About PEN & Group

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PEN Strategy Consulting Group is an innovative strategy consultancy based in Kosovo. It provides professional services on several policy and business issues across local and regional perspectives. We strive to enhance public policy, improve market strategies, and sharpen transitions towards development.

PEN offers a distinct culture of successful and implementable ideas. Our ideas are skillfully crafted to offer excellent performance. They are not meant to complicate solutions; rather they are distinguished for being unpretentious, striking and sharp enough to address our clients’ strategic ends.

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PEN’s reputation begins with its team.

Our team has bright, professional and engaged people. Their experience is diverse but all are devoted to PEN's principles and approach. Bringing together their expertise from different sectors—academia, government, business, research institutes and think tanks—allows PEN to provide novel solutions built on strong foundations. We continuously look for bright professionals to join our team so that we can support their professional growth, cultivate their career and position them so that they can make tangible changes in policy and business.

PEN believes in collaborative working relationships, and therefore we work with our clients and use their feedback to address challenges, improve our partnerships, and assure the quality of our work.

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We deliver services across a range of sectors, including:
public policy and legislation
market operation and business management
public financial management.

Our services cover the whole development sequence from designing a strategy to monitoring its implementation and assessing its impact.

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Areas of Expertise

PUBLIC POLICY AND LEGISLATION

PEN & Group has considerable experience on public policy issues both from within government and outside it. We help our clients make complex decisions on public policy choices considering comparative and local perspectives and based on informed policy knowledge from the juncture of legislative, political and commercial viewpoints. Our public policy team designs strategies to enhance the performance of public institutions and analyze the extent to which public institutions implement good-governance practices. PEN also assists in negotiations between public, private and civil society sectors to foster longer-term reform processes that are both sustainable and aim to retain public confidence. Our policy suggestions not only articulate alternatives to current polices based on informed evidence but also seek to align sectoral policies, national policy needs and political imperatives. PEN also seeks deep understanding of and always pays heed to constituency expectations so as to define economic priorities, ensure responsiveness of decision-makers to their constituencies and guarantee that achieving desired results remain at the heart of any policy decision.

In this area we concentrate on the following issues:
a) Institution-building from a policy, political and structural perspective at the local and central levels;
b) Policy analysis on government accountability, rule of law and parliamentary democracy in Kosovo;
c) Rule-of-law reforms in Kosovo and the Western Balkans region from an EU conditionality perspective; PUBLIC POLICY AND LEGISLATION
d) Functional and performance reforms of the justice system with an emphasis on backlog reduction, better case management and more rigorous human-rights compliance;
e) Access to justice, independence of the judiciary and prosecution, protection of fundamental rights, with an emphasis on the right to property, and law-enforcement performance;
f) Standards relating to transparent and informed lawmaking in the parliament, and parliamentary oversight over executive institutions;
g) Public administration reform in the view of SIGMA and OECD standards, with emphasis on better policy coordination, merit-based civil service recruitment and more accountable performance;
h) Market regulation in the fields of competition law, energy, trade barriers and public finance management

Our services in this field include:
a) Strategic policy planning for reforms in each of these areas;
b) Policy assessments on impact, effectiveness and process;
c) Analysis of legislative compliance with international standards;
d) Advice on compliance with regulation, and program designations to make regulation more effective;
e) Drafting of legislative and sub-legislative instruments;
f) Legal harmonization of legislation with international material and procedural standards;
g) Broad-ranging implementation services on programs and projects falling in each of these areas

MARKET OPERATION AND BUSINESS MANAGEMENT

PEN & Group has significant knowledge and experience in understanding market rules and managing businesses. Our economic consultants are highly regarded professionals in the field, with expertise in the labor market, trade policy, industrial policy, the business environment and foreign direct investment policy. We assist public institutions, donors and the business community by providing assessments on commercial matters, company management and corporate relations within and outside Kosovo. We also help companies make connections with foreign trade partners, seek new markets, standardize their products and establish safe legal investments in and outside Kosovo. We recognize the importance of a consistent government policy on growth and development as a precursor to fostering business, foreign direct investment and a new class of entrepreneurs in a functioning market economy. We also understand Kosovo’s lack of institutional capacity to engage with a dynamic trade policy that supports competitive internal product standardization and helps local companies find external markets for their products. PEN works to further support Kosovo’s trade policy by enhancing domestic capacities for product quality control, cost reduction, access to foreign markets and labour force enhancement to compete at the regional level.

In this area we concentrate on the following issues:
a) Trade policy and use of international free trade agreements for the benefit of domestic and foreign firms;
b) Trade barriers and use of bilateral and multilateral free-trade clauses to support better trade balance for Kosovo, with a view towards export expansion and diversification strategies; MARKET OPERATION AND BUSINESS MANAGEMENT
c) Development of aggressive export strategies by better controlling product quality;
d) Freedom of establishment and company law in the context of the Stabilisation and Association Agreement (SAA);
e) Business management strategies for developing new products and accessing international markets;
f) Strengthening the competitiveness of Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises for foreign markets;
g) Market regulation in the field of competition, energy, mining and standardization;
h) Regulation of services in the view of SAA and WTO rules;
i) Tax law for corporate, VAT and incomes;

Our services in this field include:
a) Expert advice regarding trade policy issues in Kosovo, and use of Kosovo’s FTAs for the free movement of capital;
b) Expert advice in drafting and applying regulation in the field of competition, tax, energy and product standardization for exports;
c) Strategic advice on companies’ ownership structure, corporate governance and regulatory compliance;
d) Assistance in accessing foreign courts and tribunals for executing international commercial contracts on goods and services;
e) Expert advice on cross border taxation and non-tariff barriers;
f) Assistance on making foreign direct investment decisions for Kosovo’s market and the region considering market valuation, industrial comparative advantages and competitive pressures;

PUBLIC FINANCIAL MANAGEMENT

PEN & Group places a high priority on public financial management. We provide expert advice in designing reforms and implementing services to strengthen public administration, streamlining the public expenditures policy and compelling market-assisting fiscal policies that ensure the public sector’s reliability. Our strategic advice for the government and donors on public financial management covers issues such as capacity building assistance, improving regulatory standards, strengthening fiscal discipline and breaking up the illicit economy. PEN recognizes the current trend of overstretched public finances, increased competition on international trade, weak public revenue controls and overreliance on public expenditures. The latter is leading towards austerity measures across key sectors, such as education, infrastructure investments, living standards and environmental protection. Maintaining and building these sectors should be the priority of any government. PEN advises on how to make public finances system more accountable, transparent and better address pressures on the public purse. We also take note of better parliamentary oversight over public finances and the importance of communication to the public on the public sector’s performance so as increase transparency and ensure identifiable and measurable political responsibility for government policies.

In this area we concentrate on the following issues:
a) public administration reform in public sector salaries and better expenditure planning;
b) public financial management reform both in annual budget term and mid-term financial planning framework;
c) fiscal policy and incentives for more local consumption and production;
d) decentralization of tax payment units and introduction of more efficient administrative tax collection systems;
e) multi-annual expenditure policy instruments like medium-term expenditure budgetary frameworks, tax programs at the local and central level, and tax transformation programs with a view on the Stabilisation and Association Agreement;
f) public financial accountability assessments;
g) general macroeconomic policy with special emphasis on incentive packages for foreign investment, human capital and productivity;
h) strengthening statistics and data-gathering as precursors to better policy planning and quality control;
i) applied research to measure the impact and verify expected results;

Our services in this field include:
a) Expert advice on better broad government strategic planning and sectoral strategic planning for sectors such as education, infrastructure, fiscal policy and public administration;
b) Expert assessments on public administration reform both broadly and at the sector level;
c) Impact assessments on fiscal policy reforms and incentive packages;
d) strategic advice for better budgetary planning and medium-term financial planning frameworks;
e) Introduction of more demanding revenue schemes that are aligned with policy priorities and identify areas where costs can be reduced without sacrificing service quality;
f) Technical assistance on better public financial transparency and fighting corruption;
g) Advice on economic and financial management of publicly-owned and socially-owned enterprises;
h) Provision of analysis of public sector performance and productivity;
i) Expert advice on better human resources planning and continuing education for civil servants;
j) Introduction and management of quality control systems;
k) Support to organizational reforms and policy processes;

PRINCIPLES

PEN & Group commits to the following Principles:

We commit to professional services of the highest quality

PEN is a dedicated community of professionals with experience from academic, policy and think tank sector. We strive to deliver high-quality services that are up to date with the leading innovations in the study, creation and practice of policy and business. We show our commitment to high-quality professional services in our products and in our background. It can be seen in the leading journal articles we publish, thepolicy research we write and advocate and international policy experiences from both developed and developing world that we have sought.

We commit to a socially responsible model of operation

PEN & Group operates a socially responsible model of profit-making. A relatively large share of our profit is dedicated to charity and non-profit endeavors. PEN strives to serve everyone, including members of the community, our talented staff, and our clients seeking to be better-informed actors in the world. We show our appreciation for social good in all of our encounters. We also seek to develop professionals within our offices so that they have the skills to take on international projects and serve social good.

We commit to helping our clients succeed at every step

PEN is not simply an ideas factory. We do not simply offer suggestions without providing any details on how they could be implemented. We offer implementation services for all strategic advice that we give. We not only devise strategies for our clients but also develop their capacity to carry out those strategies. By linking closely strategy and execution we ensure that our products substantively reflected into the everyday operation of clients’ portfolios. We operate with a full set of executive tools starting from professional human resources, digital tools, process management, performance, organizational structures and performance oversight structures.

We commit to high client satisfaction

PEN works to provide clients with first class services, and we strive to ensure that clients are consistently given clear business perspectives, policy options and supporting tools to make informed choices and mitigate risk. We commit to listen to our clients’ needs, understand their problems and provide actionable solutions to push their development forward. We pledge a long-term commitment to serve our clients and therefore we seek to maintain our clientele’s satisfaction. PEN applies a rigor policy of listening to client feedback and addressing their needs afterwards. As a client-centric company, we always stand dedicated to pursuing our clients’ success.

We commit to making our brand recognizable and honorable

PEN’s brand is driven by our professional capacities and humble way of delivering on our promises. We pay high attention to with whom we choose to work and the level of diligence which we apply to our partnerships. We work to ensure that our partners and clients are continually and consistently satisfied with our services, and that they will come back in the future. We never put our brand in risk by entering into contracts that have not been carefully assessed by ethical standards. Our ethics safeguards our growth; therefore we plan a gradual profit base that keeps clientele satisfied and our expansion driven by good governance standards.

We commit to communicating results modestly and consistently

PEN’s communication approach is an important component of our engagement with the public, clients and partners. We pay significant efforts to communicate our advice and implementation services modestly and consistently. PEN’s communication policy strives to keep everyone informed. We do not take part business of fabricated information, sensationalized promises or unsupported claims. If we ever fail to serve our clientele, we ensure that we communicate this result quickly and transparently, with a plan to improve our performance in the future.

We commit to a global perspective of advice and executive service

PEN continually learns from best international standards on strategic advice and executive services. We follow leading consultancies in the world, carefully review their approaches and work to engage with best practices at the local level. While we fully recognize our position as a local company, we work to gradually translate knowledge from global experience into a local environment. PEN stays consistently as a matter of commitment in touch with global inventions in the field and continually informs its clients on those perspectives.

Areas of Expertise