Cost of Mismanagement Rises in Albania

The annual report of the High State Audit office says poor management of state-owned companies cost Albania twice as much in 2012 as it did the previous year.The head of Albania’s State Audit Office, Bujar Leskaj, told parliament on Tuesday that audits in 2012 brought to light €97.3 million worth of irregularities in collection of revenues and expenditures in both local and central government.

The cost of mismanagement in 2012 nearly doubled compared with the previous year, when it was €48 million.

“Albpetrol accounted for 68 per cent of the damage done to the state budget, with KESH to blame for another 18 per cent,” Leskaj added.

Albpetrol is the state-owned oil producer, which the government of Sali Berisha unsuccessfully tried to privatize at the end of last year. KESH, the power corporation, is the public producer of electricity, and owns the main hydro-electric dams.

In 2012, the audit office forwarded 40 criminal proceedings to the prosecutor’s office, involving 125 officials from the public administration, two times more than the three previous years taken together.

Those facing charges include directors in ministries, procurement officials, mayors and other high-level bureaucrats from local government.

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