The regional Council of Taraclia has allocated about 1 million lei for the purchase of the unnecessary equipment – radiators for gyms in lyceums and gymnasiums of the district. The "deal" was promoted by the former chairman of the district without a public tender and was supported unanimous by council members. This is one more example that demonstrates that public procurement is one of the most exposed to corruption areas. This mostly happens at the highest administrative level. For example, several companies that got the largest public contracts were the main sources of funding for political parties during the local and parliamentary elections. During the Central Election Commission analysis of financial reports of political parties in local elections in June 2015 the representatives of the Centre for Journalism Investigations (CJI) found that the founders, directors and employees of all those companies were the most generous sponsors of parties in the elections.
More such examples were prezented at the roundtable discussion on January 13 in 2015. There was prezented the first monitoring of public procurement report realized during the campaign "Public money is my money." On toto 30 contracting authorities, 189 public procurement, 101 licences, 66 requests of price offers, 19 requests without publication and 3 procurement from a single source were monitored.
Olesea Stamate, the president of the Association for Efficient and Responsible Governance (AERG) said that there were especially monitored the procurement "of the territory " because the most central govenrment units refused to allow the access to procurement files or to disclose the information about certain aspects of the contracts. The reasons of those rejections were quite different, most of them reffered to legislative provisions.
The transparency and legislation
During the roundtable discussion Olesea Stamate highlighted several loopholes in the legislation such as:
the deficiency of the authorities obligation to publish procurement procedures reports on their websites. Only 15 of 26 authorities have columns with information about public procurement on their websites;
the negligent preserving and completing of the documents, the lack of some orders, the admission for bid of economic agents with expired licenses or their discrimination;
the lack of the guaranty requirements of the economic agent's execution of the services.
The beneficiaries - the most generous sponsors of political parties
The chairman of the Centre of Journalistic Investigations Cornelia Cozonac mentioned about some particularities of investigations.
"We don't have the access to all official documents, our demands are ignored and that's why we have material for the work for many years further. In most cases public authorities appeal to the law of commercial confideliality, reffering in fact to economic agents, not to authorities. We consider there mustn't be any "secrets" since there are used taxpayers' money. " Currently the CJI conducted five investigations into the public procurement.
Moreover, Cornelia Cozonac spoke about the schemes practiced in this area.
"During the investigations we found out a very interesting thing: the winners of public tenders turned out to be some of the most generous sponsors of political parties during the election campaigns. The amounts donated to parties made 15% of the money earned in the auction. After studying many official documents we can affirm that these amounts represent "commissions" for the parties which helped the agents to achieve a project."
One of the economists at the discussion, Ruslan Marcan, suggested a closer cooperation between the economic experts and investigative journalists. He argued that the economists know many schemes of money laundering, but can not make them known. That is why in his opinion the collaboration would be fruitful.
We emphasize that the project "Public money is my money" was released in April 2015 and will be ended on March 31 in 2017. The main target of the project is to monitor public procurement: 10 in the capital and 20 throughout the country. The project is funded by the European Union and the EU Delegation in Moldova.