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The administration of budgetary resources for investment and capital repairs is not ensured according to a uniform framework of strategic planning

  • 27.06.2023
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The administration of budgetary resources for investments and capital repairs is not ensured according to a uniform framework of strategic planning, execution and reporting, a fact that conditions, in many cases, the use of resources contrary to normative requirements, and the management of public funds and patrimony in the absence of monitoring and related reports is defective.

In this context, the Court of Accounts of the Republic of Moldova examined, today, June 27, the conclusions of the Compliance Audit Report on investments and capital repairs carried out by some territorial administrative units (TAU) of level I and level II during 2021.

The purpose of the audit was to assess the compliance of investments and capital repairs, in relation to the legal regulatory criteria.

The audit revealed that the strategic planning of the development of localities is not regulated at the level of substantiated studies and has an ad hoc character, due to the lack at the level of the central public authority (CPA) and local public authority (LPA) of territorial planning and town planning plans.

At the time of the approval of the medium-term Program for the development of urban plans at locality level for 2013-2016, according to the data held by the Ministry of Economy and Infrastructure (currently the Ministry of Economic Development and Digitalization), only 19 of the 57 cities or 33% and 17 of 1614 rural localities or 1% had urban planning documentation. Also, until now, the Strategy for the sustainable development of localities has not been developed, although such a task was planned in the Action Plan of the Government for 2020-2023. The audit found that within LPAs there are many objects started and not completed until now, for which expenses of over 568 million lei were incurred.

The local authorities have not undertaken measures to assess the existing and unfinished projects and the financial resources required for their completion, while also initiating new investment projects. For example:

  • The apparatus of the president of the Criuleni district used 1.1 million lei for the elaboration of the project documentation for the objective of the repair of the Cruglic - Ohrincea road segment, works that have not been initiated since 2016. However, in 2021, another project was contracted for the access road to the village of Cruglic, with design costs of 237 thousand lei being incurred, works that have also not been initiated.
  • The value of the works executed for the objective initiated in 2005 and not completed until now "Evacuation of waste water from the city Criuleni to the sewage treatment plant in the village of Onițcani" is 30 million lei, and the financial means required for its completion amounts to 14 million lei.
  • Similar situations are found in other authorities, such as Telenești, where due to the lack of financial sources, 3 objects were stopped: the Bănești School, the 140-seat canteen and the Chiștelnița-Ordășei Gas Pipeline, etc.
  • The Briceni District Council initiated investment projects whose finality is uncertain, incurring expenses of 911.8 thousand lei just for the project documentation of 2 objects with an estimated need of 49.3 million lei, etc.

We mention that the normative framework is practically inapplicable by local authorities in regulating the process of identification, approval and reporting of capital investment projects, the economy, effectiveness and efficiency of investments not being ensured within the system.

The Ministry of Finance and local authorities do not have complete data on the development of investments and capital repairs at the TAU level, as well as on the resources allocated and necessary for their implementation.

According to the legal provisions, the assumption of commitments by the budgetary authorities is allowed only for the purposes and within the limits of the budgetary allocations. In the absence of financial resources from the local budget and the National Ecological Fund (NEF), 4 LPAs contracted construction works related to water supply and wastewater treatment in a total amount of 82.3 million lei, a fact that led to the non-execution of works of about 54.8 million lei or 67%.

The investments in progress for the object "Supplying the city of Fălești with water from the Prut River", with a total amount of 149.9 million lei, are affected by deficiencies in the amount of 9.2 million lei found in the previous audit and not remedied until present.

The program regarding the distribution of the means of the road fund of the Ungheni district for 2021-2023 with transfers allocated in the total amount of 71.2 million lei was approved and used in violation of the legal provisions, in the absence of the decision of the District Council and the president's order, specifying the objects, approved and verified budgets, without the justification and documentary reporting of the condition of the roads.

Thus, the Ungheni district authorities admitted the inclusion in the financing plans of making the investment in the LPA property of level I, bearing expenses contrary to the destination from the road fund in the total amount of 5.3 million lei, in the absence of legally verified and expertized project documentation. More than that, by not complying with roadway construction rules, they incurred unjustified expenses from the budget in the amount of about 0.8 million lei.

Contrary to the legal provisions and principles of good governance, 5 Level II LPAs adopted, during 2021, decisions to allocate financial resources to PHMI for the purchase of capital works in the amount of 16.2 million lei without establishing the legal basis for awarding and in the absence of transparency of the procurement procedures carried out. Thus, the Telenești District Council allocated financial means in the amount of 2.8 million lei, being concluded 15 separate contracts of small value, of which in 2 and respectively in 4 cases with one and the same economic agent. Analogous situations were found at the District Councils: Străseni (1.6 million lei), Criuleni (3.6 million lei), Edineț (6.8 million lei) and Briceni (1.3 million lei).

The audit found that some authorities did not ensure compliance with the legal provisions regarding the collection of the guarantee of good execution of the contract, estimated at 14.5 million lei.

At the same time, the monitoring and control regarding the financial reporting of the executed expenses related to investments and capital repairs was not ensured, which led to the non-capitalization of investments and capital repairs in the amount of 80.4 million lei and to their incorrect classification in the amount of 103.0 million lei.

The Court of Accounts concluded that the administration of budgetary resources for investments and capital repairs is not ensured according to a uniform framework of strategic planning, execution and reporting, a fact that conditions, in some cases, the use of resources contrary to normative requirements, and the management of public and patrimonial funds is defective.

The authorities are to ensure the regulatory inventory of the assets under execution, the compliant registration in the records of the technical-building infrastructure and the elimination of deficiencies related to the situations found by the Court of Accounts.

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