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The specialized parliamentary committee examined two audit reports of the Court of Accounts

  • 12.07.2023
  • 580

The Court of Accounts of the Republic of Moldova (CoARM) presented on July 12, within the Public Finance Control Committee, the conclusions of the Audit Report on compliance of the use of public financial resources allocated for the administration of the state-guaranteed legal aid system during years 2020-2022 and of the Audit Report on Compliance of the way of formation, administration and use of public financial resources and public patrimony by the Superior Council of Prosecutors in the period 2018-2022.

The auditors responsible for the audit regarding the compliance of the use of public financial resources allocated for the administration of the state-guaranteed legal assistance system reported to the Parliamentary Committee about the results and findings that formed the basis of the formulation of the general conclusions as well as the recommendations submitted.

During 2020-2022, in total, 182 thousand cases of state-guaranteed legal assistance were registered, for the financing of which, 226.9 million lei were used from the budget. The largest number of cases of providing legal services was registered in 2022 - about 64 thousand cases, 92.7 million lei being used.

During the meeting, the most relevant findings presented in the audit report were mentioned. The need to improve the normative framework, which in some places contains legislative gaps, and in other cases admits different interpretations, created premises that conditioned the excessive demand for legal services by law enforcement bodies as well as by other applicants.

The auditors mentioned that the managers of the territorial offices, when granting the legal assistance guaranteed by the state depending on the income level of the beneficiaries, did not fully comply with the pre-established norms, not having required and attached to the application the mandatory certificates, based on which the eligibility of the beneficiary is established, such as the income statement, the family composition certificate and the certificate confirming the income obtained from agricultural and livestock production.

Another deviation was found in the case of offering legal assistance to insolvent economic agents, despite the fact that they had appointed persons to manage their legal affairs and did not require the services of lawyers to represent them.

The existence of institutional weaknesses, both in the process of monitoring the quality of legal assistance provided by lawyers, and in the application of the reimbursement mechanism for the expenses related to the legal assistance provided, determined the malfunctioning of these processes. The audit found cases of non-identification and non-implementation of measures to collect legal assistance costs liable to recovery to the budget. The selective audit checks revealed that the mentioned irregularity is a systemic one, identified in 10% of the checked sample, which amounts to 32 thousand lei.

In the end, the Court of Accounts found that the administrative bodies of the state-guaranteed legal aid system in the period 2020-2022 have taken some measures in order to make appropriate use of the allocated budgetary means, however, despite the efforts made by the management of the institutions, the presence of deficiencies and irregularities related to the administration of the state-guaranteed assistance system is attested.

With reference to the second compliance audit report on the way of formation, administration and use of public financial resources and public patrimony by the Superior Council of Prosecutors during 2018-2022, the CoARM’s auditors informed the profile Committee about the findings.

In this context, were highlighted deficiencies and problems in the planning and use of budgetary means. 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 means. The largest unutilized balances were recorded for the remuneration of the employees' work, of about 1.6 million lei, and for 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 was attested, including the fact that the Superior Council of Prosecutors is a newly created institution.

The external public audit found 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 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.

The Court of Accounts concluded that the Superior Council of Prosecutors partially ensured the functionality of 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 formation, administration and use of public financial resources and public patrimony.

Finally, the Chairperson of the Public Finance Control Committee, Tatiana Cunetchi, appreciated the effort of the Court of Accounts and thanked them for including sensitive and important topics for society in its activity program.

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