TIRANA, July 8, 2014— The Government of Albania and the World Bank conducted a joint portfolio review of World Bank supported projects on July 8, 2014. This exercise marked the initiation of a regular oversight process aimed at unlocking implementation issues to enable the projects to accomplish results. The meeting was chaired by the Minister Finance, Mr. Shkëlqim Cani. Ms. Tahseen Sayed, World Bank Country Manager for Albania led the World Bank team, while Mr. Erjon Luci led the discussions on project performance with Government and project officials from concerned ministries. The review meeting took stock of the implementation and results of 5 projects in the portfolio amounting to US$ 250 million. The review noted progress to date and focused on specific issues affecting performance.
“It is important to ensure timely and efficient use of investment resources”, said the Minister of Finance Mr. Shkëlqim Cani. “The cross cutting and project specific issues require continuous and coordinated monitoring”.
The review noted the need for the high level attention from line ministries to monitor progress and greater coordination and oversight on complex multi sectoral projects. Capacity constraints were specially highlighted in the area of procurement, including contract management, and monitoring and evaluation which persistently affect the progress under several projects.
It was agreed to organize Ministry of Finance-led Joint portfolio reviews twice a year, and quarterly joint project-specific reviews with the Line Ministry. The next steps and a joint action plan were also agreed. “We believe that this systematic and regular portfolio oversight, complementing the ongoing technical and operational engagement, would contribute to further performance improvements”, said Ms.Tahseen Sayed, World Bank Country Manager for Albania. She welcomed the Ministry of Finance and line Ministries’ commitment to ensure timely implementation of the agreed next steps.