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Albanian vetting: IMO submits to People’s Ombudsperson recommendation for commissioners

ata_maliTIRANA – The International Monitoring Operation (IMO) has submitted to the People’s Ombudsperson the assessments and recommendations developed by the international observers on the process that will lead to the formation of vetting bodies, Albanian news agency ATA reports.

In order to monitor the process of formation of the vetting institutions, the IMO deployed a team of international observers composed of senior judges and prosecutors from EU Member States and the United States.

The IMO international observers have monitored the verification of the eligibility criteria performed by the Ombudsperson Office. After receiving from the Ombudsperson the list of applicants who meet the formal criteria and the list of those who do not meet the formal criteria, the IMO international observers conducted their assessment on the qualification and selection of the candidates. The monitoring of the relevant procedures and examination of the application dossiers were carried out by the IMO international observers in rigorous, professional, and impartial manner, and according to the law. This assessment resulted in the recommendations which have been submitted to the Ombudsperson of Albania for transmission to the Parliament.

Based on the checks on the qualification criteria performed by the Ombudsperson Office, two lists were published. 29 applicants were placed in the list of those who meet the formal criteria; 164 applicants were placed in the list of those who do not. Out of the 29 applicants on the first list, 8 are affected by a negative recommendation of the IMO. There are therefore 21 applicants that are already relevant for the final voting list to be considered by the Assembly. Out of the 164 applicants on the second list, 85 are affected by a negative recommendation, and 79 are not.

The IMO international observers noted that, a high number of these 79 applicants appears to have, at least on paper, the relevant professional experience, but only failed to produce some of the necessary certificates. As a result, the competent ad hoc parliamentary committee might want to consider reviewing those applications, to possibly request the missing certificates and more accurately inform its decision on a possible reconsideration of those candidates for the voting list. Should the committee not pursue this option or not find appropriate candidates through its revision, the 21 suitable applicants represent already a roster sufficient to begin forming the vetting institutions, and possibly completing in a second step the remaining appointments.

Decision-making functions remain an exclusive prerogative and responsibility of the authorities of Albania. It is now for the Parliament to nominate the members of the vetting institutions; this will allow moving forward with implementation.