Although Kosovo has made some progress on tackling corruption in the recent years, the phenomenon continues to harm the lives of thousands of people. Citizens consider corruption the third largest problem Kosovo is facing today, after unemployment and poverty.
Numerous reports have highlighted that civil servants are affected by political interferences and corruptive practices and that there is a clear lack of transparency in the relationships between politicians, civil servants, their families and businesses. Cooperation between different authorities needs to be improved and the independence and efficiency of the judiciary needs to be strengthened. Also the capacity to investigate corruption remains limited.
SAEK was officially launched on 29 May 2013.
Its inception phase began in September 2012 and provided support to the online corruption reporting platform www.kallxo.com. Until the end of April 2013, 1024 cases have been reported over the platform, ranging from corruption in government, educational institutions, fraud at the local level, misconduct of public officials, etc.
33 municipalities have agreed so far to place the kallxo.com IFrame on their websites, allowing citizens and municipalities to communicate more effectively to enhance local service delivery.
The project is organised around the following components and activities:
Component 1 will be focusing on strengthening the capacities of the Kosovo Anti-Corruption Agency (KAA) to become an effective external control mechanism for ethics, integrity and efficiency of the public administration. It will providing the agency with the necessary tools to properly fulfill its corruption prevention role, with a specific focus on asset declaration and conflict of interest.
Interventions will be focusing on three levels:
1. The institutional level, including line ministries, customs and tax administration;
2. The sector level, including health, education and energy sectors;
3. The municipal/local level.
Component 2 will aim at strengthening the voice and capacity of citizens to directly demand greater accountability from public officials and service providers by using innovative ICT, web2.0 and social media technologies.
This component will be implemented in collaboration with InternewsKosova and enhance the ability of citizens and stakeholders to engage with public officials and policymakers in a more informed, direct and constructive manner.
Component 2 will create transparency and accountability mechanisms based on innovative ICT, web2.0 and social media technologies allowing citizens themselves to evaluate or audit government’s performance and policy decisions.
SAEK Component 3 will increase the ability of the judiciary to fight corruption within and outside the judicial system.
The project will support the Office of the Disciplinary Prosecutor (ODP) in strengthening its internal capacities and mechanisms for inspection, audit and disciplinary investigations to discipline judges, lay-judges and prosecutors.
In collaboration with the Kosovo Judicial Council (KJC) and the Kosovo Prosecutorial Council (KPC), SAEK will also work with the judiciary on their ability to investigate and prosecute cases of corruption externally and involve major capacity development activities.
The project’s objective is to strengthen institutional transparency, accountability and integrity, with a particular focus on empowering citizens and access to information.
- Increase the capacity of the Kosovo Anti-Corruption Agency to monitor and prevent corruption.
- Enhance citizens' engagement in strengthening transparency and accountability.
- Advance the ability of the judiciary to fight corruption internally and externally.
- Improve ethics and transparency in public administration.
To ensure sustainability, UNDP aims to provide technical assistance through a multi-prong approach and by involving a multitude of selected stakeholders, including a variety of Kosovo institutions and CSOs, who have built significant anti-corruption knowledge in the past years.
SAEK will provide financial support to selected anti-corruption efforts in the initial stage and gradually decrease such support by requesting more financial contributions from its counterparts. By the end of the project, counterparts shall be fully capable to self-sustainably continue with the activities.
UNDP Kosovo has also selected distinguished partners and key representatives from different institutions to drive the project forward, given their commitment to contribute to the anti-corruption agenda and successfully carry out the duties and responsibilities entrusted to them.
SAEK also intends to identify “Anti-Corruption Champions” or role-models to raise awareness and promote the exemplary work of certain individuals, municipalities/mayors, government bodies or institutions in the field of transparency and accountably. These “Champions” are expected to lead by example and their work shall be promoted through various means, including social/new media and traditional media.