The councilors in Cakran commune of Fier district declare that they have not been informed about the beneficiaries’ lists of the economic aid for which they have voted for, at a time that they accuse the social administrator for incompetence. The chair of the Council says that no one from the councilors has ever requested any information and they have followed the legal procedure in each meeting. Bregasi:”The list has been approved without objections, the councilors have had at their disposal all information.
By Edmond Hoxhaj
The discrepancies in the distribution of the economic aid that are found in Cakran commune of Fier district in 2013, have thrown light to another problem: that of the voting and approval in a dubious way of the social administrator’s project-decisions in the council. This is a fact that became known from the councilors of this local governance unit, who declare that they have voted the project-decision of the social administrator for the economic aid without being well informed on the way of the compilation of the files per each beneficiary. The violations that have been done during the selection process of the beneficiaries of the economic aid in Cakran commune, the later being proposed to the council from the social administrator, have brought an economic harm of 3 million leke.
Facsimile of the Inspection Act carried out in Cakran commune
The councilor of Cakran commune, Tonin Xhelaj, admits that not only him, but all the councilors have voted without being informed about the selection process of the beneficiaries of the economic aid, about the legal basis and criteria where the social administrator had to be based on selecting the families. And, Xhelaj goes even further by accusing the former social administrator of the Cakran commune for being incapable and for lacking professionalism. “I am totally not informed and I am sure that even other councilors are not informed, they have the same level of knowledge as me. But I am also sure that even the social administrator of our commune is totally uniformed and incapable. This, because we as councilors do not have as our profession the selection of the beneficiaries of the economic aid, but the administrator had to put at our disposal more information and he had to explain us everything in details. But due to the fact that the administrator was uninformed, or in my opinion incapable, there has been created this situation, whereas we as councilors, we have fallen to the lurch”, has admitted the councilor Tonin Xhelaj for “investigim. al”.
Even other councilors of this local unit have been expressed that they did not have any idea on the criteria and legal basis upon which there had to be carried out the selection of the beneficiaries of the economic aid. They stress the fact that the social administrator has been appointed based on his political affiliation and not on his professional abilities, and due to this there have been derived even the abuses in the selection of the beneficiaries of the economic aid. Not only this, but a part of the councilors admitted that they have turned a project decision into a decision with their vote without being informed.
The chair of Cakran Communal Council, Adriatik Bregasi has declared that this is a personal stand of some of his colleagues. According to Bregasi, each councilor has had the possibility to get informed on the documentation compiled by the social administrator, as according to him, this is something that is obligatory stipulated on the procedure of summoning a meeting of the council. “Based on these declarations, I would like to explain that the communal council meetings have their own procedure on how they have to take place. Hence, five days before the successive meeting, all the councilors are given from the secretary of the communal council the materials with the project decisions that will be voted for in the meeting. To each councilor are presented the materials of the successive meeting. If he is interested he can look, he can also find information in the offices of the commune for all the materials given to him for the meeting. Even for the economic aid, each councilor is introduced to the list of the beneficiaries being selected from the social administrator. In this particular case, the list has been increased. A year ago the list was with 20 names to whom were given about forty thousand leke. Nowadays, the list is with 34 names and more than seventy thousand leke are given to them”, admits Bregasi.
Chair of the Cakran communal council, Adriatik Bregasi
Considering this concrete case, the chair of the communal council explains that the former social administrator has been present in every meeting held by the council, but no one has asked to be informed. “This problem has not come up in any of the former meetings of the council. The social administrator has also taken part in some of the meetings, but these problems have not come out. They have not asked. The list has been approved without debates, as the people that benefit the economic aid are recognized by everyone as being the poorest in the area. These names in the lists, I believe, have been proposed from the heads of the villages as well, but I also think that they have submitted the necessary documents. The project-decisions are given to the councilors five days before the meeting and the legal basis is reflected in each of the official documents. They also have at their disposal the staff of the commune or they can even find the judicial information on their own”, has admitted Bregasi, adding that if the councilors have not been informed this is due to their negligence.
The former social administrator of Cakran commune, Leonard Rucaj, who has been suspended from his duty due to the violations identified during an inspection of the State Social Service, admits that the councilors have always been informed about the procedures followed on the selection of the beneficiaries of the economic aid. “The administrator of the social service implements the law No. 9355, dated 10.03.2005 and the decision No. 787, dated 14.12.2008. Based on this law, there has been compiled the project decision for the beneficiaries of the economic aid. Automatically, there is defined the legal basis upon which has been compiled the project decision and all the data on the criteria and the procedures that are followed for the selection of the beneficiaries. The councilors have been informed about all these, when they have asked to get the information. There has never been any problem identified so far, as the law was always implemented”, admitted Rucaj. The later is under investigation from the Fier Prosecutor’s office for violations performed while being on duty.
Former administrator of Cakran commune , Leonard Ruçaj
Such a way of voting of the project decisions that are introduced for approval in the meetings of the local governance, have also thrown light on the other side of the medal, which is related to the education level of the councilors. The chair of Cakran communal council, Adriatik Bregasi, despite admitting that his colleagues have a good education level, he also accepts that some of them have the high school education, which raises a question mark on their ability to clearly understand the project decisions that are introduced to them. Bregasi says that the selection of the councilors is done on political basis and there is no law to define their education. “On regard to the selection of the councilors, each political party has its own list. It is their right to propose them. But to tell the truth, in our commune, the level of the councilors is good. They come from all sectors, there are those with university degree, but there are also councilors who have a high school education. Nevertheless, when there was requested to implement projects in favour of the community, the communal council has managed to find the consensus”, concludes Bregasi.
The education level of the councilors of the local governance units is far from what is expected even in other local units in Fier region. A considerable number of councilors do have only the general education, or in other cases they have gotten the university degree in an older age to private universities. All the decisions of the local units are screened from the prefecture, which defines if they are legal or not. In this concrete case, the approval of the project decision of the economic aid for 2013, being compiled by the former social administrator of Cakran commune, Leonard Rucaj, has been approved even by the prefecture, even though a year later there have been identified violations and lack of many documents. So, referred to the Inspection Act of the State Social Service, finalized in October 2013, there was found out that the payments of the economic aid were given in violation to the law. Some 50 people that had received the disability payment lacked documents in the files, which were compiled from the former social administrator. In this inspection act was highlighted the fact that all the beneficiaries have to turn back all the money benefitted in an abusive way.
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