On March, 31 a group of 14 deputies from the Socialist Party of Republic of Moldova registered a draft decision about the establishment of a Commission to examine the legality of the election of the President of the Academy of Sciences (ASM) – Gheorghe Duca. He was elected for third mandate. The Commision is to verificate the resource management. Now the project is being examined.
If the project is approved by the Parliament, the Commission will start to complete her duties.
According to the informative note of the project, the initiative comes amid concerns of society regarding to the high degree of corruption in science.
According to the authors, from the entry into force of the Code on Science and Innovation in 2004, adopted at the insistence of the current president of ASM the science system was destroyed and monopolized by ASM. Annually the state allocates significant amounts (about 2 bln 857 mln lei for 10 years) for the development of science, but the results aren't seen.
The Commision has to consider the main problem, that is the legality of the election of President ASM for the third consecutive term. According to experts in the field of law, Gheorghe Duca was illegally elected and now is the head of the ASM for the third time. The election procedure was appealed by his opponents. The Parliament, the Government and the President were also informed of it, but none of them reacted.
The authors refer to art. 82 of the Code of Science and Innovation, which states that the Head of the ASM is elected by an Assembly of ASM for a period of six years not for more than 2 consecutive terms.
The authors claim that there are academic monarchies in the university system and the function of a rector is inherited by the son from the father.
The second issue from the Commision is to investigate the misuse of budget funds in the Academy and the embezzlement of large sums of money (public funds and external ones). All these were set in the reports of the Court of Accounts, in criminal cases initiated by National Anticorruption Center (NAC) and other competent bodies.
Previous journalistic investigations
The press has written countless times about the ASM President G.Duca's involvement in corruption schemes.
Recently (in January 2016), ZDG published an article about a draft government decision, submitted by ASM, which could prejudice the state with about 10 million lei. The potential damage was found by NAC experts who conducted an anti-corruption expertise of the document. Project was about transforming a land of public property into private property of the state. NAC set there was a conflict of interest that could prejudice the state with about 9.4 million lei. The ASM is directly interested in this change.
An academician Valeriu Pasat accused Duca of political allegiance during the presentation of the report of ASM activity in 2015. Pasat said about the lack of transparency in decision making and the politicizing of Academy. He argued that the report is superficial and Gheorghe Duca thinks only about how to maintain his chair. The Head of ASM denied all charges.
Duca has been also accused of providing academic titles in personal interest. According to Valeriu Pasat, everybody knows that Duca ask money from members of ASM.
Game of Thrones
Gheorghe Duca is a President of the Academy of Sciences from 2004. According to jc.md between 1998 and 2001 he was a member of the Bloc for Democratic and Prosperous Moldova and a Chairman of the Parliamentary Committee for Culture, Science, Education and Media. Later he was a deputy in the Electoral Bloc "Braghish Alliance" and proposed as a candidate for Minister of Ecology, Construction and Territorial Development (2001-2004).
According to jc.md the academician ommited an important moment in his biography: on April, 4 in 2005 he agreed to be an opponent of Vladimir Voronin in the elections of the President of the state. This was made only for the validation of the voting procedure in Parliament. Duca obtained then only one vote and Voronin was reelected a President of the country.
In 2014 Duca became for the third time a Head of ASM till 2020. There were 4 competitors in the contest. This violation (that he was elected for the third time) was appealed in the framework of the Code on Science and Innovation. During the time he was a Head of the ASM it figured in many scandals.
The press wrote very much about the scheme in ASM when the property from the balance sheet of the Academy was transferred to the balance sheet of ASM University, whose rector is Duca's wife – Maria Duca.
The Supreme Council of the Academy of Sciences, chaired by Duca, approved a Decision (on 11.28.13, but it wasn't included in the agenda, and some members of the Council said they din't know about this decision ) by which the transfer happened.
For this the Head of ASM risks to be investigated because he violated the legal regime of conflict of interest when transmitted to the University of ASM, led by his wife, over 100 hectares of land, the administrative building and the cafe "Chrysanthema".
According to the latest statements of incomes (2014), Duca earned revenues of about 481 222 lei (salary, teaching and research, pension, allowances).
His wife, Maria Duca, had a revenue of about 511 634 lei (salary, research and teaching, publishing, allowances, experts). Most of the money was gained within the ASM.
On the base of last declaration of incomes the National Integrity Center (NIC) set a number of violations made by Duca. According to the results of the check Duca didn't declare 17 bank accounts with a total amount of 402.5 thousand lei, $ 10 000 and 10 800 euro.
In May 2013 the NIC set that there were no violations in the legal regime of conflict of interest of Gheorghe Duca. Then the press accused the President of the Academy of the fact that his wife became an interim rector of the University of Academy of Sciences. Thus he was accused of conflict of interests. Maria Duca is currently the rector of the University.
The reports of the Court of Accounts
The last report of the Court of Accounts was made for the period of 2009-2013. The report highlighted several irregularities in the use of public money.
According to the report, there was set a non-use of resources from special funds in the established limits and for the determined purposes. The balance increased from 9.2 mln lei in 2009, up to 15.3 mln lei in 2012. The administration of ASM aslo unevenly divided premiums for 14 million lei in 2009-2012.
Several irregularities were also admitted in the use of public funds, especcialy in the financing of the science projects of ASM in ammount of 6.3 mln lei; imperfection of how the projects evaluate; lack of systematic information about the cofinancing of projects; non-collection of revenues (2.5 million lei) from technology transfer projects; deviations from the estimate of costs of funded projects and etc.
There were detected violations related to money management of salaries for vacancies; irregularities in how the real estate is managed (the auditors found out that there were leased several hectares of agricultural land designed for researches); mistakes in the accounting (the Academy hasn't declared the ammounts of about 104 mln lei); irregular transactions of 103 900 lei and etc.
The previous reports of the Court of Accouts also revealed a number of irregularities in the financial and administrative management in science.