Parliamentary committee approves process of communist secret files vetting
TIRANA, Dec. 21 – The implementation of the law on opening up communist era secret police files will kick off as authorities have approved the establishment of the Information Authority which will carry out background checks on officials and holders of public office to see if they were secret police collaborators.
The Parliamentary Committee of Laws approved Tuesday the strategy that the authority will apply to move forward and reveal collaborators of Sigurimi, the communist secret police, one of the grimiest institutions in Albania’s history.
All of the documents from the communist era are guarded by the Intelligent Services, Ministry of Interior Affairs and Ministry of Defense. The three institutions will also be involved in opening the secret files.
The new Information Authority will engage officials from the three institutions to collect, transport and review the files.
A statement issued by the Information Authority said that its establishment will not cause a new financial burden to the state, as the body will engage only existing instruments and personnel.
According to Ministry of Defense officials, the Information Authority will be composed by Members of this body, Technical Secretariat, including the Directorate of Archive, Directorate of Information, Directorate of Scientific Support and Education of Citizens, Directorate of Security and Technological Development, and the Directorate of Domestic Services and Finance.
The five members of the Information Authority will have a five year mandate. One of the members is nominated by Albania’s Council of Ministers, two by parliament and two others by associations of victims of the communist regime. They will be responsible to: collect documents, evaluate, list, preserve and administer them according to the legislation. They will also be obliged to cooperate and coordinate work with public authorities and the archives in order to implement this law.
Albania approved the law on opening communist era secret police files last year, after more than two decades since the end of the dictatorship.
The law bans former members of Sigurimi from the civil service and public office in the future but does not sack those currently holding such positions.