TIRANA – There is no clear understanding how to implement integrity test as an anti-corruption measure in Albanian police.

The legal framework for the implementation of the integrity test in Albania is in place. However, this anti-corruption measure has not been implemented so far, as it has been set aside awaiting the application of the vetting process.

Researcher at the Institute for Democracy and Mediation (IDM) Redion Qirjazi highlighted the impasse with regard to the implementation of the integrity testing mechanism in the police structures

“State Police and the Ministry of Interior needs to provide more information on the process of vetting that is underway after the constitution of the new government in September 2017 and how the vetting process relates to the integrity testing mechanism”, explained Qirjazi.

Still, the representatives of the Albanian State Police commented that vetting of police is a separated process form the integrity testing and that the Ministry of Interior is drafting the adequate legal provisions for its implementation.

There is a tendency towards the application of punitive measures rather than preventive ones against police officers in Albania.

“In 2017 there has been an increase in the number of disciplinary actions taken against police officers, a total of 623”, stated Qirjazi.

The IDM noticed a downward trend in police external oversight. A researcher at the IDM Besjana Kuçi said that the Peoples Advocate, the State Audit Institution, Commissioner for the Right to Information and Protection of Personal Data do not have a proactive approach in overseeing police activity, despite allegations of augmented drug trafficking activity.

“Both the Peoples Advocate and the State Audit Institution reports relevant to the security sector institutions need to be part of the standing committee on national security meetings. More specifically, the findings of the Audit on the performance of the State Police from 2014 -2016 have not been in the agenda of the parliament’s committee, not it has been referred to during the meetings debates’, explained Kuçi.

The parliament adopted the amendments on the law on State Police in 2017. Among others, these amendments introduced a new concept called “voluntary policing”, that supposedly will aid State Police in preventing crime and dealing with a civil emergency.

“Currently, the issue of voluntary policing has not been part of the public debate, nor it is envisaged in the Strategy on Public Order”, concluded Kuçi.

The event welcomed the feedback and contribution of the representatives of the State Police, the People’s Advocate, the Supreme State Audit, the Commissioner for the Right to Information and Protection of Personal Data, representatives of civil society, media and the international community.

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