Prishtina 09.10.2012 The Ministry of Economic Development would like to state that the KEDS privatization process was implemented pursuant to the Decision of the Assembly and the Government of the Republic of Kosovo, in full compliance with applicable law and ensuring complete transparency.
The conclusion of the Civil Society Consortium for Sustainable Development that the Ministry of Economic Development was completely closed and non-transparent to the civil society in terms of access to public documents on the KEDS privatization process is untrue.
MED has respected the legal deadline for all requests for access to official documents. All 22 requests for access to documents were addressed timely, and in line with the applicable laws. Moreover, MED was commended for its adherence to the law and allowing access to official documents in meetings it had with civil society representatives.
In line with the provisions of Article 12, par. 1.7 of the Law on Access to Public Documents, and international practices, MED was unable to allow access to documents which were in form of drafts. MED, as soon as such documents become final through the Share Purchase Agreement and other documents, will remove the confidentiality classification, as state on several occasions by Minister Beqaj, and will make them public and available in its webpage.
In addition, the Government, the Government Privatization Committee, and the Project Implementation Unit have provided the conditions for all citizens interested in the process to access basic information and the course of privatization throughout the process, by creating the Data Room, which included all public documents of the process. This Data Room, established under the Project Implementation Unit, has served to inform everyone on the developments and decisions in the process.
According to the records provided by the Privatization Unit, the Room was visited by all parties and members of the society, and in particular cases through several visits by members of the civil society, individuals from the private business in the energy sector, KEK employees, international officials working in Kosovo, representatives of local and international media, and in particular by the Trade Union Federation of the KEK Distribution and Supply.
In addition, Minister Beqaj and his cabinet staff have personally met with representatives of this Union, to update them on the course of the project and listen to their requests.
Government officials and advisors engaged in the privatization process have also participated in all public and media debates on energy issues, in order to inform the public, and to ensure transparency and accurate information on the privatization process.
The Government, on its own initiative, has also organized debates with the civil society and relevant stakeholders. Unfortunately, public attendance in such meetings was very low.
Representatives and experts of all line ministries, representatives of ERO, KOSTT, KEK, and observer members, including USAID, World Bank, ICO, KfW, European Commission, etc., have all participated in the drafting of the tender package and throughout the privatization process in general.
Their proposals and suggestions have been reviewed and addressed with the outmost seriousness. Transparency in the process was highly commended by members of the energy sector, including KOSTT, KEK, ERO and process observes, such as USAID, World Bank, ICO, KfW, European Commission, etc, which, as observers members, were part of the entire process and informed with the course of the process and decisions on the KEDS privatization.
Statements that irregularities on the KEDS privatization process are confirmed with the fact that the Ombudsperson of the International Financial Corporation (IFC), part of the World Bank, is undertaking an investigation are utterly untrue as the Ombudsperson has an obligation to initiate investigations after receiving in written suspicions regarding a process. Representatives of the civil society are fully aware that this investigation was requested by them.