On December 24, BIRN Kosovo held a town hall conference in Viti/Vitina on the role of the National Audit Office, NAO, and citizens in overseeing municipal revenues and expenses, the fifth organised within the framework of the Promoting the Auditor General/NAO’s role in Kosovo project.
Supported by the Netherlands’ embassy in Kosovo, these town hall conferences are intended to examine the difficulties municipalities face in collecting revenue and executing their budgets. They also present the findings of the Auditor General, with an emphasis on those relating to public finances.
Present at the conference on Thursday were the Mayor of Viti/Vitina, Sokol Haliti, the head of the Audit Department for Municipalities at the NAO, Astrit Bllaca, and Visar Prebreza, Managing Editor at BIRN’s KALLXO.com.
Due to COVID-19 restrictions, the debate was attended by a limited number of participants from the municipality, as well as representatives of civil society and members of the municipal assembly. The conference was streamed live on BIRN’s anti-corruption platform KALLXO.com.
Prebreza presented the Auditor’s findings from the 2019 report on the municipality, stating that the municipality should be focused on reducing its debts.
“The Municipality of Viti is one of the municipalities that has received the fewest number of recommendations in its 2019 report,” Prebreza said. “However, the municipality’s debts have increased slightly, and this is a concern, especially as debts in most municipalities are decreasing.”
Mayor Haliti promised that the municipality would act soon on all the NAO recommendations. “We will become the first municipality to implement all of the given recommendations from the NAO,” he declared.