODERATE score is earned where: 1) the ban exists but it applies only to one actor (whether political parties or individual candidates), or 2) contributions from foreign sources are allowed to a maximum amount.

        A NO score is earned where no such law exists.

        Sources

        Law no. 10 019, date 29.12.2008 "The Electoral Code of the Republic of Albania" - amended with the Law no.74/2012 (Article 89, paragraph 1) http://www.parlament.al/web/pub/kodizgjedhoriazhornuarpdfweb15174_1.pdf http://www.osce.org/albania/14464?download=true (in English)

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        16
        Score
        YES
        In law, contributions from third-party actors (unions, foundations, think tanks, political action committees, etc.) are limited to a maximum amount or banned.More about indicator

        According to Article 89 of the Electoral Code, electoral subjects can receive funding for the purposes of their electoral campaign only from domestic natural or legal persons. Although there are no specifications on the type of third-party actors, they fall under the definition of "legal persons" (legal entities) but are limited only to legal persons registered in Albania. Referring to the Civil Code of the Republic of Albania (Article 26), private "legal persons" are the companies, associations, foundations, and other entities of private character, which acquire legal personality as provided by the law.

        Paragraph 2 of the Article 89 states that the amount that each natural or legal person may give to an electoral subject shall not be larger than 1,000,000 ALL (approximately 9,615 USD) or the equivalent value in kind or services. In this context, we conclude that third-party actors including unions, foundations, think tanks, political action committees, etc. which are registered as legal persons in Albania can contribute to electoral subjects up to a maximum amount of 1,000,000 ALL (approximately 9,615 USD) or the equivalent value in kind/services.

        Scoring Criteria

        A YES score is earned where: 1) third-party actors may not contribute more than a maximum amount established by the law, or 2) are forbidden from making any contribution.

        A MODERATE score is earned where: 1) the maximum amount or ban exists only for the majority of third-party actors, but not all, or 2) the maximum amount or ban exists, but applies only to contributions for either political parties or individual candidates.

        A NO score is earned where no such law exists.

        Sources

        Law no. 10 019, date 29.12.2008 "The Electoral Code of the Republic of Albania" - amended with the Law no.74/2012 (Article 89, paragraph 1,2) http://www.parlament.al/web/pub/kodizgjedhoriazhornuarpdfweb15174_1.pdf http://www.osce.org/albania/14464?download=true (in English)

        The Civil Code of the Republic of Albania approved with the Law no.7850, date 29.7.1994, amended with the Law no.8536, date 18.10.1999, the Law no.8781, date 3.5.2001 and with the Law no.17/2012 (Article 26) http://www.drejtesia.gov.al/files/userfiles/Legjislacioni/Kodi_Civil.pdf

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        17
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        YES
        In law, election campaign spending by political parties and individual candidates is limited to a maximum amount.More about indicator

        The total expenditure made by a political party, including its candidates, for an electoral campaign shall not exceed 10 times the highest amount that an electoral subject has received from the public funds. Every expense for the electoral campaign is documented and carried out according to the fiscal legislation in force. Obligations provided for the maximum amount of election campaign spending are also applicable to candidates proposed by voters who are registered for elections. The total amount that a candidate proposed by voters can spend shall not exceed 50 % of the highest amount that an electoral subject has obtained from public funds.

        Scoring Criteria

        A YES score is earned where it is forbidden for political parties and individual candidates to spend more than a certain amount in a political campaign.

        A MODERATE score is earned where the maximum amount exists, but it applies only to one actor (whether political parties or individual candidates).

        A NO score is earned where no such law exists.

        Sources

        Law no. 10 019, date 29.12.2008 "The Electoral Code of the Republic of Albania" - amended with the Law no.74/2012 (Article 90, paragraph 3,4) http://www.parlament.al/web/pub/kodizgjedhoriazhornuarpdfweb15174_1.pdf http://www.osce.org/albania/14464?download=true (in English)

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        18
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        Open Question: Do the national laws regulating political finance also apply to sub-national units? If not, to what extent do sub-national units have laws regulating political finance?More about indicator

        The Law on Political Parties and the Electoral Code of the Republic of Albania regulate the issue of financing of political parties at national level. By these laws, political parties shall report for the overall income and expenses of all their branches at local level units. Article 23 of the Law on Political Parties states that the parties shall submit annual financial reports for their funding sources, expenses as well as the subjects related, directly or indirectly, to the party or that are controlled and shall be declared by the party.

        In practice, the financial reports of the political parties submitted to the CEC contain information and list income and expenditure for the overall financial activity of the political party at national level. Local branches of the parties report to the respective central level which is then responsible for preparing the reporting. The financial reporting of the parties is prepared based on the financial information of all local level units and the parties` main headquarters. However, the majority of parties do not include details on the type or amount of income and expenditure occurred for each unit. Only the Democratic Party has included specifications on the donations and expenses for the local branches in addition to the party's main headquarters. In sum, local branches are often neglected in reporting requirements, which leaves open the possibility that some spending and contributions are effectively unregulated.

        No documented cases of such violations as yet exist, but sources believe that many donations received at the local level go undeclared by national organizations.


        Peer reviewer comment: Mjaft Movement, a local watchdog organization monitored the 2013 electoral spending, investigating into the actual expenditures of the political parties related with their electoral campaigns through a program known as the “The Election Magnifying Glass”. They monitored three types of expenses: expenses for radio and television paid time per political party, expenses for organizing public events (both the local and central level), and expenses for promotional materials (both at the local and central level). Their investigation showed that the political parties had actually spent seven times more than what was published in their audit reports. Thus, according to Mjaft investigation, the Democratic Party, the party in power before the elections, spent an amount of ALL 661 million on TV air time, promotional materials, and electoral public events and declared only ALL 94.5 million, i.e. 6.7 times more than declared. According to the same investigation, the Socialist Party, the leader of the winning coalition, spent ALL 340 million, and declared only ALL 80 million, i.e. 4.2 times more. It is worth noting that Albania is characterized by high informality in every economic sector (perceived as up to 30%), and such phenomenon is assumed to be even higher when it comes to electoral spending.

        Scoring Criteria

        Please describe the applicability of national political finance regulations at the sub-national level, being sure to answer: 1) whether national laws are applicable to sub-national campaigns; 2) if not, to what extent do sub-national units have similar laws regulating political finance; and 3) whether there are any reports of problems arising from gaps in this framework.

        Sources
        1. Law no. 8580, date 17.2.2000 "On Political parties" - amended with the Law no. 9542, date 2.2.2006 and with the Law no. 10 374 date 10.2.2011 (Article 23) http://www.qbz.gov.al:81/doc.jsp?doc=docs/Ligj%20Nr%208580%20Dat%C3%AB%2017-02-2000.htm

        2. Law no. 10 019, date 29.12.2008 "The Electoral Code of the Republic of Albania" - amended with the Law no.74/2012 http://www.parlament.al/web/pub/kodizgjedhoriazhornuarpdfweb15174_1.pdf http://www.osce.org/albania/14464?download=true (in English)

        3. [INTERVIEW] Ilir Aliaj, Director of the Center for Democratic Development of Institutions, Phone, August 12, 2014

        4. [OTHER] Review of statistics at the official website of the Central Elections Commission, Auditing reports of electoral subjects during 2013 parliamentary elections: http://cec.org.al/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=368%3Araportet-e-auditimit-te-subjekteve&catid=131%3Afinancimi-i-subjekteve&Itemid=323&lang=sq

        Reviewer's sources: 1. The Election Magnifying Glass 2013, Final Report of Findings. http://www.lupazgjedhore2013.org/konferenca-per-shtyp-raporti-perfundimtar-i-gjetjeve/ 2. CEC Reports on Auditing of Electoral Spending 2013 http://www.cec.org.al/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=368%3Araportet-e-auditimit-te-subjekteve&catid=131%3Afinancimi-i-subjekteve&Itemid=323&lang=sq

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        19
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        Open Question: What are the predominant sources of funding for electoral campaigns?More about indicator

        The electoral campaign for 2013 parliamentary elections in Albania revealed that the main funding resources of political parties were: the public funds allocated by state budget, private donations, and membership fees. The private donations are mostly contributions from individuals rather than corporate or third-party actors. Membership fees are collected in cash by the responsible person for finances as appointed in the Statute of each party, and are then transferred to the bank account of the respective party. The two major political parties report to that public funding accounts for approximately 30 - 40 % of their total funding, while 57 – 66 % comes from private donations and approximately 3 – 4 % comes from membership fees. Small parties have declared to that 10-20% of their monies are from public funding and up to 80 % of their income is sourced from private donations.

        Individual candidates report only their own contribution and declare that the expenses were covered by their own funds. Their audit reports are minimalist and do not include details on income or expenses.

        Political parties in Albania do not declare other methods of generating campaign funds such as owning their own businesses or trusts. Some parties have declared income profited from bank interest of their accounts but it is a very small percentage of the total amount of income used during electoral campaign.


        Peer reviewer comment: Agree - In the Parliamentary Election Campaign of 2013, there were sixty eight subjects running for the parliament, including sixty six political parties and two independent candidates. The political parties declared that they had accumulated a fund of ALL 241,211,140 to support their campaign activities. It was the first time in the short history of assumptions abort the election campaign financial resources, that donor money was declared as the top source of funding.

        According to what the parties claim, 50 % of the money made available to the campaign was money donated by donors, while public funds accounted for 27.59 % of the total campaign funds. Political parties’ own funds, i.e. money parties had collected through the years, including membership fees, represented only 15.3 % of the total. Parties ‘own funds consist of annual money allocated to the parliamentary parties by the state budget, interests from bank deposits, membership fees, and in one case (before the last elections), a fund generated through a lease contract.

        Free advertising, another source of funding provided by the law to the political parties, and recognized as a deductible expense for the service providers (radio and TV stations) represented 6.8 % of the total value of campaign funds. Parties like the Socialist Movement for Integration Party and the Party for Democracy, Integrity, and Unity specifically report this fund, referring to the respective provision of the Electoral Code.

        Even in the latest electoral campaign, similarly to other previous campaigns, political parties declared to have spent more money than they had available. According to their financial tables, they spent more, exceeding thus the limit, and creating electoral debts. The electoral debt was 36.54% of the total expenditures. At the end of the day, it is the media which carries the debt, as most of its invoices were not paid upon completion of the electoral campaign.

        Scoring Criteria

        Please describe the important sources of funding for electoral campaigns, being sure to answer: 1) where does the preponderance of funding come from - public, individual, corporate, or other; 2) to what extent do individual candidates self-finance; and 3) do political parties have other methods of generating campaign funds, such as owning their own businesses or trusts.

        Sources
        1. [INTERVIEW] Luis Tanushi, Journalist, Newspaper "Shekulli", Tirana, August 14, 2014

        2. [INTERVIEW] Kreshnik Kucaj, Journalist, SCAN Television, Tirana, August 14, 2014

        3. [OTHER] Review of statistics on Central Elections Commission official website, Auditing reports of electoral subjects for the parliamentary elections 2013 http://www.cec.org.al/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=368%3Araportet-e-auditimit-te-subjekteve&catid=131%3Afinancimi-i-subjekteve&Itemid=323&lang=sq

        Reviewer's sources: Open Data Albania Article: Financial resources, expenditures and Funds exceeding in the Electoral Campaign 2013 http://open.data.al/en/lajme/lajm/id/955/Burime-financiare-Shpenzime-dhe-Tejkalime-Fondi-ne-Fushate-Zgjedhore-2013

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        Open Question: Have there been documented instances of violations of contribution or expenditure limits or any of the laws mentioned above (Section 2)?More about indicator

        The Central Elections Commission has declared that there are no documented instances of violations for the financial reporting of electoral subjects during the 2013 parliamentary elections campaign. The contributions from non-public funds for the amounts of no less than 100,000 ALL (960USD) are registered in a special registered as approved from CEC, whereas donors declare their identity, date and amount of donation. From the verifications of audit reports, the CEC has found that contributions and expenditure happened in accordance with the legal requirements in place.

        Public opinion and the work of civil society, however, shows that there are often cases when the political parties exceed the limit of expenditure or do not declare certain contributions such as in-kind donations. For example, reports from the MJAFT movement demonstrate that discrepancies often exist between what parties declare they've spent, and what they actually spend in practice.


        Peer reviewer comment: Agree - The process of checking the financial reports of the political parties for the 2013 elections did not find any violations or irregularities in the way money was donated to them, and further distributed to be spent. However, the procedure followed for selecting the Certified Accountants, who were then appointed to check the expenditures declared by the political parties was not appropriate.

        In addition, the legal timeframe and the legal criteria for the lottery procedure was not respected. As a result, instead of at least 20 participants, which is what the law requires, there were only 9 certified accountants participating in the lottery. Moreover, the audit reports produced for these elections are shorter and include fewer details than those of previous campaigns; which shows that each certified accountant had to cover 7-9 electoral subjects in a short time.

        The Mjaft Movement report also notes that some important players of the civil society perceived this electoral campaign as very expensive, using an exaggerated amount of promotional materials.

        Scoring Criteria

        Please list and describe all documented instances of: 1) violation of contribution limits, 2) violation of expenditure limits, and 3) financial contributions that circumvent the regulatory framework. The objective of this question is to learn more about the local context, so please explain the cases in as much detail as relevant.

        Sources
        1. [INTERVIEW] Interview with representative of the Central Elections Commission, August 14, 2014, Tirana

        2. [NEWS ARTICLE] Speech of the Head of Central Elections Commission, Mrs. Lefterije Luzi, on the financing of political parties, National Conference "An effective anti-corruption framework in Albania", Tirana, 12-13 November 2013: http://antikorrupsioni.al/presentation/lefterije-luzi-prezantimi/

        3. [OTHER] Review of statistics on CEC Decisions for Year 2013, available at the CEC website: http://www.cec.org.al/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=329&Itemid=316&lang=sq

        4. [NEWS ARTICLE] Report of MJAFT, parties have exceeded the limit of expenditure, by VizionPlus Television, June 12, 2013: http://vizionplus.al/mjaft-partite-kane-tejkaluar-shpenzimet/

        The names of anonymous sources are known to Global Integrity and Global Integrity has agreed not to disclose them.

        Reviewer's sources: 1. Open Data Albania Pres Release: Legal irregularities in the Course of the Financial Auditing of the 2011 Electoral Funds and Expenses http://open.data.al/en/lajme/lajm/id/833/Komisioni-Qendror-i-Zgjedhjeve-shkel-Kodin-Zgjedhor-per-Financimin-e-Subjekteve 2. Election Magnifying Glass 2013, Final Findings. http://www.lupazgjedhore2013.org/konferenca-per-shtyp-raporti-perfundimtar-i-gjetjeve/

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    Reporting and Public Disclosure

    More about category
    composite
    53
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      Reporting Requirements to the Oversight Entity
      More about category
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        21
        Score
        MODERATE
        In law, political parties and individual candidates report itemized contributions and expenditures both during and outside electoral campaign periods.More about indicator

        The Electoral Code of the Republic of Albania regulates the financing of electoral subjects during the electoral campaign period. Article 91 of the Code requires the electoral subjects to report, for the purpose of audit reports, all information, documents, and data related to the financing and expenditure of their electoral campaigns. The electoral campaign period starts 30 days before the election day and ends 24 hours before the election day. The reports for this period shall be prepared in accordance with the national legislation in place, including both itemized contributions and expenses that occurred during the electoral campaign period. No later than 5 days after the declaration of the final election result for each electoral subject, the Central Elections Commission appoints by lot the licensed auditors to perform an audit of the funds received and spent for the electoral campaign. The audit report for each electoral subject shall be submitted to the CEC by the deadline provided for in the appointment decision.

        The financial activity of political parties outside the electoral campaign periods is regulated by the Law on Political Parties. Article 23 of this Law requires parties to submit financial reports to the Central Elections Commission on annual basis. The reports shall contain detailed information for all income and expenses in a standardized format as approved by CEC. This law applies only to political parties. Since the individual candidates proposed by voters in a specified electoral zone are considered to exert financial activity only during the campaign period, there is no regulation in place to cover the reporting of their financial activity outside campaign periods. However, they are not explicitly restricted in law from collecting donations or administering funds outside of the electoral season.

        Scoring Criteria

        A YES score is earned where political parties and individual candidates are required to report itemized contributions and expenditures to the oversight authority, both during and outside electoral campaign periods.

        A MODERATE score is earned where: 1) the requirement applies for itemized contributions, but not for itemized expenditures, or 2) it applies only during the electoral campaign but not outside it. A MODERATE score is also earned where the requirement exists, but it only applies to one actor (whether political parties and individual candidates).

        A NO score is earned where no such law exists.

        Sources

        Law no. 10 019, date 29.12.2008 "The Electoral Code of the Republic of Albania" - amended with the Law no.74/2012 (Article 77, Article 91) http://www.parlament.al/web/pub/kodizgjedhoriazhornuarpdfweb15174_1.pdf http://www.osce.org/albania/14464?download=true (in English)

        Law no. 8580, date 17.2.2000 "On Political Parties" - amended with the Law no. 9542, date 2.2.2006 and with the Law no. 10 374 date 10.2.2011 (Article 23) Official Journal of the Republic of Albania: http://www.legjislacioni.gov.al/?q=node/312

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        22
        Score
        YES
        In law, political parties and individual candidates are required to report their financial information on a monthly basis during the electoral campaign.More about indicator

        The Electoral Code of the Republic of Albania regulates the financing of electoral subjects during the electoral campaign period. Article 91 of the Code requires the electoral subjects to report, for the purpose of audit reports, all information, documents, or data related to the financing and expenditure of their electoral campaign.

        The electoral campaign period starts 30 days before the election day and ends 24 hours before the election day.

        The reports for this period shall be prepared in accordance with the national legislation in place, including both itemized contributions and expenses occurred during the electoral campaign period. No later than 5 days after the declaration of the final election result for each electoral subject, the Central Elections Commission appoints by lot the licensed auditors to perform an audit of the funds received and spent for the electoral campaign. The audit report for each electoral subject shall be submitted to the CEC by the deadline provided for in the appointment decision.

        Scoring Criteria

        A YES score is earned where political parties and individual candidates must report monthly their financial information to the oversight authority during the electoral campaign.

        A MODERATE score is earned where the requirement exists on a quarterly basis. A MODERATE score is also earned where the requirement only applies to one actor (whether political parties or individual candidates).

        A NO score is earned where no such law exists.

        Sources

        Law no. 10 019, date 29.12.2008 "The Electoral Code of the Republic of Albania" - amended with the Law no.74/2012 (Article 77, Article 91) http://www.parlament.al/web/pub/kodizgjedhoriazhornuarpdfweb15174_1.pdf http://www.osce.org/albania/14464?download=true (in English)

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        23
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        MODERATE
        In law, political parties and individual candidates are required to report their financial information on a quarterly basis outside of electoral campaign periods.More about indicator

        Article 23 of the Law on Political parties obliges political parties to submit financial reports to the Central Elections Commission on annual basis, together with an audit report prepared by licensed accountants as defined in the law. The annual financial reports shall be submitted by the responsible person for finances within the political party or the elected person defined in the Statute of the party. In case of electoral years, the annual financial report of the party shall be submitted together with the financial report of the electoral campaign.

        Such regulation does not apply to individual candidates because they are proposed by voters in a specified electoral zone and are considered to exert financial activity only during the campaign period. Hence, there is no regulation in place to cover the reporting of their financial activity outside campaign periods. However, they are not explicitly restricted in law from collecting donations or administering funds outside of the electoral season.

        Scoring Criteria

        A YES score is earned where political parties and individual candidates must report quarterly their financial information to the oversight authority outside of electoral campaign periods.

        A MODERATE score is earned where the requirement exists on a yearly basis. A MODERATE score is also earned where the requirement only applies to one actor (whether political parties or individual candidates).

        A NO score is earned where no such law exists.

        Sources

        Law no. 8580, date 17.2.2000 "On Political parties" - amended with the Law no. 9542, date 2.2.2006 and with the Law no. 10 374 date 10.2.2011 (Article 23) Official Journal of the Republic of Albania: http://www.legjislacioni.gov.al/?q=node/312

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        24
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        50
        In practice, to what extent do political parties and individual candidates report itemized financial information monthly?More about indicator

        In practice, political parties report after the election campaign period (every two years whether it is the case of parliamentary elections or local elections, and equivalent to monthly reporting during the campaign) and on yearly basis for their annual financial activity.

        In general, the financial reporting is itemized for the funding resources and also for the expenditure. The level of detail and explanations on such information is higher for the main and parliamentary parties. Limited information is given in the reports regarding the in-kind donations and loans. The main parliamentary parties include in their reports details on the donations (name of donors, in kind donations), loans, several types of expenses such as renting of halls for campaign activities (dates and location) or the advertisements in media (airtime, invoice of the TV spot, date of transmission). Smaller parties and non-parliamentary parties prepare simple reports pretending to not profit from the state budget funds or private donations although they conduct a regular political activity during the campaign period.

        Scoring Criteria

        A 100 score is earned where: 1) political parties and individual candidates report on their financial information monthly, and 2) the reports include both itemized contributions and itemized expenditures.

        A 50 score is earned where: 1) the reports are occasionally general rather than itemized or don't contain all accounts, or 2) the reporting frequency is quarterly.

        A 0 score is earned where: 1) political parties and individual candidates rarely or never file reports, 2) the reports are filed but are rarely or never itemized or refer only to either contributions or expenditures, or 3) the reporting frequency is less than quarterly.

        Sources
        1. [INTERVIEW] Lutfi Dervishi, media expert/member of the Board of Transparency International Albania, Phone, July 22, 2014

        2. [OTHER] Review of audit reports of electoral subjects for the 2013 parliamentary election in the website of the Central Elections Commission: http://cec.org.al/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=368%3Araportet-e-auditimit-te-subjekteve&catid=131%3Afinancimi-i-subjekteve&Itemid=323&lang=sq

        3. [INTERVIEW] Aranita Brahaj, Executive Director of Open Data Albania, Phone, July 23, 2014

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        25
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        50
        In practice, to what extent do financial reports by political parties and individual candidates include all types of contributions?More about indicator

        The financial reports of political parties participating in the 2013 parliamentary elections in Albania include these types of contributions from private resources: donations by domestic natural or legal persons, donations by members of the parties, and in kind contributions for services provided. The donations equal to or more than 100,000 ALL (approximately 960 USD) are transferred at the bank account of the party.

        The auditors have verified that the parties have respected the legal dispositions of the Electoral Code which require them to register all donations over the amount 100,000 ALL (approximately 960 USD) in a special register as approved by CEC providing identification data (names of the donors, the date and amount of donations) of the donors. Some parties include these data in the financial reporting and some are sufficient only with submitting the special register of donations to the CEC.

        Donations under the amount of 100,000 ALL (approximately 960 USD) or membership fees are declared as cash transactions in the accounts of the parties.

        The audit report of the individual candidate registered for the 2013 parliamentary elections states that the candidate has not profited any public funds for the purpose of electoral campaign and does not contain other information on the type of expenses occurred or contributions from private resources.

        Scoring Criteria

        A 100 score is earned where: 1) reports include an itemized list of all contributions indicating their type (in-kind, cash where allowed, etc.) and amount (estimated value for in-kind contributions), and 2) contain donors' names and addresses (or other personal identifier).

        A 50 score is earned where only one of the two conditions listed in the 100 criteria is met.

        A 0 score is earned where neither condition is met.

        Sources
        1. [INTERVIEW] Interview with representative of the Central Elections Commission, August 14, 2014, Tirana

        2. [OTHER] Review of statistics on audit reports of the parties for 2013 parliamentary elections, available at the Central Elections Commission website: http://www.cec.org.al/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=368%3Araportet-e-auditimit-te-subjekteve&catid=131&Itemid=323&lang=sq

        3. [OTHER] Review of statistics on audit report of the individual candidate A.Malaj for 2013 parliamentary elections, available at the Central Elections Commission website: http://www.cec.org.al/images/stories/zgjedhje-per-kuvend/2013/rapaudit/1/AMalaj.pdf

        The names of anonymous sources are known to Global Integrity and Global Integrity has agreed not to disclose them.

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      Availability of Electoral Campaigns' Financial Information to the Public
      More about category
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        26
        Score
        MODERATE
        In law, financial information from political parties and individual candidates must be available to the public.More about indicator

        The Electoral Code requires the Central Elections Commission to publish the audit reports of electoral subjects in its official website not later than 30 days from the date the report has been submitted or depending on the case, from the date the respective verifications have been completed. The names of persons donating amounts of not less than 100,000 ALL (approximately 960 USD), as well as the respective amounts shall be published together with the report.

        In addition, the Constitution of Albania obliges political parties to make public their financial resources and expenditures at any time. However, this provision is not further regulated by more precise legislation or specifications. Furthermore, according to the Law no. 8503 date 30.06.1999 "Over the Right to Information about Official Documents", the competent state authorities have to make the information available to the requesting person within a period of 40 days.

        Scoring Criteria

        A YES score is earned where in law financial information of political parties and individual candidates must be made available to the public, whether online or digitally within two days of request.

        A MODERATE score is earned where financial information must be made available to the public, but no requirement exists regarding cost, format or number of days within which it must be made available.

        A NO score is earned where no such law exists.

        Sources

        Law no. 10 019, date 29.12.2008 "The Electoral Code of the Republic of Albania" - amended with the Law no.74/2012 (Article 91, paragraph 4) http://www.parlament.al/web/pub/kodizgjedhoriazhornuarpdfweb15174_1.pdf http://www.osce.org/albania/14464?download=true (in English)

        Constitution of Albania (Article 9, paragraph 3) http://www.parlament.al/web/pub/kushtetutaperditesuar15171_1.pdf http://www.osce.org/albania/41888?download=true (in English)

        Law no. 8503 date 30.06.1999 "Over the Right to Information about Official Documents" (Article 11) http://www.pad.gov.al/2014-03-21-12-52-44/vkmm/50-per-te-drejten-e-informimit-per-dokumentet-zyrtar

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        27
        Score
        25
        In practice, to what extent can citizens easily access the financial information of all political parties and individual candidates?More about indicator

        The audit reports of electoral subjects for the Albania parliamentary elections of June 23rd 2013 are published online in the website of the Central Elections Commission. Although they were published later than the deadline assigned by the CEC, they are now available for the public in an easily usable format. The section contains the audit reports prepared by independent auditors for 64 electoral subjects (63 political parties,1 individual candidate). However, there is no information available online for the financial reporting prepared directly by the political parties themselves for the electoral campaign 2013.

        The audit reports contain information on the income and expenditure of the parties during the electoral campaign period. The income is in general presented in groups such as: income from the state budget, income from own funds of the party, donations (in cash, through bank transfers, in kind), loans. The expenses are presented by budget item and not summarized in budget lines or provided specifications per invoice. The audit reports contain information on the type and amounts of income and expenditure, names of donors and the procedure followed for the audit purposes. Details on each transfer of funds (donation) or expenses incurred are lacking and the reports are not prepared in the format of a financial workbook or machine readable format for the public. Instead, they are scanned versions of hard copies.

        Civil society organizations and journalists find it difficult to obtain financial information from the political parties. The political parties in Albania do not respect the constitutional obligation to make public, at any time, their financial resources and expenses. None of the political parties in Albania published such information online. Even official requests for information sent to parties based on the law on access to information do not provide results and the parties do not declare the names or amount of donations when asked during the electoral campaign period.

        Scoring Criteria

        A 100 score is earned where: 1) all relevant financial information is freely available online, 2) it can be obtained digitally within two days of requesting it, and 3) it is in a machine readable format (for example in csv or xml format).

        A 50 score is earned where: 1) information is available but in some cases is incomplete or lacking detail, 2) obtaining complete information takes up to a month, or 3) it's not necessarily digital or in machine readable format.

        A 0 score is earned where: 1) the information is not publicly available, or 2) obtaining it takes more than three months, or 3) the cost of obtaining it is prohibitive for the regular citizen.

        Sources
        1. [INTERVIEW] Aranita Brahaj, Executive Director, Open Data Albania, Phone, July 23, 2014

        2. [NEWS ARTICLE] CEC does not finalize auditing of political parties funding, by Bledar Hoti, Gazeta Shqip, September 5th 2013: http://gazeta-shqip.com/lajme/2013/09/05/kqz-nuk-mbyll-auditin-e-fondeve-te-partive-politike/

        3. [OTHER] Review of audit reports of electoral subjects for parliamentary elections 2013 in Albania, available at the Central Elections Commission website: http://cec.org.al/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=368%3Araportet-e-auditimit-te-subjekteve&catid=131&Itemid=323&lang=sq

        4. [OTHER] Speech of the Head of Central Elections Commission, Mrs. Lefterije Luzi, on the financing of political parties, National Conference "An effective anti-corruption framework in Albania", Tirana, 12-13 November 2013: http://antikorrupsioni.al/presentation/lefterije-luzi-prezantimi/

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        28
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        25
        In practice, to what extent is financial information published in a standardized format?More about indicator

        In practice, not all political parties and individual candidates report in a standardized format. For the period of 2013 parliamentary elections, the political parties reported to the independent auditors assigned by the Central Elections Commission and the auditors submitted audit reports for elections to the CEC. This has happened as a result of legal loopholes in the Electoral Code that does not provide separate dispositions on the financial reporting and internal bookkeeping of parties but only defines specifications on the auditing of funding resources and expenses.

        There is not a consolidated standardized format to follow but in general, the auditors have reported based on the National Accounting Standards and on the national legislation. The reporting is not easy to understand for the public and a large number of reports lack detailed explanations on the expenditure items or sources of information. The non-parliamentary parties prove to be less likely to follow the reporting procedures and provide detailed information.

        According to the law, the political parties shall declare the number of their bank account not later than three days from the starting date of the campaign period. This disposition and the required timeline is not implemented in practice by all parties. During 2013 parliamentary elections, only 15 political parties from 64 registered electoral subjects submitted their bank accounts to CEC for public disclosure.

        Scoring Criteria

        A 100 score is earned where financial information for all political parties and individual candidates is available to the public in a standardized format.

        A 50 score is earned where only part of the information is published in a standardized format. A 50 score is also earned where the information is standardized, but it doesn't cover all political parties and individual candidates.

        A 0 score is earned where financial information is not available in a standardized format.

        Sources
        1. [INTERVIEW] Lutfi Dervishi, media expert/member of the Board of Transparency International Albania, Phone, July 22, 2014

        2. [OTHER] Review of audit reports of political parties for 2013 elections published in the Central Elections Commission website: http://cec.org.al/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=368%3Araportet-e-auditimit-te-subjekteve&catid=131%3Afinancimi-i-subjekteve&Itemid=323&lang=sq

        3. [OTHER] Review of statistics at the Central Elections Commission website, "Number of bank accounts of political parties during parliamentary elections 2013": http://cec.org.al/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=367%3Anumrat-e-llogarive-bankare-te-subjekteve&catid=131%3Afinancimi-i-subjekteve&Itemid=323&lang=sq

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        29
        Score
        100
        In practice, to what extent do mainstream journalism media outlets use political finance data in their reporting?More about indicator

        In general, the main journalism media outlets in Albania use the official information from financial reports of the parties in their reporting. Televisions and newspapers have frequently reported on the distribution of funds by the Central Elections Commission to the electoral subjects for the 2013 parliamentary elections campaign, the auditing procedures for the parties income and expenses during the campaign, the reporting of the Media Monitoring Board on the media airtime provided to political parties and the types of contributions declared on the financial reporting of parties. Journalists have prepared the reporting based on the official reports published online by the CEC or other information secured upon request to the state authorities.

        Scoring Criteria

        A 100 score is earned where at least three independent mainstream journalism media outlets have used officially published political party or individual candidate financial information as part of their reporting.

        A 50 score is earned where one independent mainstream journalism media outlet has used officially published financial information as part of its reporting.

        A 0 score is earned where no mainstream journalism media outlet has used officially published financial information as part of its reporting.

        Sources
        1. [INTERVIEW] Luis Tanushi, Journalist, Newspaper Shekulli, Tirana, August 14, 2014, Phone.

        2. [NEWS ARTICLE] The campaign, the Parliament does not disburse 65,000,000 Leke for the parties` campaign, by B.Hoti, Newspaper Shqip, May 29, 2013: http://gazeta-shqip.com/lajme/2013/05/29/fushata-kuvendi-nuk-jep-65-milione-leket-per-fushaten-e-partive/

        3. [NEWS ARTICLE] The report of Media Monitoring Board for the campaign: News 24 most balanced television, by BalkanWeb (News24 TV), June 5, 2013: http://www.balkanweb.com/m/kryesore/bordi-i-monitorimit-te-medias-raport-per-fushaten-news24-me-i-balancuari-135648.html

        4. [NEWS ARTICLE] The Ministry of Finance does not disburse the fund; the campaign of political parties on "empty pockets", by Ora News TV, June 10, 2013: http://www.oranews.tv/vendi/nuk-levrohet-fondi-nga-mf-partite-politike-fushate-me-xhepat-bosh/

        5. [NEWS ARTICLE] Auditing of the parties and the campaign`s expenditure, by VizionPlus TV, 2013: http://vizionplus.al/auditimi-i-partive-dhe-shpenzimet-ne-zgjedhje/

        6. [NEWS ARTICLE] CEC does not finalise the auditing of political parties funding, by Bledar Hoti, Newspaper Shqip, September 5, 2013: http://gazeta-shqip.com/lajme/2013/09/05/kqz-nuk-mbyll-auditin-e-fondeve-te-partive-politike/

        7. [NEWS ARTICLE] The electoral campaign's money, list of parties` donors, by Luis Tanushi, Newspaper Shekulli, October 22, 2013: http://www.shekulli.com.al/web/p.php?id=32985&kat=87

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        30
        Score
        0
        In practice, to what extent were there no news reports or other documented incidents of violation or abuse of political finance laws?More about indicator

        Violations of the law on political parties financing for the 2013 electoral campaign were revealed mostly by the civil society and the media. Experts have found that the CEC has not respected the legal dispositions on the procedure of auditing of electoral subjects' funding. The CEC has to appoint by random selection the licensed auditors to conduct the auditing for electoral subjects no later than 5 days from the date of the official announcement of final results of elections. While the final results of elections were published on August 6, 2013, the appointment of auditors were made on August 2, 2013, 4 days before the date of announcement of results which is in contradiction with the legal dispositions and not accompanied by any reason or justification.

        The law requires a list of 20 independent auditors to participate in the process. While in practice, only 9 auditors were included in the list approved by CEC and no justification was introduced.

        The deadline for submitting and publishing the audit reports was not respected and the auditors submitted the reports later than the date assigned by a decision of CEC.

        Referring to a study report conducted by MJAFT Movement, "Electoral Loupe: Monitoring of 2013 electoral campaign expenses", we can conclude that the main political parties have exceeded the expenditure limit allowed by the Electoral Code. The total expenses made by a political part for an electoral campaign shall not exceed 10 times the amount that an electoral subject has received from public funds. The Socialist Party (SP) has received 26,115,596 ALL (approximately 251,110 USD) from public funds and according to MJAFT report has spent 340,533,000 ALL (approximately 3,274,356 USD) which is approximately 13 times higher than the public funds received. The Democratic Party (DP) has received 25,688,615 ALL (approximately 247,006 USD) from public funds and according to MJAFT report has spent 660,874,000 ALL (approximately 6,354,557 USD) which is approximately 25.7 times higher than the public funds received. The Socialist Movement for Integration Party (SMI) has received 3,100,000 ALL (approximately 29,808 USD) from public funds and according to MJAFT report has spent 95,408,000 ALL (approximately 917,385 USD) which is approximately 30.7 times higher than the public funds received. Thus, these political parties have violated the expenditure limits set out by the rules of the Electoral Code for the electoral campaign period.

        Such violations were not officially reported by the oversight authority, the Central Elections Commission.

        Scoring Criteria

        A 100 score is earned where there were no news reports or other documented incidents of violation or abuse of political finance laws during the most recent national election.

        A 50 score is earned where there were news reports or other documented incidents of no more than two cases of violation or abuse of political finance laws during the most recent national election.

        A 0 score is earned where there were frequent news reports or other documented incidents of violation or abuse of political finance laws during the most recent national election.

        Sources
        1. [INTERVIEW] Aranita Brahaj, Director of Open Data Albania, July 30, 2014

        2. [NEWS ARTICLE] CEC does not finalise auditing of the political parties` funds, by Bledar Hoti, Newspaper Shqip, September 5, 2013 http://gazeta-shqip.com/lajme/2013/09/05/kqz-nuk-mbyll-auditin-e-fondeve-te-partive-politike/

        3. [NEWS ARTICLE] “CEC approved the financial fund for parties, DP and SP obtain the largest part”, by News24 TV/Balkanweb.com, June 3, 2013 http://www.balkanweb.com/bw_lajme2.php?IDNotizia=135195&IDCategoria=2685

        4. [OTHER] Press release of Open Data Albania, CEC violates the Electoral Code for the financing of subjects, September 17, 2013: http://open.data.al/sq/lajme/lajm/lang/sq/id/833/Komisioni-Qendror-i-Zgjedhjeve-shkel-Kodin-Zgjedhor-per-Financimin-e-Subjekteve

        5. [OTHER] Report by MJAFT Movement, "Electoral Loupe: Monitoring of 2013 electoral campaign expenses": http://www.slideshare.net/eplaku/raportin-prfundimtar-i-gjetjeve-mbi-monitorimin-e-shpenzimeve-t-fushats-zgjedhore-2013?redirectedfrom=saveon_embed

        6. [OTHER] Review of statistics on CEC Decisions for year 2013, available at CEC website: http://cec.org.al/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=329&Itemid=316&lang=sq

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        31
        Score
        25
        In practice, to what extent were there no news reports or other documented incidents of vote-buying?More about indicator

        Although there is no officially substantiated evidence or documentation of vote-buying during the last national elections in Albania, civil society and watchdog organizations have suggested that such cases exist. The project "ZaLart" implemented during the period of the 2013 electoral campaign revealed that there have been numerous reports of voters being offered money, goods and services in exchange for their votes in the June 23 parliamentary elections. In the reports coming at "Za Lart" online platform, poor citizens show they are being offered money or goods in exchange for their vote. Attempts to buy votes occur in the most vulnerable communities in Albania such as the Roma people or those from rural areas.

        In the final observation report prepared by the Coalition of Domestic Observers is noted “The Coalition of Domestic Observers reminds the phenomenon of “vote-buying” which, according to trusted sources, is widely seen at the Roma and Egyptian community as practiced by the three major political parties.”

        The phenomenon of vote-buying is also stated in the reports prepared by the mission of observers of OSCE/ODIHR and also the monitoring report on elections of the Council of Europe. In the OSCE/ODIHR Election Observation Mission it is noted: “Allegations of vote-buying, including by the two largest political parties against each other and against Social Movement for Integration, intensified in the lead up to election day and tainted the electoral environment. Many of the vote-buying allegations concerned vulnerable groups, in particular the Roma and Egyptian population or rural communities. The OSCE/ODIHR EOM received multiple reports of vote-buying from at least seven districts and was made aware of at least two arrests. A Democratic Party candidate was recorded buying votes in Tirana in a hidden camera TV show aired on 11 June, on which the Socialist Party filed a report to the Prosecutor of Tirana. On 21 June, the police in Tropoje arrested a man in Lekbibaj on charges of vote-buying and issued a press release asking local citizens to report attempts to buy their votes. OSCE/ODIHR EOM LTOs in Kukes confirmed an attempt of vote-buying of local university students.”

        Scoring Criteria

        A 100 score is earned where there were no news reports or other documented incidents of vote-buying during the most recent national election.

        A 50 score is earned where there were news reports or other documented incidents of no more than two cases of vote-buying during the most recent national election.

        A 0 score is earned where there were frequent news reports or other documented incidents of vote-buying during the most recent national election.

        Sources
        1. [INTERVIEW] Aranita Brahaj, Executive Director of Open Data Albania, Tirana, Phone, July 30, 2014

        2.[NEWS ARTICLE] Project "Za` Lart" for violations during campaign, by Voice of America, June 16, 2013: http://www.zeriamerikes.com/content/projekt-zalart-shkeljet-zgjedhjet-shqiperi/1682896.html

        1. [NEWS ARTICLE] Report of the June elections, by Vizion Plus TV, September 30,2013: http://vizionplus.al/raporti-i-zgjedhjeve-te-qershorit/

        2. [OTHER] Final Observation Report by the Coalition of Domestic Observers, September 27, 2013, page 75: http://www.gndem.org/sites/default/files/KVV%20-%20Raport%20Perfundimtar%20-%2027%20Shtator2013.pdf

        3. [OTHER] Final Report of OSCE/ODIHR Election Observation Mission, October 11, 2013, page 14: http://www.osce.org/odihr/elections/106963?download=true

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        32
        Score
        100
        In practice, to what extent do civil society organizations use political finance data?More about indicator

        Several civil society organizations have been engaged in monitoring the finances of political parties and electoral campaigns in Albania and have used the official financial reporting published by the CEC for the purpose of their advocacy work on this issue. The main civil society organizations engaged in this field are: Transparency International Albania, Open Data Albania, Forum of Free Thought, and the MJAFT movement. Reports published by these organizations have been focused on comparing the financial information published in the official reports to the real financial data revealed by the watchdog work of the civil society.

        Scoring Criteria

        A 100 score is earned where at least three civil society organizations have used officially published political party or individual candidate financial information as part of their advocacy or awareness work.

        A 50 score is earned where one civil society organization has used officially published financial information as part of its advocacy or awareness work.

        A 0 score is earned where no civil society organization has used officially published financial information as part of its work.

        Sources
        1. [INTERVIEW] Lutfi Dervishi, media expert/member of the Board of Transparency International Albania, Tirana, Phone, July 30, 2014

        2. [INTERVIEW] Aldo Merkoci, representative of MJAFT movement, Tirana, Phone, July 30, 2014

        3. [INTERVIEW] Aranita Brahaj, Executive Director of Open Data Albania, Tirana, Phone, July 30, 2014

        4. Report by Transparency International Albania, "Buying Influence: Money and Political Parties in Albania." 2013: http://tia.al/wp-content/uploads/2013/11/CRINIS-publication.pdf

        5. Report by Open Data Albania, "Data and visualization on the Fund, Donations, Debts and Election Expenses 2013" : http://open.data.al/en/lajme/lajm/id/965/Te-dhena-dhe-vizualizime-mbi-Fondi-Donacionet-Borxhet-dhe-Shpenzimet-Elektorale-2013

        6. Report by Mjaft Movement, "Electoral Loupe: Monitoring of 2013 electoral campaign expenses": http://www.lupazgjedhore2013.org/konferenca-per-shtyp-raporti-perfundimtar-i-gjetjeve/

        7. Report by Forum of Free Thought and IDRA "Promoting financial transparency and accountability of political parties participating in the general elections of Albania" realized with the support of SOROS Foundation and NED. 2010: http://www.soros.al/2010/page.php?id=6&l2=59

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        Score
        --
        Open Question: Have there been political finance legal reforms or reform bills presented to the legislature in the last 10 years?More about indicator

        During the last 10 years, some notable changes in the legislation have been adopted with the aim to reform the issue of political party financing in Albania. Although being a constitutional obligation for parties to report on their income and expenses at any time, the political parties in Albania did not report on their financial activity for the periods outside the electoral campaigns. This was a practice until February 2011 when the Parliament of Albania adopted some new legal amendments concerning the issue of annual political finances oversight in the Law on Political Parties. For the first time since the creation of political parties in the country, they submitted financial reports for their annual activity of year 2011 to the oversight institution, Central Elections Commission. This was considered an important reform of the legislation which would allow enhancement of transparency of political parties` financing during non-electoral campaign periods.

        While on the other hand, the financing of political parties during elections is covered by the Electoral Code of the Republic of Albania. Dispositions on the issues of financing of political parties and reporting to the CEC have been adopted even with the previous Electoral Code of the Republic of Albania of year 2005. But some important amendments on appointing new mechanisms of oversight such as the auditing by licensed independent accountants were introduced in the current Electoral Code in force approved in year 2008. Amendments to the current Code were presented with the Law no. 74/2012 which introduced new proportional rates for the allocation of public funds to parties and improved rules on the profit of non-public funding or timeline.

        Albania is a member state of the Council of Europe Criminal Law Convention, ratified with the Law no. 8778 date 26.4.2001, amended. Monitoring of the implementation of the Convention is undertaken by GRECO: the Group of States Against Corruption. The aim of GRECO is to improve the capacity of its members to fight corruption by following up compliance with their undertakings in this field. Since the ratification of the convention, Albania has been part of the studies and surveys realized in the anti-corruption field and monitored by GRECO. In the third evaluation round, GRECO has adopted the "Evaluation Report on Albania on Transparency of Party Funding" with seven recommendations stating the need to establish and implement a comprehensive system of transparency of political financing. The legal reforms introduced during this period have reflected the recommendations introduced in the GRECO evaluation report for Albania and were initiated with the aim to improve transparency, oversight and monitoring of financing of political parties. Such reforms were of utmost importance to be adopted in the country context and meet the standards established by Recommendation Rec(2003)4 of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe on Common Rules against Corruption in the Funding of Political Parties and Electoral Campaigns.

        Scoring Criteria

        Please list and describe all documented instances of: 1) political finance reforms, including bills passed, executive orders signed, court rulings and any other legal act that had a direct effect on existent political finance regulation, and 2) all legal reform attempts presented to the legislature even if they were not approved. Please describe the political context that produced the reforms or reform attempts.

        Sources
        1. [INTERVIEW] Musa Ulqini, Member of Parliament/Socialist Party, Tirana, August 5, 2014

        2. Law no. 10 019, date 29.12.2008 "The Electoral Code of the Republic of Albania" - amended with the Law no.74/2012 http://www.parlament.al/web/pub/kodizgjedhoriazhornuarpdfweb15174_1.pdf http://www.osce.org/albania/14464?download=true (in English)

        3. Law no. 8580, date 17.2.2000 "On Political parties" - amended with the Law no. 9542, date 2.2.2006 and with the Law no. 10 374 date 10.2.2011

        4. GRECO Third Evaluation Report on Albania on Transparency of Party Funding, adopted at its 42nd Plenary Meeting, Strasbourg, 11-15 May 2009: http://www.coe.int/t/dghl/monitoring/greco/evaluations/round3/GrecoEval3%282008%297AlbaniaTwo_EN.pdf

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    Third Party Actors

    More about category
    composite
    0
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      Applicability of the Law to Third-Party Actors
      More about category
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        Score
        NO
        In law, third-party actors (foundations, think tanks, unions, political action committees, etc.) report itemized contributions received and expenditures to an oversight authority and the information is made publicly available.More about indicator

        The definition of third party actors is limited and is covered by the legislation in place for legal persons. Their financial reporting is subject of the law on Tax Procedures on the republic of Albania. They are not required to submit itemized financial reports to the CEC, and no information on independent expenditures or contributions must be reported to the CEC. Direct donations by third party actors to the electoral subjects must be reported only when they exceed the amount of 100,000 ALL (approximately 960 USD). In this case, such donations are reflected by the parties on their post-election. The obligation to report such donations falls on the electoral subject, and not on the third party actors. Regarding donations smaller than 100 thousand lekë, the electoral subjects are obligated by law to keep a special register. They are not obligated to make that register public.

        Natural and legal persons are required to submit their annual financial statements according to Law No, 9228, dated 29.04.2004 “On Accounting and Financial Statements”, and Article 12 (b) explains that they are only required to report only the values and not the specified sources of their expenditures on their “incomes and expenditure tables” . It is, therefore, up to the person/entity to explain, through a special annex, the source of their incomes and destination of their expenditures, which could be ‘donation to a political party for elections’.

        The Tax Office, on the other hand, has the right to request, at any time, information about sources of incomes and destination of expenditures, but it only does this on selective basis, at their own discretion, or as part of certain inspection procedures.

        Scoring Criteria

        A YES score is earned where: 1) third-party actors are required to report to the oversight authority itemized contributions received and expenditures related to their support of electoral campaigns, and 2) the information must be publicly available.

        A MODERATE score is earned where third-party actors are required to report itemized contributions received and expenditures related to their support of electoral campaigns, but the information is not required to be publicly available. A MODERATE score is also earned where regulations exist, but only apply to electoral campaigns of one actor (whether political party or individual candidate).

        A NO score is earned where no such law exists.

        Sources

        Law no. 9920, date 19.5.2008 "On Tax Procedures in the Republic of Albania", amended:
        http://www.tatime.gov.al/sq-al/Legjislacioni/COUNCIL_DECISIONS/Legjislacioni%20Tatimor/Procedurat%20Tatimore/Ligj%20nr.%209920%2c%20dt.%2019.5.2008%20P%C3%ABr%20Procedurat%20Tatimore.pdf

        Law no. 10 019, date 29.12.2008 "The Electoral Code of the Republic of Albania" - amended with the Law no.74/2012 (Article 90) http://www.parlament.al/web/pub/kodizgjedhoriazhornuarpdfweb15174_1.pdf http://www.osce.org/albania/14464?download=true (in English)

        Law No 9228 Data 29.04.2004 "On Accounting and Financial Statements" (Article 12) http://www.kkk.gov.al/foto/uploads/File/Ligji%209228%20date%2029.04.2004_anglisht.pdf

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        Score
        0
        In practice, to what extent do third-party actors (foundations, think tanks, unions, political action committees, etc.) report itemized contributions received and expenditures to an oversight authority?More about indicator

        Third party actors are covered by the law on Tax Procedures in the Republic of Albania as legal persons. According to the tax legislation in place, they submit monthly tax declarations to the tax authorities and also a detailed financial reporting on annual basis which contain itemized information on all income and expenses occurred. Information on donations contributed or expenses made for supporting an electoral campaign are also subject of this reporting. The tax declarations and reports are submitted to the General Directorate of Taxation by all third party actors. Interview sources confirm that this happens in practice.

        However, third party actors do not report directly to the electoral authority.

        Scoring Criteria

        A 100 score is earned where all third-party actors report to an oversight authority both itemized contributions received and itemized expenditures.

        A 50 score is earned where third-party actors report to an oversight authority either itemized contributions received or expenditures, but not both. A 50 score is also earned where the reports refer only to one type of third-party actor, but do not cover others.

        A 0 score is earned where third-party actors rarely or never report itemized contributions received or expenditures.

        Sources
        1. [INTERVIEW] Aranita Brahaj, Executive Director of Open Data Albania, Phone, August 25, 2014

        2. [INTERVIEW] Interview with an official of the General Directorate of Taxation, Phone, August 25, 2014

        3. [INTERVIEW] Luis Tanushi, Journalist, Shekulli Newspaper, Phone, August 23, 2014

        The names of anonymous sources are known to Global Integrity and Global Integrity has agreed not to disclose them.

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        36
        Score
        0
        In practice, to what extent can journalists and citizens easily access the financial information of third party actors, including the political spending of those actors in support of political parties and individual candidates?More about indicator

        Information on the contributions of third party actors to the political subjects can be obtained via a written request to the Directorate of Taxation. As regards the tax legislation, the authorities indicate that the tax declarations made by political parties or third-party actors are not published, but the public may request access to this information based on the Law no. 8503, date 30.06.1999 "On the Right to Information about Official Documents". Requests do not need to be motivated and the competent tax authorities have to make the information available to the requesting person within a period of 40 days. Such information can also be requested in writing to the oversight authority, Central Elections Commission.

        In practice, journalists and citizens find it hard to secure such information because third-party actors do not declare all of their contributions to the tax authorities e.g. in kind services or goods. Also, referring to the reports submitted to the CEC, the majority of donors are natural persons and not legal entities/third-party actors. However, in the cases there are contributions from legal entities/third-party actors, they are included in the financial reports of the parties and published in the official website of the Central Elections Commission. In addition, CEC discloses such information upon request based on the Law no. 8503, date 30.06.1999 "On the Right to Information about Official Documents”.

        Scoring Criteria

        A 100 score is earned where: 1) all relevant financial information is freely available online or in hard copy at the cost of photocopying, 2) it can be obtained within two days of requesting it, and 3) it is in a machine readable format (for example in csv or xml format).

        A 50 score is earned where: 1) information is available but in some cases is incomplete or lacking detail, 2) obtaining complete information takes up to a month, or 3) it's not necessarily in machine readable format.

        A 0 score is earned where: 1) the information is not publicly available, or 2) obtaining it takes more than three months, or 3) the cost of obtaining it is prohibitive for the regular citizen.

        Sources
        1. [INTERVIEW] Kreshnik Kucaj, Journalist, Scan TV, Phone, August 14, 2014

        2. [INTERVIEW] Arber Hitaj, Journalist, News 24 TV, Phone, August 14, 2014

        3. [INTERVIEW] Luis Tanushi, Journalist, Shekulli Newspaper, Phone, August 23, 2014

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        Open Question: Please describe how third party-actors (even if they are not regulated by your country's laws) obtain contributions and spend in support of political parties and/or individual candidates.More about indicator

        The definition of third party actors is limited and is covered by the legislation in place for legal persons. Their financial reporting is subject of the law on Tax Procedures in the Republic of Albania. According to the tax legislation in place, they submit monthly tax declarations to the tax authorities and also a detailed financial reporting on annual basis which contain itemized information on all income and expenses occurred. The tax declarations and reports are submitted to the General Directorate of Taxation by all third party actors. They can make contributions or expenses to the electoral campaign of political parties and shall report for such information in the General Directorate of Taxation. The third party actors that make contributions to the political parties also report to the Central Elections Commission in a standardized template specifying their name, amount and date of donation.

        Interview sources confirm that third party actors have played little, if any role, in Albanian electoral politics, to date, and there is no evidence to indicate that they circumvent political finance laws.


        Peer reviewer comment: Agree - There is no clear evidence about funds and contributions given by third party-actors in electoral campaigns, except for a donation by a foundation (ABC Foundation) in favor of a political party (Socialist Movement for Integration). There has, however, been always an opinion that certain candidates are financed by NGO funds, given that the leaders of some NGOs have actually become part of the political parties’ lists of candidates for MP. Their move from the civil society (NGO) to such political races was largely perceived as a result of the organizations’ funds being used for logistically supporting the electoral campaigns of these former NGO leader. Such opinion, however, is mostly expressed in not so much serious informative websites and social media.

        There has also been a continuous negative opinion about the activity of the Agency for Civil Society Support. Several AMSHC, cases of conflict of interest were reported to newspapers and information agencies ; cases of organizations working in favor of political parties before and after the 2013 political rotation , and what is worse, cases of programs being funded for objectives different from those announced in the invitations for project proposals. Lobbying in the Republic of Albania is not regulated by law, and political parties are, therefore, not obliged to declare their interests or paid lobbying activities.

        Unions and trade unions in particular are not especially influential in Albania.

        Scoring Criteria

        To answer this question please: 1) list the types of third-party actors that exist in your country and describe how they work to influence campaigns, 2) explain how important such actors are or not in the context of campaigns, including whether their expenditures are substantial in relation to that of political parties and individual candidates, and 3) if documented evidence indicates they circumvent laws intended to regulate political finance, please explain how and include references to the evidence.

        Sources
        1. [INTERVIEW] Aranita Brahaj, Executive Director of Open Data Albania, Phone, August 25, 2014

        2. [INTERVIEW] Interview with an official of the General Directorate of Taxation, Phone, August 25, 2014

        3. [OTHER] Review of audit reports of electoral subjects for parliamentary elections 2013 in Albania, available at the Central Elections Commission website: http://cec.org.al/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=368%3Araportet-e-auditimit-te-subjekteve&catid=131&Itemid=323&lang=sq

        The names of anonymous sources are known to Global Integrity and Global Integrity has agreed not to disclose them.

        Reviewer's sources: Shqiptarja Newspaper, April 2014 “Fund Abuse. The Civil Society Support Agency gives USD 141 thousand to its Steering Board”. http://www.shqiptarja.com/news.php?IDNotizia=210350&IDCategoria=1

        Article on Lapsi.Al, September 2014, Title “Rama Government rewards organizations close to it”. Qeverhttp://www.lapsi.al/lajme/2014/09/16/si-i-ndajn%C3%AB-ish-mjaftistat-fondet-e-qeveris%C3%AB-p%C3%ABr-shoq%C3%ABrin%C3%AB-civile#.VDLZ9meSyQ4

        Tema Newspaper, 16 October 2012 “How is NGOs’ silence bought?” http://www.gazetatema.net/web/2012/10/16/si-blihet-heshtja-e-ojf-ve/

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    Monitoring and Enforcement

    More about category
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    61
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      Monitoring Capabilities
      More about category
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        YES
        In law, political finance information is monitored by an independent oversight authority.More about indicator

        The Central Elections Commission is responsible for monitoring and overseeing of political finance. The responsibilities of the CEC are as follows: a) Compiles and approves the rules for the reporting of finances, for monitoring, overseeing and financial auditing of political parties, also for the standardized formats of annual financial reporting; b) Approves the format of the special register for non-public funds of political parties, and also the format and content for the declaration of non-public donations; c) Selects the list of licensed accountants and elects them by an occasional ballot for the purpose of auditing the funds and expenses of political parties; d) Monitors, oversees and audits the financing of electoral subjects through the control of financial documents and accounts of political parties, and of the subjects associated directly or indirectly with political parties or under their control; e) Imposes sanctions in case of irregularities with provisions of this law; f) Compiles awareness raising programmes and organizes trainings on financing of political parties and subjects involved in this process in accordance with the provisions of the law; g) Assigns the amount of public funding to each party as a form of annual financial subsidize in accordance with this law; h) Enacts sub-legal acts in accordance with and for the implementation of this law dispositions.

        Scoring Criteria

        A YES score is earned where: 1) an independent oversight authority is mandated to monitor political finance information, and 2) the authority has investigation and audit powers.

        A MODERATE score is earned where the independent oversight authority is mandated to monitor political finance information, but doesn't have investigation or audit powers.

        A NO score is earned where no such law exists.

        Sources

        The Law no. 8580 date 17.2.2000 "On Political Parties" - amended with the Law no. 9542 date 2.2.2006 and with the Law no. 10 374 date 10.2.2011 (Article 15/2) Official Journal of the Republic of Albania: http://www.legjislacioni.gov.al/?q=node/312

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        YES
        In law, high-level appointments to the oversight authority are based on merit.More about indicator

        The Central Elections Commission is composed of seven members. Any Albanian citizen with the right to vote may be appointed a member of the CEC provided that the candidate fulfils the following criteria: - is older than 35 years old; - holds a higher education degree; - has a professional experience of no less than 10 years of work, in at least one of the following fields: law; public administration; administration of elections; director of non-profit organizations that have as an object of their activity the protection and promotion of human rights and freedoms, the conduct of democratic elections or public policy; - has not been convicted of a crime; - has not been a member of any political party in the last 5 years; - has not been elected a deputy of the Assembly in the last 5 years; - has not been a member of the State Police, Armed Forces and State Intelligence Service in the last 5 years; - has not been dismissed from public administration or any other public function due to a violation.

        The Parliament of Albania elects the CEC members in accordance with the following procedure: a) 2 members are proposed by the party that has the largest number of seats among the parties of the parliamentary majority and 2 members by the party of the parliamentary opposition that has the largest number of seats in the Parliament; b) the proposing subjects, during the selection phase, present no less than two candidacies for each vacancy. The chairs of the parliamentary groups of the proposing subjects select, collegially, 4 candidacies in accordance with the criteria provided for in letter “a” of this point. The proposing subjects of letter “a” select one candidacy of each gender; c) candidacies selected in accordance with letter “b” of this point are submitted to the Parliament for approval; ç) the fifth member of the CEC is elected from among the candidacies proposed by groupings of MPs of parliamentary majority parties other than the largest party of the majority grouping. The sixth member of the CEC is elected from among the candidacies proposed by groupings of MPs of the parliamentary opposition parties, with the exception of the largest party of the opposition. The proposing grouping presents a list with no less than two candidacies for the respective vacancy.

        The list of candidates that has accumulated the highest number of supporting signatures from deputies of the respective parliamentary groups of the parliamentary majority and opposition, including also the deputies of the two largest parties from each grouping, is presented to the Parliament for a vote. If two or more lists have accumulated the same number of supporting signatures, all the candidacies included in these lists are presented for a vote.

        The seventh member and at the same time the CEC Chair is elected no later than ten days after the completion of the procedure for the election of the CEC members. Any citizen who meets the criteria set out for a CEC member as specified in this Code may apply as a candidate for CEC Chair. The application is submitted together with the relevant documentation that certifies the fulfillment of the legal criteria for a CEC member. After verification of the legal criteria, the following procedure is carried out: a) the committee selects for submission for a vote of the Parliament the two candidates who enjoy the largest support of the committee members, but no less than 2/3 of all the committee members. When more than two candidates receive the qualified majority, the two most endorsed candidates are submitted for the vote. Each committee member may endorse up to four candidates; b) when the qualified majority according to letter “a” is not obtained by at least two candidates, the committee identifies four candidates who have received the largest support of the committee members after the application of letter “a”; c) when during the implementation of letters “a” and “b”, two or more candidates obtain the same endorsement, their selection is done by drawing lots; ç) representatives of the parliamentary minority in the committee exclude two of the candidates selected in accordance with letter “b”. The remaining candidates are forwarded to the Parliament for voting; d) the candidate who receives more than half of the votes of the Members of Parliament is elected the CEC Chair.

        The CEC shall elect one of its members as the Deputy Chair, based on a proposal of the largest parliamentary opposition party. The CEC Deputy Chair shall be elected by secret voting according to the following procedure: - the names of two CEC members shall be written on a ballot paper; - each CEC member shall vote by marking one of the names written on the ballot paper; - the member who receives 5 votes shall be elected as the CEC Deputy Chair; - if neither of the candidates receives the required number of votes, a second round of voting shall take place. The member who receives more votes in the second round is elected the CEC Deputy Chair.

        Although the law provides clear specification on the merit-based public appointment process, the candidates running for CEC members must in law be proposed mainly by the parliamentary political parties, and the conflict of interest provisions are limited to political affiliations.

        Scoring Criteria

        A YES score is earned where: 1) high-level appointments must be based on merit in a public appointment process; and 2) appointees must be free of conflicts of interest due to personal loyalties, family connections, political party affiliations, business partners or other biases.

        A MODERATE score is earned where high-level appointments must be based on merit in a public appointment process, but the regulations don't forbid appointments involving conflicts of interest or other biases.

        A NO score is earned where no such law exists.

        Sources

        Law no. 10 019, date 29.12.2008 "The Electoral Code of the Republic of Albania" - amended with the Law no.74/2012 (Articles 12,14,16) http://www.parlament.al/web/pub/kodizgjedhoriazhornuarpdfweb15174_1.pdf http://www.osce.org/albania/14464?download=true (in English)

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        75
        In practice, to what extent are high-level appointments to the oversight authority based on merit?More about indicator

        In general, the appointment of the members and the head of the Central Elections Commission is based on merit and following an open and transparent procedure. The vetting process in the Law Commission is public and widely covered by the media. However, irregularities have been reported in terms of respecting the timeline for appointment. The candidatures which need to be proposed by the political parties are not submitted on the date as required by the law.

        For example, the CEC currently has only 4 members, as 3 resigned before the 2013 elections. Their resignation was recognized by an Assembly Decision dated 3.10.2013. The CEC has been operating for more than one year now with 3 seats vacant, and the Assembly has not announced the vacancies because of the hesitation of political parties in selecting their candidates for the open posts. Parties have also requested that the composition and appointment process of the CEC be amended, but it's unknown when such reforms will be carried out.

        Scoring Criteria

        A 100 score is earned where: 1) there is an advertised competition and public vetting process, 2) candidates with the most merit and without conflicts of interest or other biases are appointed.

        A 50 score is earned where the public competition is usually advertised and the vetting process public, but exceptions exist. A 50 score is also earned where candidates with the most merit and without conflicts of interest or other biases are appointed but exceptions exist.

        A 0 score is earned where there's rarely or never a public competition, or appointees are rarely selected on merit or without conflicts of interest or other biases.

        Sources
        1. [INTERVIEW] Interview with representative of the Central Elections Commission, August 14, 2014, Tirana

        2. [NEWS ARTICLE] New members of CEC take oath in the Parliament, Newspaper Panorama, October 18, 2012: http://www.panorama.com.al/2012/10/18/betohen-ne-kuvend-anetaret-e-rinj-te-kqz/

        3. [OTHER] Review of statistics on Central Elections Commission acts, available at CEC website: http://www.cec.org.al/index.php?option=com_content&view=section&id=16&Itemid=107&lang=sq

        4. [OTHER] Decision of the Assembly No. 49/2013, dated 3.10.2013 On release of Ms. Albana Shtylla from the duty of CEC member;

        5. [OTHER] Decision of the Assembly No. 50/2013, dated 3.10.2013 On release of Mr. Denar Biba from the duty of CEC member;

        6. [OTHER] Decision of the Assembly No. 51/2013, dated 3.10.2013 On release of Mr. Jani Jani from the duty of CEC member.

        The names of anonymous sources are known to Global Integrity and Global Integrity has agreed not to disclose them.

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        MODERATE
        In law, the independence of high-level appointees is guaranteed.More about indicator

        Members of the CEC have a 6-year mandate with the right to be re-elected. The Chair of the CEC has a 4-year mandate with the right to be re-elected. A member of the CEC exercises this duty full time. His/her function is incompatible with any other political, public or private duty or function, with the exception of teaching. Before taking office, an elected member of the CEC takes an oath before the Parliament in a public ceremony. The text of the oath is: “I swear on my honour that I shall commit myself with all my strength to the realization of fair, free and democratic elections in the Republic of Albania; I shall guarantee and protect the integrity and secrecy of the vote; I shall maintain impartiality in discharging my duty as a member of the Central Election Commission and shall demonstrate professionalism in this discharge”. A CEC member shall exercise his/her function in an independent manner. He/she must vote in compliance with the law.

        A CEC member shall not participate in the examination of and voting on an issue when he/she: a) has a close relationship by marriage, or family relations to the fourth degree, with any of the candidates who have submitted a complaint to the CEC; or b) has one of the impediments provided for in article 37 of the Code of Administrative Procedures. The withdrawal from examining and voting on an issue is to be declared in writing by a CEC member or may be requested by any representative of electoral subjects or by other members of the CEC.

        The mandate of a CEC member and of the Chair shall end before its expiry when he/she: a) engages in political activity at the same time he/she exercises the duty of a CEC member; b) reaches the age of retirement; c) dies; ç) resigns from office; d) is found guilty by a final court decision for the commitment of a crime; dh) by acting or failing to act, he/she seriously places at risk the activity of the CEC concerning the preparation, supervision, direction and verification of all aspects that pertain to elections and referenda, as well as to the declaration of their results; e) is absent, without a reasonable cause, at two consecutive CEC meetings or, in an election period, for more than 5 days.

        The discharge of a CEC member is done by a decision of the Parliament, upon the proposal of the CEC for the reasons for the reasons provided for in letters “a”, “d”, “dh” and “e” of point 1 of this article. The CEC is required to start its procedure for a discharge proposal no later than 5 days from having been informed of the cause. In other cases of point 1 of this article, the CEC member is released by a decision of the Assembly, after it has been notified by the CEC.

        The CEC has the competence to exercise oversight of electoral campaign financing in accordance with this Code.

        Scoring Criteria

        A YES score is earned where: 1) appointees have the authority or mandate to review cases and issue decisions, 2) the law establishes security of tenure, and 3) removal or disciplinary actions are based on due process conducted by a peer panel or independent oversight body.

        A MODERATE score is earned where appointees have the authority or mandate to review cases and issue decisions, BUT one of the second two conditions mentioned in the YES criteria is not met.

        A NO score is earned where no such law exists.

        Sources

        Law no. 10 019, date 29.12.2008 "The Electoral Code of the Republic of Albania" - amended with the Law no.74/2012 (Article 13; Article 17, paragraph 2,3,4; Article 18; Article 21, paragraph 15) http://www.parlament.al/web/pub/kodizgjedhoriazhornuarpdfweb15174_1.pdf http://www.osce.org/albania/14464?download=true (in English)

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        75
        In practice, to what extent is the independence of high-level appointees guaranteed?More about indicator

        In general, the independence of high-level appointees in the Central Elections Commission is guaranteed as defined in the law. However, exceptions exist mainly because of the interference of the political parties with the members of the Central Elections Commission. Before the 2013 parliamentary elections, the Parliament dismissed from duty one of the members of the CEC (proposed by the Socialist Movement for Integration - SMI) which originated with a proposal of the Democratic Party. This was considered as a violation of the legal dispositions of the Electoral Code which requires that the request for dismissal of a CEC member shall be made via a proposal of the CEC in order to prevent the political interference of the Parliament in the CEC independence.

        The legal basis for the dismissal was questionable and was widely perceived as having been politically motivated. The parliament dismissed the SMI-proposed member of the CEC who was replaced with a representative of the Republican Party (RP), as it became the second largest party of the governing coalition after the departure of the SMI from the governing coalition in March 2013. Article 18 of the Electoral Code provides a list of reasons for early termination of the mandate of CEC members, which does not include re-composition of the governing coalition and opposition. While the official reasoning in the parliament’s dismissal was new information about the ineligibility due to the CEC member’s past dismissal from a public position, the SMI was not invited to replace this member suggesting political motivation due to SMI’s departure from the governing coalition.

        Scoring Criteria

        A 100 score is earned where all of the following conditions are met: 1) appointees review cases and issue decisions without fear or favor from other branches of government, and 2) appointees are granted security of tenure and 3) no appointees are removed, disciplined or transferred without due process by a peer panel or independent oversight body.

        A 50 score is earned where any of the following conditions apply: 1) appointees generally operate without fear or favor from other branches of government but exceptions exist, or 2) some but not all appointees are granted security of tenure, or 3) appointees are occasionally removed, disciplined or transferred without due process by a peer panel or independent oversight body.

        A 0 score is earned where at least one of the following conditions apply: 1) appointees operate with fear or favor from other branches of government, or 2) are not granted security of tenure, or 3) are usually removed, disciplined or transferred without observing due process by a peer panel or independent oversight body.

        Sources
        1. [INTERVIEW] Interview with Member of Parliament, Tirana, August 14, 2014

        2. [NEWS ARTICLE] Dismissal of Ilirjan Muho, by Top Channel TV, April 15, 2013: http://top-channel.tv/artikull.php?id=255231

        3. [INTERVIEW] Lutfi Dervishi, media expert/board member of Transparency International Albania, Tirana, August 25, 2014

        4. Law no. 10 019, date 29.12.2008 "The Electoral Code of the Republic of Albania" - amended with the Law no.74/2012 (Article 87, paragraph 1; Article 2, paragraph 20) http://www.parlament.al/web/pub/kodizgjedhoriazhornuarpdfweb15174_1.pdf http://www.osce.org/albania/14464?download=true (in English)

        The names of anonymous sources are known to Global Integrity and Global Integrity has agreed not to disclose them.

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        Open Question: How does decision-making work in the oversight authority?More about indicator

        The Central Election Commission (CEC) is composed of 7 members. Members of the CEC have a 6-year mandate with the right to be re-elected. The Chair of the CEC has a 4-year mandate with the right to be re-elected. The CEC issues decisions and instructions with the general legal applicability throughout the entire territory of the Republic of Albania, based on the law and for the purpose of implementing it, within its sphere of jurisdiction.

        CEC meetings are called by the Chair or by at least two members of the CEC. In any case, the notice of a meeting shall not be subject to a vote and shall include the agenda of the meeting. Each request that comes from at least two CEC members shall be included on the agenda. During the period from the setting of the election date until the declaration of the final election result, the CEC shall meet regularly every day, whereas during the remaining period of the year, it must meet at least once a month. CEC meetings shall end with the setting of the agenda for the following meeting.

        At the beginning of each meeting, each electoral subject registered to participate in the elections or other interested persons have the right to speak only once and for a period of no longer than 5 minutes about issues not included on the agenda for that day.

        CEC meetings are valid when no less than 4 of its members participate, except for when, in accordance with article 24 of the Electoral Code, a qualified majority is required for making a decision. Meetings of the CEC are, at all times, open to the public.

        The CEC may issue only the following acts: a) decisions; b) instructions. CEC acts, which have a normative nature, shall be applicable over the entire territory of the country and shall be binding for all. Every normative act of the CEC shall be voted three times, in the following order: a) in principle; b) article by article or, as the case may be, part by part; c) at the end, it is voted on its entirety.

        Normative acts of the CEC have a permanent nature, and are applicable for all elections. These acts shall be reviewed in case the law is amended or for other reasons that legitimate their amendments. Acts on the preparation of elections shall be approved or amended no later than 60 days from the election date.

        Normative acts of the CEC enter into force after their publication in the Official Journal, unless the circumstances require their immediate entry into force, while other acts enter into force immediately. Normative acts which enter into force immediately shall be announced, no later than 24 hours, on Public Radio and Television as well as on the official website of the CEC.

        The decisions considered to be approved when no less than 5 CEC members have voted in their favour are the decisions related to: a) the allocation of seats for each electoral zone in accordance with articles 162, 163, and point 3 of article 166 of the Electoral Code; b) the acceptance of a complaint against a decision on the approval of an aggregate table of election result of an electoral zone, in accordance with article 123 of the Code, and decisions related to complaints against a CEAZ decision on the election results for local government; c) requests on declaring the invalidation of elections in one or several voting centres, in accordance with article 160 of the Code; d) the declaration of elections in an electoral zone or in the entire country as invalid, and their repetition; e) acts of a normative nature that aim to regulate issues related to elections; f) a proposal for the dismissal of a CEC member, in accordance with point 2 of article 18 of the Code; g) the approval of the CEC organizational structure, as well as the Rules on the Functioning of the CEC; h) assigning of seats for each electoral zone in accordance with article 76 of the Code; i) division of Electoral Administration Zones in accordance with article 27 of the Code.

        Other decisions are approved by a majority of votes of all CEC members.

        After the departure of the Socialist Movement for Integration (SMI) Party from the governing coalition in March 2013, the parliament dismissed the SMI-proposed member of the CEC who was replaced with a representative of the Republican Party (RP), as it became the second largest party of the governing coalition. This situation led to the resignation of the three opposition-proposed CEC members nominated by the SP and the Human Rights Union Party (HRUP). The parliament did not approve their resignations as required by law, with the DP maintaining that the opposition must propose replacements before the parliament can act on the notification from the CEC. The opposition refrained from proposing replacements claiming the dismissal was illegal. As a consequence, the CEC functioned with only four members from mid-April including thus, the period of 23 June 2013 parliamentary election campaign. This fracas compromised the effectiveness of the CEC and limited its extent to carry out its defined functions.

        Scoring Criteria

        Please describe: 1) the composition of the decision-making body within the oversight authority, 2) the type of decisions it's allowed to make and makes in practice, and 3) in which cases majority is required. If there have been well substantiated complaints about the decision-making process being ineffective or politicized please explain.

        Sources
        1. Law no. 10 019, date 29.12.2008 "The Electoral Code of the Republic of Albania" - amended with the Law no.74/2012 (Articles 12, 13, 21, 22, 23, 24) http://www.parlament.al/web/pub/kodizgjedhoriazhornuarpdfweb15174_1.pdf http://www.osce.org/albania/14464?download=true (in English)

        2. Review of statistics on CEC decisions for year 2013, available at CEC website: http://www.cec.org.al/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=329&Itemid=316&lang=sq

        3. [INTERVIEW] Interview with representative of the Central Elections Commission, August 14, 2014, Tirana

        The names of anonymous sources are known to Global Integrity and Global Integrity has agreed not to disclose them.

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        50
        In practice, to what extent does the authority have sufficient capacity to monitor political finance regulations?More about indicator

        The Central Elections Commission has declared that it has insufficient capacity to monitor and review all the financial reports of political parties and electoral subjects. The CEC has limited financial and human resources to conduct the requisite investigation and verification of the audit and financial reports of electoral subjects. For this purpose, the procedure of auditing is secured through the appointment of independent licensed auditors which are in charge of auditing the financial accounts of electoral subjects. After this procedure, the CEC is entitled to further verify the audit reports. From the previous experience of CEC on verification of audit reports, the institution has declared that it lacks the budget and staff to fulfill such functions comprehensively. This was publicly stated by the representative of CEC on a national conference "An effective anti-corruption framework in Albania" in November 2013.

        Scoring Criteria

        A 100 score is earned where: 1) the authority has sufficient budget to monitor all incoming reports, and 2) it has sufficient staff to review all incoming reports.

        A 50 score is earned where: 1) the authority has insufficient budget to monitor all incoming reports, or 2) its staff can only review half of all incoming reports.

        A 0 score is earned where: 1) the authority can't fulfill most of its essential functions due to budget constraints, or 2) its staff only has the capacity to review 25% or less of all incoming reports.

        Sources
        1. [INTERVIEW] Interview with representative of the Central Elections Commission, August 14, 2014, Tirana

        2. [NEWS ARTICLE] Speech of the Head of Central Elections Commission, Mrs. Lefterije Luzi, on the financing of political parties, National Conference "An effective anti-corruption framework in Albania", Tirana, 12-13 November 2013: http://antikorrupsioni.al/presentation/lefterije-luzi-prezantimi/

        3. [OTHER] Review of the internal regulatory framework of the administration of Central Elections Commission, available at the CEC website: http://www.cec.org.al/images/stories/LOGO%20KQZ/Regullore%20e%20administrates%20se%20KQZ.pdf

        The names of anonymous sources are known to Global Integrity and Global Integrity has agreed not to disclose them.

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        0
        In practice, to what extent does the authority conduct investigations or audits when necessary?More about indicator

        Related to the parliamentary elections held in June 23rd 2013 in Albania, the Central Elections Commission appointed licensed accountants to conduct the auditing of funds received and spent by electoral subjects during the electoral campaign period. The audit reports for all electoral subjects participating in the elections were submitted to the Central Elections Commission. However, beside this procedure, the CEC did not conduct any further investigation or issued any decision for any case of irregularities or law violations.

        Political and media experts find that the CEC does not conduct proactive investigations or further initiated control over party finances.

        There are no cases of applying sanctions to political parties during last elections reporting. This fact was also stated by the Head of the Central Elections Commission in a national public conference on anti-corruption held in November 2013. From the verifications of the audit reports by the CEC, the oversight authority concluded that the audited parties have respected the legal dispositions of the Electoral Code. However, the CEC notes that has too limited human and financial resources to thoroughly review the verification of the audited reports prepared by the licensed auditors.

        Scoring Criteria

        A 100 score is earned where the authority conducted at least three investigations or audits during the most recent electoral campaign.

        A 50 score is earned where the authority conducted at least one investigation or audit during the most recent electoral campaign.

        A 0 score is earned where the authority didn't conduct any investigation or audit during the most recent electoral campaign.

        Sources
        1. [INTERVIEW] Bledar Hoti, Journalist, Newspaper Shqip, Tirana, July 31, 2014

        2. [NEWS ARTICLE] CEC does not complete the auditing of political parties` funds, Newspaper Shqip, September 5, 2013 http://gazeta-shqip.com/lajme/2013/09/05/kqz-nuk-mbyll-auditin-e-fondeve-te-partive-politike/

        3. [OTHER] Review of statistics on Central Elections Commission official website, Decisions of Year 2013 http://www.cec.org.al/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=329&Itemid=316&lang=sq

        4. [OTHER] Speech of the Head of Central Elections Commission, Mrs. Lefterije Luzi, on the financing of political parties, National Conference "An effective anti-corruption framework in Albania", Tirana, 12-13 November 2013: http://antikorrupsioni.al/presentation/lefterije-luzi-prezantimi/

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        0
        In practice, to what extent does the authority publish the results of investigations or audits?More about indicator

        The Central Elections Commission published in its official website the audit reports submitted by the licensed accountants for the income and expenses of electoral subjects during the 2013 parliamentary elections. The audit reports were not submitted in accordance with the deadline imposed by CEC, but the CEC respected the legal requirement to publish the audit reports online within 30 days of the date reports were submitted.

        Since there were no cases of further investigations, only the audit reports prepared by licensed accountants as prescribed by law were disclosed for the public in the official website of CEC, in a separate section for the auditing of electoral subjects. From its review of the audit reports by the CEC, the oversight authority concluded that the audited parties have respected the legal dispositions of the Electoral Code. There were no further reports prepared in this regard.

        In sum, The CEC has not carried out second order audit or investigations regarding 2013 elections. The CEC also declares that there was no need to carry out further investigations or audit, and as such, no results have been published.

        Scoring Criteria

        A 100 score is earned where the authority publishes reports of all its investigations or audits a month or less after their conclusion.

        A 50 score is earned where reports are available to the public more than a month after the conclusion of the investigation or audit.

        A 0 score is earned where reports are not available to the public or they become available after six months or more after conclusion of the investigation or audit. A 0 score is also earned where only summaries of the reports are publicly available.

        Sources
        1. [INTERVIEW] Kreshnik Kucaj, Journalist at SCAN Television, Tirana, August 5, 2014

        2. [NEWS ARTICLE] CEC does not complete the auditing of political parties' funds, Newspaper Shqip, September 5, 2013 http://gazeta-shqip.com/lajme/2013/09/05/kqz-nuk-mbyll-auditin-e-fondeve-te-partive-politike/

        3. [OTHER] Review of statistics on the official website of CEC, "Audit reports of electoral subjects for 2013 parliamentary elections" http://www.cec.org.al/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=368%3Araportet-e-auditimit-te-subjekteve&catid=131%3Afinancimi-i-subjekteve&Itemid=323&lang=sq

        4. [OTHER] Speech of the Head of Central Elections Commission, Mrs. Lefterije Luzi, on the financing of political parties, National Conference "An effective anti-corruption framework in Albania", Tirana, 12-13 November 2013: http://antikorrupsioni.al/presentation/lefterije-luzi-prezantimi/

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      Enforcement Capabilities
      More about category
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        YES
        In law, there are sanctions in response to political finance violations.More about indicator

        Article 173 of the Electoral Code defines the sanctions related to campaign financing violations as follows:

        1. A violation of the provisions on electoral campaign financing by the chief of finance of a political party is punishable by a fine of 50,000 ALL (approximately 480 USD) to 100,000 ALL (approximately 960 USD).
        2. Failure of the electoral subject to cooperate with the CEC auditor is punishable by a fine of 1,000,000 ALL (approximately 9,615 USD) to 2,000,000 ALL (approximately 19,230 USD).
        3. The refusal to make the financial resources of a campaign transparent, or to allow the auditor to exercise his/her activity is punishable by a fine of 2,000,000 ALL (approximately 19,230 USD) up to the suspension of the public financing of the political party for 5 years.
        4. Violations related to Article 90 of this Code ("Registration of non-public funds") by the donor are punishable by a fine of 30 % of the amount donated.
        5. Violation of the maximum limit of expenses by the electoral subject is punishable by a fine of 10 % of the value above the limit allowed for expenses, in accordance with article 90 of this Code ("Registration of non-public funds").

        Sanctions regarding political finance violations occurred during non-electoral campaign period are covered by the Law on Political Parties as follows: - Violation of legal dispositions on political parties' financing by the responsible person for finances within the political party or the person assigned as in its respective statute is subject to a fine ranging from 50,000 ALL (approximately 480 USD) to 100,000 ALL (approximately 960 USD). - The infringement of the obligation of the political party to cooperate with the certified accounting expert assigned by the Central Election Commission is subject to a fine of 1,000,000 to 2,000,000 ALL (approximately 9,615 to 19,230 USD). - Failure or refusal to make transparent the financial resources of the political party or to allow the auditing by the certified auditor of Central Election Commission to take place is subject to a fine ranging from 2,000,000 ALL (approximately 19,230 USD) to a five-year suspension of public funding for the political party. - The failure to submit the financial report within the assigned dealine or the submission of reports which fail to comply with the standardised template approved by the Central Election Commission is subject to a fine of 50,000 (approximately 480 USD) to100,000 ALL (approximately 960 USD). - Non-public funds received by the political party, if the identity of the donor is unknown or not clearly defined, shall be passed on to the Central Election Commission account. - Receipt of non-public funds excessing the amount of 100,000 ALL (approximately 960 USD) and not transferred through bank account is subject to a fine of 30% of the donated amount.

        Scoring Criteria

        A YES score is earned where: 1) the law clearly defines violations of political finance laws, and 2) there are clearly defined sanctions for specific violations.

        A MODERATE score is earned where violations are clearly defined but sanctions for specific violations are not.

        A NO score is earned where no such law exists.

        Sources

        Law no. 10 019, date 29.12.2008 "The Electoral Code of the Republic of Albania" - amended with the Law no.74/2012 (Article 173) http://www.parlament.al/web/pub/kodizgjedhoriazhornuarpdfweb15174_1.pdf http://www.osce.org/albania/14464?download=true (in English)

        Law no. 8580, date 17.2.2000 "On Political Parties" - amended with the Law no. 9542, date 2.2.2006 and with the Law no. 10 374 date 10.2.2011 (Article 23/4) Official Journal of the Republic of Albania: http://www.legjislacioni.gov.al/?q=node/312

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        YES
        In law, the oversight authority has the power to impose sanctions.More about indicator

        By Article 21 of the Electoral Code, the Central Elections Commission has the authority to impose administrative sanctions against persons who commit administrative infractions related to elections, as well as to file criminal charges for criminal offenses related to the elections.

        According to Article 176 of the Electoral Code, the administrative sanctions imposed by the Central Elections Commission constitute an executive title and are executed in accordance with the procedures defined in the Article 510 of the Civil Procedure Code.

        When applicable, the CEC deducts from the amount of public funds allocated to each party the financial sanctions, which are imposed on respective parties according to this law and have become executive titles.

        Scoring Criteria

        A YES score is earned where: 1) the oversight authority has the power to impose sanctions, and 2) it can directly prosecute violators before the courts or is independent to send cases to public prosecution.

        A MODERATE score is earned where the oversight authority has the power to impose sanctions, but it can't directly prosecute violators before the courts or is not independent to send cases to public prosecution.

        A NO score is earned where no such law exists.

        Sources

        Law no. 10 019, date 29.12.2008 "The Electoral Code of the Republic of Albania" - amended with the Law no.74/2012 (Article 21, paragraph 20; Article 176; Article 87, paragraph 4) http://www.parlament.al/web/pub/kodizgjedhoriazhornuarpdfweb15174_1.pdf http://www.osce.org/albania/14464?download=true (in English)

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        In practice, to what extent do offenders comply with sanctions imposed?More about indicator

        The administrative sanctions are imposed by the Central Elections Commission in cases when violations of the legal dispositions of the Electoral Code are found from the verification of audit reports prepared by independent auditors. An official of the CEC confirmed in an interview that the Central Elections Commission did not impose any administrative sanctions on electoral subjects during the last elections because no violations were found.

        On the other hand, reports of media and civil society reveal there have indeed been violations of the law on political parties financing for the 2013 electoral campaign. Experts have found that the CEC has not respected the legal dispositions on the procedure of auditing of electoral subjects' funding. The CEC has to appoint by random selection the licensed auditors to conduct the auditing for electoral subjects no later than 5 days from the date of the official announcement of final results of elections. While the final results of elections were published on August 6, 2013, the appointment of auditors were made on August 2, 2013, 4 days before the date of announcement of results which is in contradiction with the legal dispositions and not accompanied by any reason or justification.

        The law requires a list of 20 independent auditors to participate in the process. While in practice, only 9 auditors were included in the list approved by CEC and no justification was introduced.

        The deadline for submitting and publishing the audit reports was not respected and the auditors submitted the reports later than the date assigned by a decision of CEC.

        Referring to a study report conducted by MJAFT Movement, "Electoral Loupe: Monitoring of 2013 electoral campaign expenses", we can conclude that the main political parties have exceeded the expenditure limit allowed by the Electoral Code. The total expenses made by a political part for an electoral campaign shall not exceed 10 times the amount that an electoral subject has received from public funds. The Socialist Party (SP) has received 26,115,596 ALL (approximately 251,110 USD) from public funds and according to MJAFT report has spent 340,533,000 ALL (approximately 3,274,356 USD) which is approximately 13 times higher than the public funds received. The Democratic Party (DP) has received 25,688,615 ALL (approximately 247,006 USD) from public funds and according to MJAFT report has spent 660,874,000 ALL (approximately 6,354,557 USD) which is approximately 25.7 times higher than the public funds received. The Socialist Movement for Integration Party (SMI) has received 3,100,000 ALL (approximately 29,808 USD) from public funds and according to MJAFT report has spent 95,408,000 ALL (approximately 917,385 USD) which is approximately 30.7 times higher than the public funds received. Thus, these political parties have violated the expenditure limits set out by the rules of the Electoral Code for the electoral campaign period.

        Despite meriting sanctions in law, these infractions were not punished by the CEC.

        Scoring Criteria

        A 100 score is earned where: 1) offenders comply with the sanctions imposed without exception, and 2) they are not repeat offenders.

        A 50 score is earned where: 1) offenders usually comply with the sanctions imposed but exceptions exist, or 2) most are not repeat offenders but some exceptions exist.

        A 0 score is earned where: 1) offenders rarely comply with the sanctions imposed, or 2) most are repeat offenders.

        Sources
        1. [INTERVIEW] Interview with representative of the Central Elections Commission, August 14, 2014, Tirana

        2. [NEWS ARTICLE] Speech of the Head of Central Elections Commission, Mrs. Lefterije Luzi, on the financing of political parties, National Conference "An effective anti-corruption framework in Albania", Tirana, 12-13 November 2013: http://antikorrupsioni.al/presentation/lefterije-luzi-prezantimi/

        3. [NEWS ARTICLE] CEC does not finalise auditing of the political parties` funds, by Bledar Hoti, Newspaper Shqip, September 5, 2013 http://gazeta-shqip.com/lajme/2013/09/05/kqz-nuk-mbyll-auditin-e-fondeve-te-partive-politike/

        4. [NEWS ARTICLE] “CEC approved the financial fund for parties, DP and SP obtain the largest part”, by News24 TV/Balkanweb.com, June 3, 2013 http://www.balkanweb.com/bw_lajme2.php?IDNotizia=135195&IDCategoria=2685

        5. [OTHER] Press release of Open Data Albania, CEC violates the Electoral Code for the financing of subjects, September 17, 2013: http://open.data.al/sq/lajme/lajm/lang/sq/id/833/Komisioni-Qendror-i-Zgjedhjeve-shkel-Kodin-Zgjedhor-per-Financimin-e-Subjekteve

        6. [OTHER] Report by MJAFT Movement, "Electoral Loupe: Monitoring of 2013 electoral campaign expenses": http://www.slideshare.net/eplaku/raportin-prfundimtar-i-gjetjeve-mbi-monitorimin-e-shpenzimeve-t-fushats-zgjedhore-2013?redirectedfrom=saveon_embed

        7. [OTHER] Review of statistics on CEC Decisions for Year 2013, available at the CEC website: http://www.cec.org.al/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=329&Itemid=316&lang=sq

        The names of anonymous sources are known to Global Integrity and Global Integrity has agreed not to disclose them.

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        Open Question: How strong is enforcement, and what impedes more effective enforcement?More about indicator

        The enforcement of the legal framework on political finance is not accompanied by strong preventive measures and sanctions in order to provide a strong foundation for the implementation of the law. Specified sanctions do not envisage penalties beyond monetary fines or suspension of public funding, and they are not sufficient to tackle the violation of the rules. The CEC does have the general authority to refer cases for prosecution, but specific regulations on this process are not spelled out in the law.

        To date, the CEC has not imposed sanctions on any of the electoral subjects for irregularities or violations of political finance regulations. Although the reports of civil society experts and the media reveal a series of violations, the institution declares that the parties have filed the financial reporting in accordance with the law. Such a situation is considered to be largely influenced by the impact of political parties in the Central Elections Commission. The institution needs to be given stronger guarantees on its independence and sufficient capacities to conduct investigations and verification of the financial accounts of the parties. The reform of the political finance system in Albania needs to focus on the proper implementation of the legislation. The Central Elections Commission as the oversight institution on political finance needs to be provided all the necessary infrastructure, financial and human resources in order to fulfill its functions and obligations according to the law.


        Peer reviewer comment: Agree - The following areas should be urgently reformed in order to make Albania's political finance regulations more accountable and transparent.

        1. Ensure that each donation, and not only those higher than All 100 000, is made through the bank and not cash. Article 90, point 2 of the Electoral Code sets some criteria for the electoral subjects to be able to accept values higher than ALL 100 000 through bank accounts only (not cash). The publication requirement, on the other hand, applies only to donors who give more than ALL 100 000. Considering the transparency of financial resources for the electoral campaigns as a very important element for having regular elections and an undistorted political will, it is suggested that the law foresees that the subjects or political parties accept monetary donations only through bank accounts.

        2. Conflicts of interest need to be defined in more details and circumstances before and after the electoral process. The law should also be very clear as to who is responsible for controlling the conflict of interest. The Electoral Code, through Article 89, has foreseen several subjects that cannot be donors in electoral campaigns. The limitations provide exemption of foreign natural and legal persons; legal persons or shareholders who have benefited from public assets or funds; budgetary debtors; those who exercise media activities. This limitation is not defined in time and it does not limit post-electoral situations. The conflict of interest related to promoting donors in senior public (non-political) functions or in leadership positions of independent institutions regulated by law is also not foreseen by law. It is suggested that the Code be reviewed in order to articulate more clearly conflicts of interest. The range of subjects banned from contributing should be enlarged, and exemption deadlines prior to and after elections should be set enlarging the range of exempt subjects and circumstances. The law should clearly foresee the institution that will conduct the verification of the conflict of interest.

        3. CEC legal competencies, including monitoring, regulating and referral activities: the current law defines very narrowly the role of the CEC in the process of Auditing Electoral Finances. This law addresses the role of the CEC in issuing secondary legislation, distribution of funds according to a formula, organizing of the casting of lots for the experts, monitoring of the fulfillments of deadlines and publication of reports. The Law should grant more specific competencies to the CEC, including monitoring and referral of shortcoming to the relevant institutions. As for the above, there is need for legal changes because the CEC cannot take such competencies provided only by secondary legislation. If this is the case, the CEC could be vulnerable towards those subjects that prejudge its work and its impartiality. The process of auditing the political parties cannot be achieved without having the right human and logistic capacities. It would be proper if one of the CEC commissioners had the role of the Auditor with clear competencies defined and selected among independent experts.

        4. Legal Guarantees for the Licensed Experts Participating in the Process: After the 2013 electoral campaign, out of 200 certifies accountants in the country, only nine participated in the selection process (the lottery procedure), while the law requires the participation of at least 20 candidates. The fact that many of them did not participate in the selection process is related with the fact that many of them were not previously paid for their work, as well as with the difficulties they face in auditing political parties with political, and even executive powers afterwards. Unlike the judges of the Electoral College, the Certified Accountants are not given any kind of legal guarantees or protection that would encourage them to refrain from being corrupt and be unbiased in their work. The task of the certified accountants is very sensitive, requiring them to identify incompliance and irregularities of very powerful (executive and legislative) subjects. The issue of unpaid salaries can be fixed through the organic budget of the CEC. The CEC has the obligation to guarantee the salary for a job that the Commission itself orders. In case the parties do not fulfill these obligations, the CEC should pay for the services of the Certified Accountants and calculate the amount paid as an obligation that the parties owe to the CEC.

        5. Abrogation of Article 84/6. This article creates an additional financial resource for the big political parties. The way how it is implemented, it implicates in financial transactions and fiscal activities even media institutions creating confidential economic situations among parties and radios and televisions. This is an article which is very difficult to be monitored and it involves several monitoring structures (the media board, taxation office, CEC etc.). The situation provided in this article has been implemented in an arbitrary way in the 2011 elections by at least one party and two media companies, although this law should be implemented only for Parliamentary elections. The current reality shows that there is quantity surplus in media time during electoral campaigns, which lowers the quality of the media programs. We are not any more in the situation of the beginning of the political pluralism when political parties had economic difficulties in order to provide financial resources for political advertising and communication with the voters.

        6. The right of information in the context of the Electoral Law: there are several articles in the Electoral Code which give public access to information. It would be useful, however, if there was an article requiring political parties to declare their sources of funding any time during the campaign and report on their electoral spending afterwards. This would ensure more transparency and prevent conflict of interest and lobbying for certain interests.

        Scoring Criteria

        Please provide a general explanation of the effectiveness of enforcement, describing: 1) any conditions that may prevent effective enforcement, and 2) explain what are the most urgent areas of reform in the country's political finance system.

        Sources
        1. [INTERVIEW] Lutfi Dervishi, media expert/member of the Board of Transparency International Albania, Tirana, Phone, August 14, 2014

        2. [NEWS ARTICLE] CEC distributes 2,000,000 USD for six parties, Newspaper Shekulli, January 12, 2013: http://shekulli.com.al/web/p.php?id=13408&kat=88

        3. [NEWS ARTICLE] "Financing of parties, OSCE: the regulatory framework is weak", by Newspaper Panorama, May 14, 2014: http://www.panorama.com.al/2014/05/14/financimi-i-partive-osbe-kuadri-ligjor-i-manget/

        Reviewer's sources: Dr. Badiul Alam Majumdar, "Strong, assertive EC imperative," The Daily Star, March 11, 2014 http://www.thedailystar.net/print_post/strong-assertive-ec-imperative-15055

Albania is a parliamentary republic with a unicameral legislature. Parliament consists of 140 members elected through regional proportional representation every four years. The most recent elections occurred in June of 2013.

The official head of state is the President, who is elected by parliament in a supermajority vote (3/5 of its members must support a nominee) after his candidacy is proposed by a group of no less than 20 members of parliament.

In the parliamentary elections held in the Republic of Albania on 23 June 2013, there were 68 political subjects, including 66 parties and two independent candidates. In this process were elected the 140 members of the parliament. Two coalitions were created by 61 political parties, i.e. the Alliance for European Albania Coalition (37 parties) and the Alliance for Employment, Welfare and Integration Coalition (24 parties). Upon completion of the voting process, the CEC decided (Decision No. 759, dated 06.08.2013) as follows:

The Alliance for European Albania Coalition was allocated 83 seats in the Assembly: 1. The Socialist Party received 713 407 votes, i.e. 41,36% or 65 mandates. 2. Socialist Movement for Integration received 180 470 votes, i.e. 10,46% or 16 mandates. 3. The Union for Human Rights Party received 14 722 votes, i.e. 0,85% or 1 mandate. 4. Democratic Christian Party received 7993 votes, i.e. 0,46% or 1 mandate.

The Alliance for Employment, Welfare and Integration Coalition received 57 seats in the Assembly. 1. The Democratic Party received 528 373 votes, i.e. 30,63% or 50 mandates. 2. The Republican Party received 52 168 votes, i.e. 3,02% or 3 mandates. 3. The Party for Justice, Integrity, and Unity received 44 957 votes, i.e. 2,61% or 4 mandates.

Candidates are selected for each electoral zone by the political parties, electoral coalitions, and voters. A candidate may only represent one party.

Money is officially managed by the parties through the party bank accounts. According to our electoral law, individual candidates and coalitions are not obliged to declare their electoral funds and expenditures. In addition, individual candidates may not be direct beneficiaries of public funds. This, however, does not mean that candidates do not actually raise funds or make undeclared expenditures. Informality is quite wide-spread in Albania, both in the economic sectors, and in the society. There have been an increasing number of candidates in the last elections coming from business families, or owing considerable assets and companies.

In the parliamentary elections held in the Republic of Albania on 23 June 2013, there were 68 political subjects, including 66 parties and two independent candidates. The political parties stated that they had accumulated a fund of 241,211,140 ALL to support their campaign activities. It was the first time in the short history of the allegations about financial resources of election campaigns that donations were declared as the top source of funds in terms of their value.

According to what the parties claim, 50 % of the money made available to the campaign was money donated by donors. Public funds, on the other hand, were ranked as second, with only 27.59 % of the campaigns total fund. Parties’ own funds, i.e. membership fees accumulated through the years, were reported to have covered 15.3 % of their total campaign funds.

Parties’ own funds consist of the funds they get every year from the state budget (this applies to parliamentary parties only), interests of their bank deposits, membership fees, and even incomes from lease agreements, as was the case with one political party in the last elections.

Another source of funding available for the parties by law is free advertising provided by radio and television channels against the recognition of its cost by the Tax Office as a deductible expense. According to their financial statements, the political parties spent more than they were entitled to by law, causing thus electoral debts. Such debt represents 36.54% of the total expenditures for the 2013 elections. It is the media, which is damaged by such debts, as most of the invoices issued by the media outlets were not paid. However, none of the radio and TV stations, or other media companies, claimed the payment of this debt through the administrative or the regular district courts. The relationship between the media and political parties as a relationship between the debtor and the creditor affects the principle of independence both for the media. Still, electoral debt is a phenomenon that characterizes the three last elections, i.e. 2013; 2011; 2009, with the two largest parties currently in power being the main parties taking this approach.