BIRN Kosovo Holds Debate on Audit Report in Rahovec/ Orahovac

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On Monday November 30, BIRN Kosovo held the fourth of its series of debates discussing the findings of its audit monitoring project, which analyses reports on Kosovo’s municipalities published by the National Audit Office, NAO. The debate was held in the municipality of Rahovec/Orahovac.

The results of BIRN’s monitoring and analysis were published and discussed in an open debate. Due to the circumstances caused by COVID-19, the debate was followed by a limited number of participants from the municipality, the National Audit Office and civil society organisations. The debate was also streamed live on BIRN’s anti-corruption platform’s Managing Editor, Visar Prebreza, gave a brief presentation on the project and its findings, stating that there progress was made at the Municipality of Rahovec/Orahovac in terms of implementing the NAO’s recommendations, especially compared to the 2018 audit report. However, there were still weaknesses found, mainly in the field of procurement.

According to Smajl Latifi, the Mayor of Rahovec/Orahovac, weaknesses in procurement will not be found in the Audit report for 2020. “We have made an action plan for the implementation of the recommendations, and a working group,” Latifi said.

Meanwhile, Bujar Bajraktari, from the National Audit Office, stated that the Municipality of Rahovec/Orahovac had made progress in implementing recommendations and the focus should now be on asset management, specifically creating an asset register and inventory, among other things.

“Comparing financial reports over the years, it can be seen that the Municipality of Rahovec has shown improvement,” he said. “However, in important areas, such as in the field of procurement, there are still findings to be addressed and the focus should be there. Asset management activities should also be improved, as there are some findings that have been presented for years, including asset management, establishing an asset register, inventory, etc.”

In terms of the implementation of recommendations, Bajraktari said that out of 17 recommendations provided last year, only seven have been fully implemented, while one has been partially implemented, four have not been implemented and five are considered closed.

Alongside providing an avenue to discuss the implementation of recommendations by the NAO, these debates also give BIRN the opportunity to record promises made both by National Audit Office officials and the Municipality of Rahovec, which can later be followed up through’s fact-checking platform, Krypometer.

The debate was organised within the framework of the Supporting Civil Society to Increase Public Oversight and Accountability of Kosovo Public Institutions project, which is funded by the British Embassy in Pristina. This specific activity is organised as a part of the component looking into the compliance of targeted institutions with recommendations from the Auditor General’s reports.

Similar debates will be held in municipalities across Kosovo, with the aim of presenting BIRN Kosovo’s analysis of the progress made in implementing recommendations made by the Auditor. Every debate will be live streamed by BIRN Kosovo.