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The National Integrity Authority in the sights of the Court of Accounts

  • 31.03.2021
  • 369

The Court of Accounts of the Republic of Moldova examined, on March 31, the Audit Report on the financial reports of the National Integrity Authority (NIA), concluded on December 31, 2020.

The purpose of the audit was to verify, in all material respects, that the financial statements of NIA, as at 31 December 2020, present a fair and accurate picture according to the applicable financial reporting framework and, as a whole, do not contain significant misstatement due to frauds or errors, as well as the issuance of an opinion.

The patrimony managed by NIA, in terms of material existence and composition, amounted to 11.6 million lei, at the end of 2020. Revenues amounted to 15.4 million lei, and expenses - 16.7 million lei. The source of financing the expenses is the state budget.

During the audit, some deficiencies related to financial control were noted, which led to the issuance of a qualified opinion. Thus, the effect of the inadequate recognition of some adaptive and perfective maintenance services in the composition of the expenses of the management period generated the underestimation of the value of the group of accounts “Intangible assets” by 238.8 thousand lei. These services, in fact, were to be capitalized, as they contributed to the development of an information system and increased its service potential. At the same time, the expenses related to the depreciation of intangible assets, as well as the financial result of the management year, were also distorted.

The audit also highlighted other observations that did not influence the audit opinion. Thus, some assets located on the ground, related to the building managed by NIA, were not registered in the accounting records, given their documented non-transmission by the General Prosecutor's Office, as the entity that managed them until the decision to transfer them to the audited authority. The lacunar transmission procedure conditioned the non-obtaining by NIA of possible economic benefits from their use, as well as the loss of management control over them, given the construction of new constructions, by demolishing the old ones, by the Money Laundering Prevention and Combating Service, entity which manages a part of the administrative building. As a result of the appearance of new constructions located on this land, not owned by NIA, an inconsistency was created between the regulatory framework and the economic-patrimonial situation, in terms of factual rights and obligations.

NIA, although it has some strategic objectives that are scattered in different strategies and plans tangential to the prevention of corruption, it does not have a strategy for the development of the entity as a whole. It should be mentioned that, although, since 2018, the National Integrity Authority has developed the draft Development Strategy, the document has not been properly approved so far, due to the need for better coordination and longer examination of the document in the process of finalization and adoption.

In the procurement department, the audit found that some procurements did not fully meet the compliance criteria governing this area, which led to the misuse of budgetary resources, limited transparency in public procurement, and increased the risk of missing possible economic benefits as a result of not launching a new public procurement procedure.

In order to eliminate the underlying causes of distortions and non-compliances set out in the audit report, the Court of Accounts has submitted 6 recommendations, which need to be implemented, in order to better control the risks of distortion or compliance.

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