For Immediate Release
TIRANA, OCTOBER 4, 2012 Today, the USAID Planning and Local Governance Project in Albania (PLGP) held the Conference on Fiscal Decentralization. Working both at the national policy level and at the local level, the USAID project aims to promote an inclusive dialogue and help build a bipartisan consensus on issues of strategic importance to local governments. U.S. Ambassador Alexander Arvizu, Prime Minister Sali Berisha, and President of the Albanian Association of Municipalities and Mayor of Tirana, Lulzim Basha, delivered remarks. Mayors of PLGP partner LGUs, representatives from Ministries of Interior and Finance, the donor community working in local governance, NGOs participated in discussions in the afternoon.
Prior to the conference, USAID prepared a “White Paper of Fiscal Decentralization” which analyzed the legal framework and financial situations of local governments based on broad consultations with stakeholders in national and local level. Many local governments throughout Albania suffer from the lack of financial predictability, with consequences that impact the ability of the governments to pay employees and provide essential services to their citizens. The conference aimed to stimulate dialogue and consensus building on what further actions can be implemented to advance the fiscal decentralization in a fair, equitable, and transparent manner.
In his remarks, Ambassador Arvizu cited ACT Now! as a model for dialogue among local and central government officials. “Progress on fiscal decentralization will require that an honest and open dialogue occurs between representatives of central and local governments and that trust, confidence and mutual respect are built,” said Ambassador Arvizu. “In the same way that I have, with the ACT Now initiative, encouraged citizens to make their voices heard; I urge Mayors to become more engaged in the discussion on fiscal decentralization.”
USAID’s PLGP ‘partner’ local government units include: Tirana, Durres, Fier, Lushnje, Berat, Kuçova, Patos, Vlore, Saranda, Elbasan, Korça, Vora, Kamza, and communes of Kashar and Paskuqan.
Last updated: November 13, 2013