3-5 QERSHOR 2024


3rd National Conference on the Right to Information, Coordinator and Civil Society

Information and Data Protection Commissioner in cooperation with the OSCE Presence in Albania organized the “3rd National Conference on the Right to Information, Coordinator and Civil Society”. With the participation of representatives of central institutions, local government, judiciary system, non profitable organizations and media from all over the country, this activity evaluated the process of implementing the law by Public Authorities, “On the right to information”, since its approval in September 2014.

Two important documents were represented during this Conference on the proper functioning of Public Authorities in respecting the right to aces on official documents. “Guideline for the Coordinator on the Right to Information” it’s a manual for employees responsible for the administration of the process of providing information to citizens and is drafted with the support of SIGMA/OECD. “Self evaluation instrument of Public Authority” is the second document that establishes the steps to meet the obligations, in accordance with the provisions of the law “On the Right to Information” of every institution of public administration.

Information and Data Protection Commissioner Mr. Besnik Dervishi, in his greeting speech for the attendees said that the “law “On the Right to Information” has created a real and tangible standard for citizens. We have accomplished achievements of which we are quite staisfied, the most important of which, is the effort to change the mentality and the culture of our public administration. Not everything that is official is public, in fact is the opposite, everything that is official is public!” On the other hand, Mr. Dervishi stressed that “Albania is listed 6th in global ranking in the legal framework on the right to information, from the 85th that had been previously. This is the highest position ever achieved by our country. The purpose of this law is two-fold: to guarantee the right to information – the aces in official documents, and the accountability on public administration activity”.

The Conference was greeted by guests of honor Mr. Bernd Brochardt, OSCE presence in Albania, who stressed that “the implementation of the law “On the Right to Information” is important for the further development of the country and as such, it constitutes an instrument for civil society to promote transparency”. Vice-President of the Assembly, Ms. Valentina Leskaj, highlighted “the support offered by the assembly to the Commissioner’s Office and praised that transparency is essential to a functioning democracy”. Whereas, Ms. Milena Harito, Minister of State for Public Administration and Innovation said that “the role of all society actors is important, but the government has a special role in providing transparency and information instruments”.

Through a video material, the attendees were introduced to the activity of the Commissioner’s Office. More than 680 complaints were dealt only in 2016, whereas public authorities have been regularly monitored to fully complete the obligations in drafting the transparency program, appointing a coordinator and maintaining the register of request and answers. The Commissioner’s Office staff has developed national and regional training activities with representatives of public administration institutions, in universities, awareness rising activities etc.

At this conference, a special session was dedicated to discussions between representatives of civil society and coordinators on encountered problems when implementing the law “On the right to information”. The attendants exchanged views, ideas and opinions to improve the process of issuing official information, which directly increases the accountability and transparency of the Albanian public administration.