IMF "warned" the Bank of Albania

One day ago, after the special meeting for the theft of the Albanian Treasury, the Supervisory Council of the Bank of Albania declared that the procedures, instructions and internal rules of the Bank are according to the law and guarantee its security.

In the official declaration after the meeting, the Council declared that the theft has been caused by the failure of the employees to implement these rules.

But Top Channel brings in attention an official document of the International Monetary Fund, published one month ago, noting that the regulatory basis and the auditing procedures used by the Bank of Albania are not based on the best international standards.

In the first part of the report, the IMF recognizes the improvements, noting that the Bank of Albania has reinforced its guarantees for some sectors, such as the external and internal audit, and the financial reporting functionalities.

But the document notes that the Bank structure lacks of the effective supervision of the internal audit, the financial reporting and the inspection issues.

IMF says that the policies and the policies and procedures for selecting the external audit are unclear. Facing these problems, the IMF recommends the Bank of Albania to establish a special Council that should survey the internal audit and that should be composed of people outside the executive circle of the bank.

In other words, they should not depend from the Bank's leaders. This recommendation aimed to detach this process from the influence and control of the highest bank leaders.

Top Channel has learned that this decision has been taken from the Bank on July 29th, four days after the Bank theft was made public. In parallel, the IMF asked the Bank to approve a formal policy for the selection of the external audit with a rotation procedure.

This was a clear rule defining how the external audit was selected and how long could the maximal deadline be for a company to serve as external audit. The IMF recommends the Bank in this document to undertake a special evaluation on the quality of functionality for the internal audit, which has failed for four consequent years to prevent the theft.

The Bank of Albania has been aware that the audit, the internal financial inspections and other procedures were not according to the financial standards.

This is proved by the same document in which the Bank says that they will reinforce the audit and internal inspection, in full accordance with the recommendations of the last IMF mission, for the protective and preventive measures.

The Bank promises to undertake others steps for harmonizing the internal auditing procedures with the international standards.

The internal and external audit were the key links that failed preventing the theft of 7.1 million USD for more than four consequent years. These links seem to have been problematic for years, since in another document of 2007, before leaving Albania, the IMF expresses almost identical concerns about the quality of the external and internal audit of Bank of Albania.