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Compliance audit report within the General Prosecutor's Office

  • 21.08.2023
  • 431

On August 21, the Court of Accounts of the Republic of Moldova (CoARM) examined during an online session the Compliance Audit Report on the way of formation, administration and use of public financial resources and public patrimony by the General Prosecutor's Office during 2018-2022.

During 2018-2022, the bodies of the General Prosecutor's Office were specified allocations from the state budget in the total amount of 1.8 billion lei, with cash and actual expenses constituting 1.7 billion lei. During the meeting, were discussed the main findings presented in the audit report on each component subject to verification.

Regarding the budget planning of the General Prosecutor's Office, the Court of Accounts found that the mechanism applied in the process of drafting the budget draft of the General Prosecutor's Office is not aligned with the Law of Public Finances and Budgetary-Fiscal Responsibility, in the aspect of the institution's autonomy. Thus, according to the legal provisions, the Prosecutor's Office must prepare its independent budget project and according to the needs, it will later be approved by the Ministry of Finance and the Superior Council of Prosecutors and presented to the Government for approval, with subsequent inclusion in the budget project of the state. In fact, the budget projects of the General Prosecutor's Office for the verified period were developed within the spending limits established by the Ministry of Finance, not being correlated to the real needs of the institution.

Regarding the capitalization of budgetary means, the following were found:

  • 86.3% of the total expenses are staff expenses and related payments. In the execution of these expenses, the audit did not find any significant deviations, with the exception of 2018, when the predetermined limit of 5% was exceeded when awarding prizes, the amount being 8.9 million lei;
  • there is a systemic problem with the obligation to grant annual leave to prosecutors, who have accumulated about 59 thousand unused leave days. The audit team estimated that the amount of leave allowances at the end of 2022 amounted to over 53 million lei, which may cause imbalances in the entity's budget execution.
  • despite the minimum budget for carrying out some current expenses and for the procurement of non-financial assets, some of them were carried out without respecting the principle of legality in the capitalization of public money. Thus, the use of budgetary means with suspicions of fraud is denoted, namely for the purchase of licenses and the development of AIS "E-Dosar". By accepting and paying for the respective development services, losses in the amount of 1.8 million lei were caused to the budget.
  • without taking into account the fact that the central apparatus of the General Prosecutor's Office, the specialized and territorial prosecutor's offices used computer techniques, worn out morally and physically, in the absence of an evaluation of the necessary, the General Prosecutor's Office decided to purchase licensed programs for computers and servers during 2017-2021, for a total amount of 21.5 million lei.
  • when procuring and paying for these goods, the audit reveals the presence of illegalities and reasonable suspicions of fraud, which consist of the following:
  1. the purchase of licensing products for computers at a cost increased by 2.4 million lei, compared to the price agreed with the company providing software products;
  2. the presence of reasonable suspicion of fraud: a) when paying licenses for computers in the amount of 2.5 million lei, which were not actually delivered and installed, according to the minutes of receiving and handing over the licenses; b) when procuring 48 licenses for servers worth 1.1 million lei thousand lei, servers that the General Prosecutor's Office does not even own. Through these actions, the responsible factors within General Prosecutor's Office caused losses to the state budget in the amount of 3.6 million lei;
  3. the dubious redemption of licenses by the General Prosecutor's Office, 7.6 million lei being paid from the budget, in the absence of confirmatory documents or amendments to the Licensing Agreement.

The audit stated the persistence of systemic irregularities in the purchase and execution of capital repair works of the offices of the prosecutor's office, thus the following irregularities were found:

  • non-compliant planning and substantiation of the needs for the purchase of repair works, which led to the performance of additional works for the repair of electrical networks, heating networks, etc.;
  • the irregular purchase and execution of repair works in the absence of project documentation and legally verified estimates, in the amount of 17.7 million lei, a fact that conditioned some disagreements between the General Prosecutor's Office and contractors regarding the volume and quality of the works performed, as well as the initiation of litigation in the courts, which can generate losses to the budget;
  • admission of deviations between the prices established in the quote-offer and those in the minutes regarding the execution of capital repair works at the General Prosecutor's Office headquarters, located in the municipality of Chisinau, 73 Ștefan cel Mare și Sfânt boulevard, as a result, making unjustified expenses of 485.1 thousand lei.

The General Prosecutor's Office did not have a regulatory process regarding fuel expenses, being certified to have exceeded the limit set for the entity's transport units, as well as establishing and approving excessive fuel consumption norms for some transport units. As a result, it was certified that only for 17 vehicles (Dacia Logan model) the institution made non-compliant budget expenditures for 0.3 million lei.

There are multiple deviations and non-compliances in the process of managing public patrimony by the General Prosecutor's Office. Thus, the lack of effective monitoring of the patrimony under management determined the fact that two buildings are registered in the accounting records of the General Prosecutor's Office, which, according to the cadastral records, were alienated for the benefit of individuals. One of these buildings was a former administrative building of the Anenii-Noi Territorial Prosecutor's Office, which in 2009 was changed to a residential block and was privatized with the consent of the prosecutor's office management.

As for the second building, it was supposed to be handed over to the Rezina town hall by the General Prosecutor's Office, which in fact was not done, in the meantime the LPA initiated the process of privatizing it, the building being sold to a natural person.

In the same way, the audit found the non-registration in the accounting records of the General Prosecutor's Office of 19 plots of land belonging to the headquarters of the territorial prosecutor's offices with an area of ​​2 acres and a garage, and with the cadastral body not having registered an administrative building and 12 garages, which contravenes the regulatory framework in force and involves risks regarding their integrity.

A vulnerable aspect within the entity relates to carrying out the patrimony inventory. It is mentioned that in the last ten years, the complex inventory of all patrimonial elements under the management of the General Prosecutor's Office and of some structural subdivisions has not been carried out according to regulations, in this case, this process did not include the assets under the management of the Anticorruption Prosecutor's Office, POCOCSC and the Chisinau Municipal Prosecutor's Office.

An identified problem is also the unfinished construction located at 100 Alexandru cel Bun street. The lack of decisions regarding this building leads to its degradation, the repair works being stopped for more than 15 years. The expenses incurred from the state budget account for the renovation of this building amounted to 26.2 million lei, at the same time a decrease of 2.2 million lei in the expenses incurred, compared to the data found in the previous audit.

Generalizing the audit findings as a whole, the Court of Accounts concluded that, during the audited period, the General Prosecutor's Office had a partially functional system in terms of compliance, fact that led to multiple irregularities in the use of public money, including risks of fraud, as well as deviations in the administration of public patrimony. At the same time, in order to remedy the identified deficiencies, the Court of Accounts submitted 16 audit recommendations, aimed at improving the identified deficiencies.

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