Rule of Law and Democratic Governance

September 2007 – February 2008. Enacting the Local Borrowing & Planning Laws, supported by FORECAST/USAID. ISB, with USAID assistance and support has recently been engaged in the drafting of two laws:

Local Borrowing Law, which gives local governments the authority to borrow funds from commercial lenders and thereby raise funds beyond their current account budget for larger capital improvements; and 2.  Planning Law that increases the autonomy and decision-making discretion of local governments in carrying out territorial planning functions, as well as intends to provide a territorial planning framework that is more compatible with the market economy and creates the preconditions for a better balance between public and private rights.

ISB’s role is focused on the creation of a stakeholder lobby for each of the two laws, by enabling local government representatives, through their own organizations; take the lead in carrying out a range of direct lobbying activities. Thus, ISB will also shepherd the drafting of secondary legislation necessary for the effective implementation of the borrowing law.

ISB is the main Albanian partner of Urban Institute for the implementation the three consecutive USAID projects related to the decentralization reform in Albania (1998-2000; 2002-2004; 2005-2007-this last named LGDA). ISB has played key role in the preparation of almost every policy and new legislation related to this reform and their implementation.

2003-on going. Decentralization Reform:  ISB was engaged in the reform of decentralization since 1998 carrying on a big number of project and activities financed by various donors and international organizations such as USAID/UI; UNDP, EC; etc. While assisting in the preparation of the Decentralization strategy and the key laws, ISB has paid special attention to the fiscal decentralization and budgeting at municipal level. ISB has contributed on:

  • drafting the local tax laws;
  • designing the formula for the distribution of the unconditional transfers from the State Budget to LGs;
  • preparation of the fiscal decentralization paper as part of MTBP (2002,2003,2004,2005);
  • preparing the fiscal policies in several sectors under decentralization;
  • providing training and technical advise to different municipalities for the preparation of their fiscal policies and management.

2000. Public order and civil society, funded by Switzerland Development and Cooperation (SDC). ISB organized different activities in Berat and Elbasan for setting up cooperative models of dialogue between different groups of civil society, LGs and public order entities, for fighting against organised crime.

1998. ISB assisted the Public Information Office at Fier Municipality. This experience was extended on six other municipalities continuing the implementation of the law “On citizen’s right of information on official documents”. 

During 1998 ISB, contracted by the Urban Institute under USAID Decentralization Program, was engaged in drafting the Government Strategy on Decentralization and Local Autonomy. It provided assistance, support and advice in the implementation of Decentralization Strategy for Local Government.

Technical assistance to the Task Force and Decentralization Committee.

ISB contributed on the drafting process of several laws and several field studies. Conclusions and recommendations of these studies have been presented to high local officials through the Group of Experts on Decentralization and Inter-ministerial Committee for Decentralization.

Some of the draft laws where ISB has given his contribution are:

(2006-on-going)  Draft- local budgeting rules
(2006-on-going)  Draft-law on territorial planning
(2006-ongoing)   Draft-law on Local borrowing
(2002 and 2006) Law on Small Business Tax
“On Organization and Functioning of the Local Governments”,
“On the immovable state properties”;
“On the transfer of immovable public owned properties to local government units”,
“On intergovernmental relations”,
“On local tax system”,
“Law on transfer of state immovable properties to Local Self-governments”.

Among the main studies on local government where ISB has contributed are:

“Study on the financial transfers system”,
“Study on the performance of the local public services”,
“Study on fiscal decentralization”,
“Study on annual budgeting”;
“Pilot study on urban land management”,
”Analysis of small business tax and implication of transfer to local governments”,
“Analysis of option for reintroduction of agricultural land tax”
“Local taxes and Fees/tariffs, Policy Options and Recommendation for reform”.

Some of the main projects offering policy advice

ISB is member of the Government ad-hoc working group for the revision and simplification of the administrative barriers in the area of tax and custom procedures. ISB was invited to participate as a high-specialized think-tank in these issues.

October 2006. Registration of businesses. The project financed by World Learning.
ISB has completed a policy paper for the reform related to the business registration. The policy paper is already adopted by the three ministries (Economy, Justice and Finance) as an official document.

2005-2008. ISB is performing a four-year project for promoting good policy and law making procedures including the adoption of Regulatory Impact Assessment methodology (RIA) by Albanian authorities. Project was initially financed by US Embassy Program for Democracy and continues to be funded by OSFA financing.

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