Albanian taxpayers lose money in economic mismanagement

Chairman of KLSH, Arben Shehu, addressed the Committee on Economy and Finance in the Albanian parliament to present the Performance Report for 2021. It presented the issues, and general findings from audits carried out in all public institutions. [Shutterstock/Niyazz]

At least €159 million of Albanian taxpayers’ money was lost in 2021 due to economic mismanagement, according to the head of the Supreme State Audit (KLSH).

Chairman of KLSH, Arben Shehu, addressed the Committee on Economy and Finance in the Albanian parliament to present the Performance Report for 2021. It presented the issues, and general findings from audits carried out in all public institutions.

A total of 158 audits were carried out across government entities, addressing budget implementation, financial management, accountability and fighting corruption.

“Government activity continues to show problems with mismanagement of the budget,” Shehu said, adding that “the institutions with the highest risk” include customs and tax.

According to the report, the total damage from mismanagement is €159 million, directly impacting the economy and society to the tune of over €455 million.

Shehu said there were anomalies and violations in multiple concession projects and that the government failed to monitor such contracts regularly. During this fiscal year, the report also found that the government continued to pay for sub-par services.

Democratic Party MP Jorida Tabaku spoke with concern about concession contracts, noting that the report classed one in five lek spent by the government as economic damages. She added there was real concern about budget management, especially considering the aftermath of the 2019 earthquake and the COVID-19 pandemic.

General Director of KLSH, Marjola Llanaj, said that the government was not optimising public funds, despite a war against corruption being waged.

The ruling Socialist Party, however, did not agree with the report and suggested revising the processes of KLSH and questioning the abilities of those involved.

KLSH has made a total of 4,251 recommendations for improvement, 90 of which are legal improvements, 1,087 disciplinary measures, and 3,074 organisational.

Subscribe to our newsletters

Subscribe