Prosecution investigates cases of misuse reported by civil society

Speeches Shim

Thursday, July 22, 2021
Agin Hysaj, from Democracy Plus worked closely with USAID
DAI for USAIDKosovo

Recently, Agon Hysaj, a researcher at Democracy Plus, audited a procurement activity where one of the bidding economic operators submitted forged documents.  Even though the Procurement Review Body, an independent administrative body that deals with claims in public procurement procedures, decided to blacklist the business, other enforcement mechanisms did not sanction this act, violating the law.  It is fairly common in Kosovo for investigative journalists and civil society to report misuse of procurement procedures, but the cases are not further investigated by police or prosecutors.  All this has changed through mechanisms for tracking and exposing corruption introduced by USAID’s Transparent, Effective and Accountable Municipalities (TEAM) activity.

USAID’s TEAM launched capacity building and monitoring opportunities for civil society and media to conduct more in-depth investigations, publish stories, report cases of corruption, and raise public awareness of findings.  Agon took the initiative and received coaching, followed by individual hands-on training on how to refer cases to enforcement mechanisms.  These individual coaching sessions were conducted with almost 20 civil society organizations operating throughout Kosovo.

During 2020, civil society organizations participating in the activity submitted over 10 cases to the State Prosecutor’s Office proposing further investigations into alleged malfeasance.  The forged document case that Agon referred to the Prosecutor is currently under investigation.  Acknowledging USAID’s support, but also feeling proud of his accomplishment, Agon stated, “USAID’s activity taught me what procurement is.  If it were not for these training sessions, I would not have been able to achieve these results.”

Researchers like Agon, and civil society organizations in Kosovo, like Democracy Plus, ensure that public funds are spent effectively and efficiently.  

Last updated: August 08, 2022

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