The public procurement process and the use of the financial resources within the system of the Ministry of Defense, during 2019-2020, were made with some irregularities and deficiencies, which are systemic at the CPA’s level.
This is the conclusion of the Court of Accounts of the Republic of Moldova (CoARM) on the financial reports and compliance audit on the public procurement within the institution, heard today, November 3, by the members of the Public Finance Control Commission (PFCC).
In this context, Andrei Munteanu, Member of the CoARM and the heads of the audit teams presented the main findings of the Audit Report on the consolidated financial reports of the Ministry of Defense concluded on December 31, 2020, approved throughout the CoARM’s Decision no. 33 from 30.06.2021 and the Public Procurement Compliance Audit Report within the system of the Ministry of Defense during 2019-2020, approved throughout the CoARM’s Decision no. 34 from 05.07.2021.
The auditors of the Court of Accounts reported that, in 2020, the Ministry of Defense managed resources amounting to 984.6 million lei and expenditures amounting to 993.6 million lei and administered assets totaling 3.5 billion. lei.
Based on the audit activities carried out, the Court of Accounts issued a qualified audit opinion on the financial statements of the Ministry of Defense concluded on December 31, 2020. The audit attested that the internal managerial control established within the Ministry of Defense does not ensure the efficient identification and management of the risks related to the financial-accounting process, including those related to the preparation of the consolidated financial statements. The fragmentary establishment of internal managerial control influenced the veracity and completeness of the information reflected in the financial statements.
Concerning the compliance with public procurement within the Ministry of Defense and subordinate institutions, some system problems persist, being issued a total of 13 recommendations.
The main problematic issues identified are the lack of a unified regulatory framework that would regulate the organization and conduct of public procurement, inadequate regulation of the activity of working groups for procurement within the contracting authorities, poor quality of public procurement planning, insufficient justification of tenders, etc.
The audit also attested some imperfections of the electronic public procurement system - the Automated Information System "Public Procurement State Register " (MTender).
According to the representatives of the Ministry of Defense, several of the non-compliances found by the auditors have already been remedied. In particular, have been taken measures meant to increase the transparency of procurement procedures.
In the opinion of Zinaida Greceanii, member of the Public Finance Control Committee, the problems identified by the auditors of the Court of Accounts are systemic and are characteristic for all central and local public administration institutions. Therefore, the Government should come up with a systemic approach to issues related to public procurement, heritage registration, the application of the regulatory framework and the use of the MTender system.
In conclusion, Tatiana Cunețchi, Chairwoman of the Public Finance Control Committee, announced that the committee's report, following today's hearings, will be submitted to the Government, which will have to formulate solutions to the key problems identified.