The legal framework on public procurement needs to be improved, and the activity of the procurement working groups within public entities is characterized by multiple shortcomings, mentioned Tatiana Cunețchi, Chairwoman of the Public Finance Control Committee (PFCC) during the hearings of the Court of Accounts' reports.
We mention that, on October 28, during the PFCC’s meeting, Violeta Andrieș, Member of the CoARM and the Heads of audit teams presented the main findings of the Audit Report on the consolidated financial reports of the Ministry of Agriculture, Regional Development and Environment (MARDE) concluded on 31 December 2020, as well as the Audit Report on compliance of public procurement within the system (MARDE) during 2019-2020.
The purpose of the financial audit was to provide reasonable assurance that the consolidated financial statements of the Ministry as at 31 December 2020 do not contain, as a whole, material misstatement caused by fraud or error. The consolidated financial statements of the Ministry of Agriculture, Regional Development and Environment include the financial statements of 24 subordinate institutions.
Based on the audit activities carried out, the Court of Accounts issued a qualified audit opinion. At the same time, there were reported some issues which, due to their importance, require the attitude of the Ministry and the subordinate institutions. In order to mitigate the detected irregularities, recommendations regarding the improvement of the financial-accounting management were submitted.
The compliance audit aimed at assessing and identifying the non-compliances related to the procurement process within the Ministry and its subordinate institutions, which made acquisitions during 2019-2020, amounting to over 603 million lei.
As a result, the Court of Accounts concluded that the public procurement process and the use of financial resources were affected by some deficiencies and problems, being conditioned, to a large extent, by the weak level of internal managerial control over the public procurement processes, but also by some malfunctions regarding the implementation of the Automated Information System “State Register of Public Procurement” (MTender). The identified shortcomings negatively affected the processes of estimating, planning and executing the budgets of contracting authorities in conjunction with the principles of good governance, limited transparency in informing and accessing potential economic operators on public procurement.
In order to remedy the stated problems, the audit submitted recommendations aimed at ensuring the consolidation and harmonization of the regulations related to the field of public procurement, the adjustment of the public procurement information system functions to the provisions of the public procurement law.
During the PFCC’s meeting, the findings of the Court of Accounts were discussed with the representatives of the audited entities, the profile Committee emphasizing the obligation to implement the audit recommendations to remedy the deficiencies found.