Anti-Corruption Bodies Call for Closer Collaboration
Anti-corruption bodies in Kosovo are often not well connected and integrated, due to their wide diversity, overlapping mandates, competing agendas, and a general institutional lack of clarity. Establishing effective inter-institutional cooperation and coordination is a necessity. For this purpose, the Anti-Corruption Agency (ACA), representatives of the Chief Prosecutors Office and seven Regional Basic Prosecutions Offices, and the Kosovo Police - Economic Crimes and Corruption Investigation Directorate, organized for the very first time a joint two day workshop to strengthen their cooperation in all stages of investigations on suspected cases of corruption, with the aim of increasing efficiency in the fight against corruption in Kosovo.
Facilitated by UNDP’s Anti-Corruption Programme with the generous support of the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation, officials of the anti – corruption bodies have discussed on current challenges (practical issues) between these institutions and ways to enhance cooperation to achieve results in preventing and combating corruption.
Speaking on the current problems, Director of the Anti-Corruption Agency, Mr. Hasan Preteni, noted that “institutions cannot interfere in each other’s mission, but the cooperation must improve in order to strengthen the national system.”
The immediate need to strengthen cooperation between the Agency and Prosecutions was emphasized. “When ACA submits a criminal report, the prosecutor of the case has never called Agency’s investigators to cooperate with them in the investigative process. It would be good if the prosecutor of the case invites investigators to collaborate with them and build the capacities of the Agency’s staff on one side, but also ensure progress in investigations on the other, and ultimately ensure that we produce qualitative criminal reports” – said Preteni.
Meanwhile, Shqipe Neziri, UNDP Anti-Corruption Programme Manager, said that the aim of UNDP, through this programme, is to build sustainable and functional capacities in Kosovo, supporting efforts for a greater visibility and effectiveness among anti-corruption mechanisms in order to strengthen the institutional trust of citizens.
On the other hand, heads of Basic Prosecutions agreed that cooperation between prosecutors handling cases submitted by the Agency and the Agency’s investigators must take place.
“To ensure a better functioning of the chain, the triangular communication between the Agency, the Police, and Prosecution must be continuously strengthened. It would be desirable to also have more discussions on serious cases, prior to drafting a criminal report. This is because we know what preparations must be done to go to court”, said Agron Qalaj Chief Prosecutor of the Basic Prosecution in Ferizaj/Urosevac.