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The results of the visit for Implementation Monitoring of the Project Support to Strategic Development of the Court of Accounts

  • 03.11.2009
  • 1042

Republic of Moldova
Public Financial Management Project (Cr. 4082)
Support to Strategic Development of the Court of Accounts (P106219, F#057662)
Support to Central Public Administration Reform (P105602, TF#056601)

Implementation Monitoring Staff Visit
September 21- October 2, 2009

Capacity Building for Institutional Strengthening of the Court of Accounts (TF057662).

38. Overall progress in implementation of activities supported by MDTF for strengthening institutional capacity of the Court of Accounts is good. The latest progress report submitted by the Court of Accounts in July is of good quality and presents a comprehensive picture of the implementation status. The initial difficulties that led to slow project start have been overcome and the necessary preparatory work for the remaining major IT procurement is close to completion. This opinion was presented by the Team Leader at the project Steering Committee meeting held on September 25th. 

39. The request for MDTF extension is well justified and the team fully supports it. The Bank team held discussion with the Dutch Government and DFID on the feasibility of MDTF extension for 18 months and came to an agreement on the extension with both partners. The team is especially grateful to DFID counterparts for the understanding and flexibility demonstrated in responding to this request, taking into account the closure of DFID program in Moldova in spring 2010. It was agreed that the Court of Accounts will prepare an implementation plan for the extension and submit it to the Bank as soon as possible to enable the launch of the extension process. The team supports COA idea of providing support to the new Parliamentary committee on economy and budget in strengthening their capacity for oversight and follow up on the Court of Accounts reports.

40. The work on the tender documentation for the COA IT system is close to completion. The team met with the COA officials to clarify the comments sent on the design and technical requirements of ICT infrastructure to be established for the COA. The team discussed the suggested GSM based network topology and suggested a comparative study for evaluation of other options. The COA consultants and IT Dept have already performed a preliminary analysis and realized that the mobile connectivity will be more productive and cost effective, since the 11 district offices will not be fully occupied and the auditors will be outside most of the time. The team also discussed the suggested virtualization software and recommended that this solution may not be needed at the early stages of ICT infrastructure development. COA may benefit from such a capability in the future, once the basic infrastructure is established and properly used by the COA staff. The COA IT Dept will revise the draft ICB document to remove virtualization software from the requirements. The team also requested clarification of the link between suggested software modules and the business needs listed in the draft ICB document. The COA officials explained the relevant modules and indicated that they wish to purchase off-the-shelf solutions to reduce the development time and cost of software solutions. They COA will work closely with the MoF during the definition of requirements for the Audit Information System (AIS) module which need to be customized as a part of FMIS according to their business needs. The COA will revise the draft ICB documents and submit for comments/clearance of the Bank in October 2009. The tender is expected to be announced in Q4 2009. The Bank team reminded the importance of strengthening the existing IT capacity of the COA, before the establishment of their ICT infrastructure in 2010. 

41. The Court of Accounts plans to introduce personnel time management system.   Currently the Court of Accounts is using the software provided on a temporary basis to the COA by the Swedish NAO to track time spent on auditing.  A report by a British consultant on how to use this system for strategic staffing and developing capacities of staff, as well as for budgeting has been discussed between the Bank team and the COA representatives.  Both sides shared a view that the report contains although useful but very general recommendations, which provide little practical guidance to the HR specialists in effectively managing this system and developing management advice based on the analysis of the time management data.  It is expected that during the remaining visit the consultant under the current contract would help clarify how the COA can operate the proposed system.  Also the COA discussed the communication strategy developed under the MDTF. It appears to be very useful and could improve COA’s performance if implemented as recommended.  

42. The team noted that procurement under the project is in general progressing quite efficiently, although at times there is a tendency for the procurement officer to send documents without properly checking and proof-reading the content leading to some unnecessary delays.

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