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Clarifications regarding the compliance audit in the field of natural gas

  • 11.02.2022
  • 1279

Concerning the distribution in the public space of erroneous statements regarding the compliance audit in the field of natural gas, the Court of Accounts of the Republic of Moldova (CoARM) considers it appropriate to intervene with the following communiqué.

  1. The audit is performed according to the International Standards on Auditing, developed and promoted by the International Organization of Supreme Audit Institutions INTOSAI, implemented by the Court of Accounts according to the requirements of art. 49 of the Republic of Moldova - European Union Association Agreement, ratified by Law no. 112 from 02.07.2014, the related institutional normative-methodological framework, as well as the provisions of Law no. 260/2017 on the organization and functioning of the Court of Accounts, the Law on accounting and financial reporting no. 287/2017 and other normative acts that regulate the audited field.

In these conditions, we mention that the audit started on January 10 this year, the audit team requesting from multiple entities relevant to the audit, information, reports, decisions, control acts, etc. for the period during 1999-2021.

  1. At the time of drafting and approving the draft law on conducting the external public audit in the field of natural gas, the Court of Accounts approved it positively, as it is in strict accordance with the requirements of international auditing standards INTOSAI, whose application in Moldova is mandatory for all institutions involved. by virtue of art. 49 of the Moldova-EU Association Agreement.
  2. Regarding the presence of a conflict of interest of the Vice President of the Court of Accounts, Viorel Chetraru, we mention that on December 28, 2021, the CoARM approved the Program of the audit activity for 2022, which included the external public audit in the field of natural gas. On the same day, the Vice-President submitted a Declaration of Independence, announcing the conflict of interest in the case of the audit of Moldovagaz. The declaration was submitted according to the provisions of Law 133 from 17.06.2016 on the declaration of assets and personal interests, as well as the provisions of ISSAI Standard 130 (Code of Ethics).

In these circumstances, we would like to inform you that the Vice-President is not informed and is not documented about the progress of the audit, and will not participate in any way in the examination and approval of the respective audit report.

The practice of submitting Declarations of Independence on the conflicts of interest is not a new one, but a natural one to apply in case of need for such actions. As an example, we can mention that, during 2017-2021, were submitted 22 Declarations of Independence regarding the conflict of interests, by the ordinary auditors up to the Members of the CoARM, in strict accordance with the legal requirements.

  1. Regarding the activity of the President of the Court of Accounts, Marian Lupu, as Director of the Department of External Economic Relations within the Ministry of Economy in 1999 and the alleged "legal and technical assistance to Gazprom" we emphasize that the information distributed is also false. This structural entity of the Ministry of Economy has never had any contact with Gazprom or Moldovagaz and has not had in its competence subjects concerning the energy sector, privatizations and property relations.

Finally, we inform that the CoARM’s team, trained in conducting the audit in the field of natural gas is a professional one, being appointed people with long experience in the field, given the complexity of this audit and the major importance of the given topic.

Any attack and dissemination of erroneous statements would jeopardize the proper conduct of this audit engagement, which could in turn jeopardize the results of this engagement.

Pursuant to INTOSAI P1 - Lima Declaration on Guidelines on Audit Principles, INTOSAI P10 - Mexico Declaration on the Independence of SAI, as well as the Law no. 2601/2017 on the organization and functioning of the Court of Accounts of the Republic of Moldova, the CoARM will not admit any interference in the activity of the external public audit, carried out according to the mandate of the institution.

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