Transparency of public investments in road infrastructure

Ferizaj, January 13, 2011 – Movement FOL, supported by USAID through the Program for Strengthening Civil Society implemented by ISC – Institute for Sustainable Communities, organized a debate with citizens in the municipality of Ferizaj, on “Transparency of public investment in road infrastructure “. In this debate we discussed about the trend of public investments in road infrastructure by the central and local level for 2008-2010 and those planned for the years 2011-2013, the level of transparency in these investments, the current situation and the steps to be taken in future.

Participants in this debate were municipal officials, assembly members (chairman and heads of all party groups in the Municipality of Ferizaj), the chief of procurement office in the municipality, traffic unit police, civil society, media, business representatives of road construction sector and citizens of this municipality.
Initially, the project coordinator Mr. Fidan Kalaja, presented the report briefly, he mainly mentioned what was concerning the transparency of public investment in road infrastructure at the central level and a trend of these investments made in the Municipality of Ferizaj.

The debate continued with the Head of the Municipal Assembly of Ferizaj, Mr. Agim Aliu, who presented the work of the Municipal Assembly related to municipal investments in road infrastructure. He said that regarding transparency of these investments “municipality has organized public hearings with citizens of the municipality since the planning of budget until it has been approved.” According to him, when the transparency of investment in road construction is concerned, then this should be discussed based on the phases of project implementation. In this context he said that he considered an achievement that the annual report of the work of the Municipal Assembly this year will be published earlier than it used to be in the previous years and the project of airing live the metings of the Municipal Assembly is currently the final phase of realization. He emphasized that the Municipality does not have any complaints from citizens regarding access to official documents.

Director of Planning and Development, Mr. Ardian Ferizi, revealed the trend of investments in road infrastructure in the municipality for 2007-2010 and the average of investments is about 40% of the of capital expenditure budget and those planned for 2011-2013 ranging from 16% up to 58 % of capital expenditure. He emphasized that the draft of the projects is is characterized with public hearings with citizens of the villages or Ferizaj citizens for each project which is realized in the area where they live. According to him from 2008 until now MTC has invested in road infrastructure in the municipality about 6 million euros.

Mr. Medain Hashani, head of the LDK group in the Municipality of Ferizaj, stressed that the lack of a National Strategy for Development is causing major problems while the essential problem in this context is the Public Procurement Law itself.
Problems that have been identified and other matters discussed in this debate:
1) Low investments by MTC in Ferizaj ” Kacanik, Ferizaj – Gjilan and Ferizaj ” Shtime highways.
2) Road projects financed by the MTPC in this municipality are characterized with bad planning, quality and realization and it was also required that projects financed by the Ministry are supervised directly by the municipality
3) The problem of supervision of works during the implementation of road infrastructure projects;
4) Poor maintenance of roads, especially during the winter season;
5) Discrimination of serious companies during the announcement of the winners of tenders for construction and road maintenance.