The Albanian Helsinki Committee (AHC) has monitored and continues to monitor the implementation of reform in the justice system and particularly the vetting process. In this regard, AHC has devoted special significance to transparency and the enforcement of access to information.
On Feberuary 5, 2018, the Commissioner on the Right to Information and Protection of Personal Data, upon AHC request, issued a decision that the three bodies supporting the vetting process, two of which – namely the Directory for the Security of Classified Information (DSCI) and the High Inspectorate for the Declaration and Audit of Assets and Conflict of Interest (HIDAACI) – are ordered to make available to AHC all the requested statistical information. DSCI appealed the Commissioner’s decision to the Administrative Court of First Instance in Tirana, with AHC intervening as a third person. On 18.06.2018, the Court decided to reject the request-appeal of the DSCI, upholding the decision of the Commissioner.
AHC applauds the decision of the Tirana Administrative Court and the initiative of DSCI to implement this decision. In spite of the delay in enforcing this decision, information made recently available by DSCI is current and therefore of interest to the public. By official correspondence, DSCI informed us that it has reached the conclusion that it is inappropriate for 200 out of the total of 800 subject being re-evaluated to continue their jobs. Inappropriate contacts highlighted for these 200 subjects are related to causes such as organized crime, corruption, in the form of a meeting, electronic communication or any other intentional encounter that is not compliant with the exercise of duties by the subject of re-evaluation. DSCI has not declared appropriate for continuing their job any subject found to have inappropriate contacts.
AHC wishes to clarify that data provided by supporting bodies, including DSCI are not compulsory for the re-evaluation institutions. These institutions, pursuant to fulfilling their constitutional mission, carry out a genuine process of control and evaluation and are not based on and are not obliged by conclusions presented to them by other supporting bodies. In all cases, the decision-making authority relies on the re-evaluation institutions created for this purpose, in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution, as independent and impartial judicial bodies, which enjoy the right to carry out further investigations in the context of final decision-making (referring to decisions of the Constitutional Court no. 2/2017 and no. 78/2017).
In closing, AHC deems it necessary to emphasize that enforcement of the law on access to information in the context of the vetting process, first and foremost, is of public interest, is useful for transparency and contributes to increasing public trust.
This initiative was undertaken with support from the Open Society Foundation Albania, in the context of the initiative “Increasing transparency, inclusivity and accountability in the vetting process.”