= 1. Under a contract with the Open Society Foundation for Albania, IPLS is implementing a project that aims to overhaul Albania's 13 years old Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). Following a detailed analysis of the problems encountered by civil society organizations, media and individuals in the course of FOIA applications, in May 2012 IPLS and OSFA organized a major stakeholders' conference where the findings of the analysis and the proposed areas of intervention were thoroughly debated. Strong of the conference's feedback IPLS proceeded with the drafting stage which was completed in January 2013. The main features of the proposed Albanian FOIA include: a) a new oversight body; b) full proportionality and public interest test for all FOIA exceptions (including classified data); c) strong emphasis on proactive publishing of information by public bodies; and d) enhanced administrative review and sanctioning powers. In February 2013, the Ministry of Justice initiated the round of legislative consultations based on the IPLS draft. We will be following closely the legislative process until its completion.
= 2. IPLS is conducting a major monitoring of the "Efforts of Law Enforcement Agencies in the Fight against Organized Crime" with the support of Civil Society Support Fund. The monitoring strategy involves extensive use of FOIA to determine the achievement of the benchmarks, as defined by the implementing agencies in their official work plans, coupled with guided interviews and focus groups on specific themes. We expect to come up with a report on the findings by the end of the ongoing year.
= 3. IPLS is in the process of implementing a Court Users' Satisfaction Survey with support from the Open Society Foundation for Albania. The survey is based on a methodology and a questionnaire developed by CEPEJ (European Commission for the Efficiency of Justice). The aim of the exercise is to capture the viewpoint of the court users such as parties, private attorneys and court experts (judges and prosecutors are not included in the first round) on the major aspects of the courts' business including ease of access to the court services, length of proceedings and overall court transparency. IPLS chose to use the CEPEJ developed questionnaire with a view to having results that are comparable to those in other European countries. The survey is conceived to be a regular exercise delivered on year by year basis, thus providing early indicators on trends and developments. Furthermore, we expect our regular findings on courts users' satisfaction to underpin policy processes and decision making concerning the judicial system.
= 4. With the support of the United States Embassy IPLS is preparing a collection of the landmark rulings of the European Court of Human Rights concerning article 6 of the Convention (Right to a private life). The launch of the collection is scheduled for March 2013.
= 5. Consultation services for the monitoring of the government anticorruption section.