Kosovo—Municipal Integrity activity

Client: U.S. Agency for International Development

Duration: 2022-2027

Region: Eastern Europe and Central Asia

Country: Kosovo

Solutions: Governance

Public procurement is a government tool used to deliver goods and services such as fixing roads, building schools, or buying medical equipment for citizens. Fair competition, a level playing field, and transparency are essential to ensuring public money is spent responsibly and leads to the best value for citizens in terms of high-quality goods and services.

However, in Kosovo, citizens, civil society organizations, and private sector economic operators report that public procurement had been compromised by political patronage, nepotism, fraud, and other forms of corruption. This problem reduces public resources available for service delivery to citizens, undermines public confidence in government, and deters foreign investment. It is critically important for the Government of Kosovo to address these weaknesses or gaps in the procurement system, especially at the municipal level, to safeguard public money spent through public procurement.

To assist the Government of Kosovo in strengthening systems and limit opportunities for fraud, waste, or abuse in public procurement, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) launched the Transparent, Effective, and Accountable Municipalities (USAID TEAM) activity, which DAI implemented from 2016 to 2022. The project supported Kosovo to improve the transparency and accountability of the municipal procurement process in all 38 municipalities. At the central level, USAID TEAM worked with institutions that oversee public procurement, supervise municipal internal auditors, manage the municipal budgeting process, and oversee anti-corruption investigations.

Building off that project, the Municipal Integrity activity works with central government oversight agencies, municipalities, civil society, media, and private sector actors to advance reform in public procurement, with a renewed emphasis on budget planning, contract management, audit, integrity, anti-corruption, and private sector engagement.

USAID Kosovo Municipal Integrity 1 (6).jpg

Sample Activities

  • Enhance public financial management, with a focus on municipal procurement.
  • Reinforce accountability mechanisms both inside and outside government.
  • Increase the government’s use of good practices in budget planning, public procurement, and contract management.
  • Support the government in advancing norms and practices that support internal audit and accountability.
  • Work with civil society, media, and the private sector to improve the integrity of public and private sector actors in public procurement.

Select Results

  • Supported the Public Procurement Regulatory Commission in the electronic publication of contracts on Kosovo’s e-Procurement platform—a game-changer in anti-corruption efforts. This transparency initiative, allowing public access to contracts for civil Society and citizens, led to 48,600 procurement actions valued at €3.4 billion to date. The availability of 44,000 public contracts on the platform marks a significant stride in promoting accountability and combating corruption.
  • Trained 20 investigative journalists to publish 20 articles, 20 infographics, and 20 videos exposing procurement irregularities and highlighting best practices. This initiative reinforces transparency and accountability, promoting a more accountable and ethically sound business environment.
  • Developed a curriculum focusing on integrity, whistleblowing, and anti-corruption, and trained more than 50 businesses across Kosovo, including women-owned businesses, fostering ethical practices and transparency in local business.
  • Supported the National Audit Office in identifying 51 fraud cases from 123 audit reports, enhancing legal preparation.
  • Introduced an e-Learning online platform to empower public officials by offering comprehensive capacity-building courses, leading to enhanced citizen service delivery.
  • Supported institutions that achieved significant improvements in transparency by publishing 94 percent of procurement and financial documents on their websites in 2023, compared to 61 percent in 2022.
  • Supported the National Audit Office and the State Prosecutor in Kosovo in forging a formal collaboration to combat fraud and corruption in public procurement. This partnership bridges the gap between auditing and prosecution, enabling a more robust, integrated approach.
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