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The Court of Accounts examined the consolidated financial reports of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and European Integration

  • 15.06.2023
  • 511

The Court of Accounts of the Republic of Moldova, on June 15, examined the audit report on the consolidated financial reports of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and European Integration (MFAEI) concluded on December 31, 2022.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and European Integration, together with the 43 subordinate diplomatic missions and consular offices located abroad, are responsible for and ensure the implementation of policies and priorities in the field of foreign affairs and European integration.

The assets managed by the MFAEI and these institutions, at the end of 2022, amounted to 392.7 million lei, the actual reported revenues amounted to 549.3 million lei, and the expenses amounted to 590 million lei. The source of financing the expenses mainly comes from general resources from the state budget (96%).

For 2022, MAEIE was approved for allocations in the amount of 480.5 million lei, which during the year were specified in the amount of 649.8 million lei, or 169.3 million lei more. The execution against the specified plan was achieved at the level of 91% (589.9 million lei).

In the opinion of the Court of Accounts, except for some aspects that conditioned the issuance of the qualified opinion from the audit report, under all significant aspects, it provides a fair and true picture in accordance with the applicable financial reporting framework.

In 2022, for the procurement of the headquarters for the Embassy of the Republic of Moldova in France, the MFAEI was allocated budget funds in the amount of 170 million lei. Although the amount allocated and transferred for this purpose represents the most significant transaction of 2022 carried out by the MFAEI, it was not planned at the stage of the annual substantiation of the budget of the central public authority, and only as a result of the changes made to the budget law for this year, the necessary financial means, additionally allocated, were specified.

The task of procuring the real estate was assigned to the Committee specially created for this purpose, which, following the examination of several offers, decided to procure the real estate whose final cost was 154.4 million lei. Although, according to the procurement contract, the value of the purchased building and the land on which it is located were delimited and provided for separately, within the MFAEI’s accounting records, the assets were registered to the "Buildings" balance sheet account.

The activity and financial record of the institutions of the diplomatic service of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs is a specific one that requires the simultaneous keeping of accounting records both in the national currency and in the currency of the country of residence in which these institutions are located. Therefore, there is a need to establish and approve clear rules regarding the accounting of foreign currency economic operations, in the case of those regarding the procurement of goods and services in foreign currency.

An important aspect remains the maintenance of the situation regarding the payment from the state budget account of the expenses related to the courier service and the bank commissions incurred by the embassies and consulates subordinated to the MFAEI, for the services in the field of registration and records of the population abroad. The financial resources collected from their provision constitute revenues of the Public Services Agency, a self-financing public institution. Findings in this context were also noted in the previous audit.

In accordance with the Agreement concluded with the Public Services Agency, the MFAEI is responsible for the provision of services abroad in the field of population registration and records through diplomatic missions and consular offices, but its clauses do not provide on whose account the respective expenses are to be borne. For example, only in 2022, for the payment of bank commissions arising from the transfer of financial means to the Public Services Agency, MFAEI incurred additional expenses of approximately 258 thousand lei, these being fully covered from the budget funds allocated from the state budget.

In 2022, a reduced level of execution of some investment projects within the MFAEI and some subordinate institutions is attested, a fact that affects the achievement of the objectives within the deadline and the achievement of the drawn results. Thus, it is noted that the originally planned allocations for the construction of the Embassy of the Republic of Moldova in the Republic of Belarus in the amount of 10 million lei were not used, and similar to other years, the construction works were postponed.

According to the statement of managerial responsibility for the year 2022, the internal managerial control system is only partially in accordance with the National Standards for Internal Control in the Public Sector.  The audit shows that the existence of deficiencies in the implementation of the internal managerial control system affected the management of non-financial assets as well as the recording, accounting and reporting of income from the provision of consular services.

To remedy the identified deficiencies, the Court of Accounts submitted 17 audit recommendations, which were communicated, accepted and considered implementable by the audited entities.

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