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Luxury trips to hotels 700 euros a night: Minister of Justice reacts

Shkruar nga Anabel

25 Gusht 2019

An article by the investigative portal Faktoje.al published data on trips abroad by Justice Minister Etilda Gjonaj, which featured staying in luxury hotels, which peaked at well over 700 euros / night. Given this, Gjonaj reacted via social media to the case.

"If the media were to verify and ask for an explanation, it would come to realize that the invoice with the amount of the hotel in Italy is not only for one night as speculatively conveyed, but it is a two nights sleep. To add, the published invoices not only contain my expenses, but also contain the expenses of the entire delegation participating in these activities, where in most cases hotels for the safety of all delegations are determined by the organizers or guests, who Accommodation or ticket costs in many cases also depend on the period required which may coincide with an influx of pronunciations in those countries or due to the short time in which the invitations or agenda dictated by the host party came. "She writes among other things.

Then adds:

“If the media were to verify, it would be that as a minister during official visits abroad I also traveled by train as an ordinary citizen to arrive on time and at less cost for business visits.

As it would verify that as a minister I paid official visits within the same day spending 0 lek for the hotel, or other cases where expenses are covered by foreign organizers. No one published this to tell Albanians the truth as it is and not how they want to impose it. At this point, the portal that undertook to make this 'transparency' would have to publish and analyze the information provided to it for other business trips. ”

Gjonaj further states that "it is not a process that the ministry deals with personally, as it is the duty of administrative staff or responsible institutions." "

"However, this does not absolve me of the responsibility to verify their legality in the procurement and financial management procedures of the financial resources as a whole. In view of the sensitivity created by this news, I have initiated a vetting and internal audit process for all the procedures performed by the staff of the Ministry of Justice, which showed that each procedure is in compliance with the applicable law and bylaws. "

Full statement:

I have a duty to make a public comment on what has been given to me by some media for the past 24 hours.

Allow me, in this public reaction, to express first of all that myself and the staff of the Ministry of Justice have been extremely transparent in respecting the right of the media to provide the requested information, as any request has been dealt with. of every citizen in respect of transparency for any financial operation of the Ministry of Justice.

I declare with full responsibility, legal and moral, that in my function from day one of my work and to this day, I have personally acted in every case in accordance with the law and in full respect of it. I invite any media and journalist to investigate all my work in the function of the Minister of Justice, including the management of financial resources, ensuring that as I have made available to them, I will continue to provide as much transparency as possible with any information law.

I believe that with the same transparency that the Ministry of Justice has acted in providing the required data, the same transparency and professionalism should have been witnessed by the media in order to carry out the proper verifications and to present them truthfully outside the interpretations. malicious and speculative.

If the media were to verify and ask for an explanation, it would come to realize that the hotel bill in Italy is not only for one night as speculatively conveyed, but it is a two nights sleep. To add, the published invoices not only contain my expenses, but also contain the expenses of the entire delegation participating in these activities, where in most cases hotels for the safety of all delegations are determined by the organizers or guests, who Accommodation or ticket costs in many cases also depend on the period required which may coincide with an influx of pronunciations in those countries or due to the short time in which the invitations or agenda dictated by the host party came.

If the media were to verify, I would find that as a minister during official visits abroad I also traveled by train as an ordinary citizen to arrive on time and at less cost for business visits.

As it would verify that as a minister I paid official visits within the same day spending 0 lek for the hotel, or other cases where expenses are covered by foreign organizers. No one published this to tell Albanians the truth as it is and not how they want to impose it. At this point, the portal that undertook to make this "transparency" would have to publish and analyze the information provided to it for other business trips.

If the media were to verify procedures and documentation, it would easily conclude that the procedures for travel services based on DCM no. 914, dated 29.12.2014 “On the approval of the rules on public procurement”, as amended, are publicly procured through the electronic system of the Public Procurement Agency.

The media and everyone understands quite well that in no case is the process a minister dealing with personally as it is the duty of the administrative staff or responsible institutions. However, this does not absolve me of the responsibility to verify their legality in the procurement and financial management procedures of the financial resources as a whole.

Taking into consideration the sensitivity that this news has created to the public, I have initiated a vetting and internal audit process for all procedures performed by the staff of the Ministry of Justice, which has shown that each procedure is in compliance with applicable law and regulations.

Also these procedures have been found in compliance with the ALSAI in the last final report filed with the MoJ on 31.07.2019. But in any case, for transparency, I will also require other institutions independent of the Ministry of Justice to carry out the control and inspection necessary to verify the legality of all actions and procedures.

Since the beginning of this important mission that I am fulfilling, I have tried to reckon that part of my difficult journey will be both criticism, assault, and mud, both professionally, personally and family. I feel saddened by this unprecedented attack on some media portals that have thrown mud and scum to me but at the same time have deliberately stirred opinion with humiliating comments, expressions and allusions, to maltreat me personally, as an official, as a woman , wife and mother.

I try to understand all the sensibilities created by ordinary citizens in spite of such news about the way he has been sold in the media market and I assure everyone who believes in me as a person and a state official that I will reach at the end of this process.

Unfortunately, we live in a reality where you have to pay heavy costs if you are a woman in politics and moreover if you serve without showing any compromise with lawlessness. Personally, I have been suffering these costs for a long time, myself and my family, and this alone, because I have stood up and courageously violated the law.

Regardless, legality and the fight against any corrupt acts are and will continue to be the subject throughout my tenure.

MOS I HUMBISNI