The conclusions of the Compliance Audit Report on the formation, administration and use of public financial resources and public patrimony by the Superior Council of Prosecutors during 2018-2022 were examined today, February 28, in the meeting of the Court of Accounts of the Republic of Moldova (CoARM).
The purpose of the audit was to assess the compliance of the formation, administration and use of public financial resources and public patrimony by the Superior Council of Prosecutors, in relation to the provisions of the applicable regulatory framework.
The Superior Council of Prosecutors is an independent, representative and self-administering public authority of prosecutors, being the guarantor of their independence and impartiality. The Council has the status of a legal person under public law, as an independent institution it has been active since 2018. The activity of the Superior Council of Prosecutors is financed from the state budget within the limits of the allocations approved by the Annual Budget Law.
During the audited period (2018-2022), the Superior Council of Prosecutors managed financial means in the total amount of approximately 51.4 million lei, of which:
- about 30.3 million lei were used for remunerating the work of employees and paying the related contributions, which constitutes 58.95% of the total expenses executed;
- 9.8 million lei, or 19.1%, were used to pay social benefits;
- 5.5 million lei, or 10.7%, were used for the purchase of goods and services, etc.
As a result of the audit activities carried out, deficiencies and problems in the planning and use of budget funds were highlighted. Thus, the non-compliant estimation of the real needs for budgeting determined the overall capitalization of the allocations below the specified limits, at the end of the management periods forming balances of uncapitalized funds. The largest unutilized balances are attested to the remuneration of employees, of about 1.6 million lei, and to the provision of services – 1.16 million lei.
The staff limit of the Superior Council of Prosecutors was approved in the number of 43 units. The degree of coverage of staff states shows a low level of employment, from 44.2% in 2018 to 67.4% in 2022. Thus, a complicated process of hiring human resources is attested, including from the fact that the Superior Council of Prosecutors is a newly created institution.
The external public audit finds that, in the presence of legislative gaps, the Superior Council of Prosecutors paid the monthly allowance in the total amount of approximately 762 thousand lei to some members, representatives of civil society within two Colleges, in the absence of their participation in the meetings. As a result, they were paid for a work not performed, in some cases, being outside the country's borders for long periods of time.
Audit checks regarding the compliance of personnel expenses revealed some deviations from the legal framework in force. In context, although the legal framework provides that the performance bonus is granted monthly, according to the individual performance achieved, simultaneously with the salary and is applied during the current quarter, for the results of the activity carried out in the previous quarter, the Superior Council of Prosecutors granted this type of increase starting with the employees' first month of activity, the total amount of the performance increase granted being 184.1 thousand lei. The audit also noted the granting of single prizes exceeding the 5% limit established by the legal framework, the amount being 551.8 thousand lei.
Another problem identified is the accumulation of 675 days of unused annual leave by 20 employees, a fact that can generate legal obligations towards them, in the amount of approximately 533.4 thousand lei.
Regarding the patrimony of the Superior Council of Prosecutors, the audit mentions that it is administered in accordance with the regulatory framework in the field. The patrimony consists mainly of fixed assets with a balance sheet value of about 3.84 million lei, their accumulated depreciation constituting about 3.94 million lei.
At the same time, the audit reveals that the Superior Council of Prosecutors did not ensure the correct reporting to the Public Property Agency of the value of the fixed assets owned, for 2020 and 2021, the discrepancy constituting the value of accumulated wear and tear in the amount of 2.1 million lei and 3.1 million respectively lei.
In the end, the Court of Accounts concluded that the Superior Council of Prosecutors partially ensured the functionality of the internal managerial control, which determined the existence of non-compliances and deviations in the areas checked, being forwarded 5 recommendations aimed at improving the process of training, administration and use of resources public finances and public patrimony.