The new investigation within the framework of the campaign «Public money is my money» deployed by the Journalistic Investigations Center and the Association for Efficient and Responsible Governance discovers the process through which millions lei were spent on the unfinished reconstruction of the building of the Presidency.
The need for reconstruction came after the protests in the April 7, 2009 when were destroyed two of the most important public institutions of the Republic of Moldova: Parliament and the Presidency. Meanwhile, Parliament has been renovated, but the Presidency has been in the process of reconstruction for 7 years.
In the period up to May 2015, about 362 million lei were spent on the repair of the Parliament, at the same time Consfirmgrup SRL realized 80% of all planned works. To complete all the work, according to the state authorities, it still needs about 180.5 million lei.
Despite the fact that during the April 2009 events were destroyed only the first three floors of the Presidency building, the authorities have decided to upgrade all 10 floors. The building hadn’t been repaired since the construction in time of 84-87 years.
Reconstruction of the Presidency has begun in 2009, but in 2011 it was suspended due to lack of money, at that time was implemented less than half of the planned works. The full amount provided for reconstruction work, was approximately 218 million lei. Until 2011 it was spent about 106 million lei from the agreed amount. With this money, according to the State Chancellery, the company ÎI «Acar-Cantarajiu» has finished 47.4% of the total works.
According to 2009 estimates, the end of the repair works would take about 123 million lei, but due to price increases and the fact that the work haven’t been saved at the initial stage, the needed amount has increased to 180 million lei.
In view of these circumstances, the representatives of the State Chancellery don’t rule out that they could organize a new auction, which the company «Acar-Cantarajiu» - the winner of the auction of 2009, intends to challenge: «The agreement between the beneficiary and Acar-Cantarajiu indicated that the effect of this contract comes to an end at the time when the object will be delivered in exploitation. I don’t know what they were thinking about, but they are not allowed to hold another auction. In accordance with the law on public procurement, there is no reason to declare the re-auction, because the contract was not fulfilled due to the fact that the beneficiary has not fulfilled its obligations. What does this specification mean? I think that the contract, which is now in force, should be extended, but at first prices need to be revised», told Ivan Cantarajiu to investigation authors.
Repair into the Presidency, topic for the report of the Chamber of Accounts
The tender for the repair of the Presidency was won by Acar-Cantarajiu, shortly after the protests when the government was still PCRM. The company offered a price of 251, 2 million lei, with only one competitor - Viscont-service SRL.
The report of the Court of Accounts of 2010 on the use of public funds for investment and overhaul of the State Chancellery in 2009, that is cited by authors of the investigation, shows that on the 24 April 2009, the General Department of the Government Buildings Management initiated an illegal tender, designed and carried out in the absence of money and the project documentation. On the same day, the working group has appointed the winner company Acar-Cantarajiu and concluded a contract.
According to the auditors of the Court of Accounts: «The contract concluded in similar conditions was registered by the Agency for Material Reserves, Public Acquisitions and Humanitarian Aid and the Territorial Treasury Chisinau. In the aforementioned contract weren’t specified the extent and justification of expenses between the parties which are relevant to the repair work, such as: beneficiary, general contractor and subcontractors, although the proposal submitted by the contractor, was attached by a list of sub-contractors who have agreed in writing form to participate in a public auction».
The question regarding to this tender, president of the Association for Efficient and Responsible Governance, Olesya Stemate commented: «The conclusion of acquisition contracts with no guarantee of financial security is a very common practice, occurring in our country, which is a cause for serious concern about the effective use of public funds. Often contracts are based on the presence of only 10-20% of the necessary funds. Thus, the started projects can remain many years at a standstill, at this time, losing the quality, value, and even relevance. Go back to the urgent need to plan acquisitions in the strategic way: conclude a contract for the object for which you have a 100% finance for the completion and let the rest wait their turn. This isn’t right to have thousands of existing objects without being brought to the end. The fact that in this case have been identified and numerous violations, strengthens our confidence in the fact that many acquisitions are not strategically planned because of the existence of someone's mercenary interests, and therefore done quickly, in secret».
Million contracts with the state
The company Acar-Cantarajiu is registered at the name of Ivan Cantarajiu, who also has registered the company Acar-Construct. Both companies have won many tenders for millions lei.
1.9 million with recreation center «Holercani»
1.1 million with the Children and Youth Republican Center «Artico»
118 thousand with the Medicine and Pharmacy State University «Nicolae Testemitseanu»
1.1 million with the recreation center «Holercani»
18.9 million with the Medicine and Pharmacy State University «Nicolae Testemitseanu».
9.8 million with the Regional Development Agency Nord
554 thousand with the National Bank of Moldova
In general, the amount of won auctions was about 3.1 million lei for Acar Cantarajiu and approximately 30.3 million respectively for Acar-Construct.