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Republic of Moldova

Budget Transparency and Public Procurement (MD0070)

Overview

At-a-Glance

Action Plan: Republic of Moldova Action Plan 2018-2020

Action Plan Cycle: 2018

Status: Active

Institutions

Lead Institution: Ministry of Finance, Public Property Agency

Support Institution(s): NA

Policy Areas

Anti-Corruption, E-Government, Fiscal Openness, Legislation & Regulation, Open Parliaments, Public Procurement, Publication of Budget/Fiscal Information

IRM Review

IRM Report: Republic of Moldova Transitional Results Report 2019-2020, Republic of Moldova Design Report 2019-2020

Starred: Pending IRM Review

Early Results: No IRM Data

Design i

Verifiable: Yes

Relevant to OGP Values: Access to Information

Potential Impact:

Implementation i

Completion:

Description

2. Increase budgetary transparency and of public procurement
Lead implementing
agency/actor Ministry of Finance, Public Property Agency

Commitment description
What is the public problem that the commitment will address? Budgetary transparency and transparency of public procurement are high importance topics and are often discussed by the community –at-large. Public procurement is a system where public needs meet private offers, and is a sphere with huge corruption risks. Good regulation and transparent procedures are necessary to minimize these risks, along with creating a market of tenders that makes government procurements effective and fosters competition at the same time. The citizen should be informed about use of public financial resources, understand the main budgetary documents and have access to data online.
What is the commitment? Commitment refers to improve budgetary transparency and transparency of public procurement. The commitment includes activities aiming at facilitating the understanding of the main budgetary documents, ensuring availability of data online, including via BOOST database and publication of reports about public procurement contracts monitoring.
How will the commitment contribute to solve the public problem? The implementation of the commitment will contribute to an increased level of understanding of budgetary process and the ways public money is spent.
Why is this commitment relevant to OGP values? • Access to information;
• Civic participation
Milestone Activity with a verifiable deliverable Responsible authority Deadline Progress indicators
Drafting and publishing on the official website of the Ministry of Finance the budget for citizens after the adoption of Budget Law by the Parliament and the budget execution report for citizens Ministry of Finance Annual Budget for citizens and
report on budget execution for citizens published
Updating the BOOST Public Expenditure Database to facilitate access to budget execution information Ministry of Finance Quarter II, annual Updated database
Publishing information on budget planning and execution, public procurement and sectorial spending strategies on public authorities' websites Ministries, other central administrative authorities,
public institutions Annual Published information
Ensuring publication of the
Reports on public procurement contracts monitoring Ministry of Finance,
Public Procurement Agency Annual Developed and published report

IRM Midterm Status Summary

2. Budgetary and public procurement transparency

Language of the commitment as it appears in the action plan: Increase budgetary transparency and of public procurement [21]

Milestones

2.1 Drafting and publishing on the official website of the Ministry of Finance the budget for citizens after the adoption of Budget Law by the Parliament and the budget execution report for citizens

2.2 Updating the BOOST Public Expenditure Database to facilitate access to budget execution information

2.3 Publishing information on budget planning and execution, public procurement and sectorial spending strategies on public authorities' websites

2.4 Ensuring publication of the Reports on public procurement contracts monitoring

Start Date: 2019           

End Date: 2020

Commitment Overview

Verifiability

OGP Value Relevance (as written)

Potential Impact

Completion

Did It Open Government?

Not specific enough to be verifiable

Specific enough to be verifiable

Access to Information

Civic Participation

Public Accountability

Technology & Innovation for Transparency & Accountability

None

Minor

Moderate

Transformative

Not Started

Limited

Substantial

Completed

Worsened

Did Not Change

Marginal

Major

Outstanding

2. Overall

Assessed at the end of action plan cycle.

Assessed at the end of action plan cycle.

                                       

Context and Objectives

Budget and public procurement transparency are major topics in Moldovan society and were included in Moldova’s third action plan (2016-2018). [22] Overall, budgetary transparency in Moldova has improved since 2011. [23] The Ministry of Finance’s website has been substantially modernized in recent years, and budgetary data is published on the open data portal date.gov.md. However, open data standards are not always observed (information is still presented as pdfs) and the data on budget execution is not commonly categorized by program, but according to the economic and functional classification, starting with 2019. [24] Also, budgetary information on the websites of other ministries and governmental agencies is often difficult to follow, as these websites do not always have clear structures, [25] even though the structure of governmental webpages is regulated by a Government Decision. [26]

In recent years, Moldova has employed visual aids, interactive approaches, and more citizen-friendly structures. In 2019, the Ministry of Finance launched a budget transparency portal (buget.mf.gov.md), which provides a clear visualization of budget execution data. [27] The Ministry of Finance has also published a Citizens’ Budget annually since 2015. It provides a simplified version of the Public Budget, which is published after the Budget Bill is passed each year. There is no legal provision requiring the publication of this document and the Ministry of Finance outsources this task, so the plan is to institutionalize its publication in-house. [28]

With this in mind, milestone 2.1 of the current commitment, which calls for publishing the Citizens’ Budget, represents a continuation of an existing government practice. According to the Ministry of Finance, there are no changes or updates foreseen to the Citizens’ Budget format during the fourth action plan period, [29] which was last improved in 2017. [30]

The Ministry of Finance launched the BOOST Public Expenditure Database (2.2) [31] in 2010 in order to increase transparency and efficiency on public expenditure. [32] The World Bank and the Center of Information Technologies in Finance (CITF) have previously updated the database. While the Ministry of Finance intends to institutionalize this in the future, there is no clear timeline at the moment. [33] The BOOST database should be updated annually, but there are delays which can restrict the data’s relevance (the most recent update made in 2019 was for the 2017-2018 period). [34] While this commitment calls for updating the BOOST database, it does not provide additional details that would help determine the potential changes.

Milestone 2.3 also continues a government policy from the third action plan, as all public authorities are required to publish on their websites information on budget planning and execution, public procurement, and sectorial spending strategies. Similar to the milestone in the previous action plan, the current milestone is vaguely formulated, and makes the potential impact difficult to assess. [35]

Milestone 2.4 focuses on publishing monitoring reports on public procurement contracts. In 2018, there were many changes regarding the public procurement process in Moldova and the role of the Public Procurement Agency was modified. [36] According to the amended Public Procurement Law, [37] the Public Procurement Agency is tasked with monitoring contracts. Monitoring implies the random selection of any public procurement and its monitoring throughout the process. [38] A public procurement expert stated that the agency can only determine the status quo through these reports and does not have powers to enforce sanctions or corrective measures. Also, the reports are not regularly published. [39] From the formulation in the action plan, it can be deduced that these are the monitoring reports in question.  

Overall, this commitment does not foresee any discernable changes in government practices in terms of transparency of public expenditure and budgeting, or public procurement contract monitoring. While it continues the implementation of good practices from previous years, as well as some routine activities, the potential impact is marked as none.

Next steps

The IRM recommends including more ambitious commitments in the area of public procurement policy in the next action plan. Specifically, the IRM recommends continuing to improve the quality of open data on MTender and align the data with international best standards. This includes the publication of critical procurement documents, such as procurement plans, notices of intended procurements, and decisions of tender commissions. [40] The IRM also echoes recent recommendations from the Open Contracting Partnership to embed monitoring tools for public procurement, possibly by adding feedback mechanisms to act on complaints and reports of anomalies on MTender. [41] Ukraine’s DoZorro public feedback mechanism for reporting procurement violations could serve as an example for Moldova’s MTender.

Since some of the activities on budget transparency in this commitment are outsourced, capacity building for relevant government stakeholders [42] on how to use, update, and implement the instruments (BOOST, Citizens’ Budget) could further improve transparency and timely presentation of budgeting. Also, the government could consider promoting participatory budgeting at central and local levels and facilitating public and expert deliberations on the budget development process.


[21] OGP, Moldova Action Plan 2018-2020, https://www.opengovpartnership.org/documents/moldova-action-plan-2018-2020

[22] OGP, Moldova Action Plan, https://www.opengovpartnership.org/?s=Moldova+Action+PLan

[23] Interview Tatiana Sava, Researcher at Expert-Grup Independent Think Tank, 1 April 2019.

[24] IRM, Moldova Mid-Term Report 2016-2018, https://www.opengovpartnership.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/Moldova_Mid-Term_IRM-Report_2016-2018_EN.pdf

[25] IRM, Republic of Moldova, End-of-Term Report 2016-2018, https://www.opengovpartnership.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/10/Moldova_End-of-Term_Report_2016-2018_EN.pdf

[26] Government Decision no. 188 of 03.04.2012 on the official webpages of the public administration authorities, http://lex.justice.md/viewdoc.php?action=view&view=doc&id=342699&lang=1

[27] Moldovan Ministry of Finance launches budget transparency portal, http://www.infotag.md/economics-en/277976/

[28] Telephone interview with Scleriuc Natalia, Ministry of Finance, 29 March 2019.

[29] Ibid.

[30] Interview Tatiana Sava, Researcher at Expert-Grup Independent Think Tank, 1 April 2019.

[31] Ministry of Finance, BOOST instrument, http://mf.gov.md/ro/content/ce-reprezint%C4%83-baza-de-date-cheltuielilor-publice-boost

[32] Ministry of Finance, BOOST instrument, https://mf.gov.md/ro/categoria-documentului/boost

[33] Telephone interview with Scleriuc Natalia, Ministry of Finance, 29 March 2019.

[34] Interview Tatiana Sava, Researcher at Expert-Grup Independent Think Tank, 1 April 2019.

[35] IRM, Republic of Moldova, End-of-Term Report 2016-2018, https://www.opengovpartnership.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/10/Moldova_End-of-Term_Report_2016-2018_EN.pdf

[36] Ibid.

[37] Law no. 131 of 03.07.2015 on public procurement, http://www.legis.md/cautare/getResults?doc_id=113104&lang=ro

[38] Interview Diana Enachi, IDIS Viitorul Think Tank, 3 April 2019.

[39] Interview Diana Enachi, IDIS Viitorul Think Tank, 3 April 2019.

[40] Additional information could include complaints, amendments to the procurement contracts, reports on each stage of contract execution with performance indicators, and payments and data on the performance of the contract as per the final execution.

[41] Open Contracting Partnership, Opening up Moldova’s contracts. Progress and challenges, https://www.open-contracting.org/2019/12/11/opening-up-moldovas-contracts-progress-and-challenges/

[42] Interview Tatiana Sava, Researcher at Expert-Grup Independent Think Tank, 1 April 2019.

IRM End of Term Status Summary

2. Budgetary and public procurement transparency

Completion: Completed

The activities in this commitment represented either ongoing government practices or legal obligations for ministries which were already in place before the action plan. [59] The Ministry of Finance published the citizen’s budget for 2019 [60] and 2020, [61] once the Budget Law was passed. [62] The ministry also published on its webpage annual and biannual reports on the execution of the national public budget and its components, as well as the annual citizens’ budget execution reports for 2019 and 2020. [63] The BOOST Public Expenditures Database was continuously but slowly updated. [64] The most recent data in BOOST is from 2019 [65] because the ministry lacks the capacity and financial resources to manage it. [66] [67]

Public authorities continued to publish information on budget planning and execution, public procurement, and sectoral spending strategies as required by the law. [68] However, the format, quantity, and quality of this information is not consistent across the webpages of all ministries. [69] The Public Procurement Agency (PPA) regularly monitors randomly the compliance of the awarding of public procurement contracts, determining any breach of legislation and making compliance recommendations, but without taking follow-up measures. [70] The information about the most frequent irregularities, as well as the level of their remediation, is included in the quarterly reports of the PPA. [71] However, the reports do not provide analyses of the problems or corresponding recommendations. [72]

[62] Interview with Tatiana Sava, researcher at Expert-Grup Independent Think Tank, 5 November 2020.
[63] Annual reports on the execution of the national public budget published on the website of the Ministry of Finance: https://www.mf.gov.md/ro/trezorerie/rapoarte-privind-executarea-bugetului/rapoarte-anuale; Biannual reports on the execution of the national public budget, published on the website of the Ministry of Finance: https://www.mf.gov.md/ro/trezorerie/rapoarte-privind-executarea-bugetului/rapoarte-semianuale Citizens’ Budget execution report published on the webpage of the Ministry of Finance, https://www.mf.gov.md/ro/content/raport-privind-executarea-bugetului-pentru-cet%C4%83%C8%9Beni-pe-anul-2019
[64] For more details see OGP, Moldova Design Report 2019-2020, pages 24-25, https://www.opengovpartnership.org/documents/moldova-design-report-2019-2020/
[66] Interview with Tatiana Sava, researcher at Expert-Grup Independent Think Tank, 5 November 2020.
[67] Quarterly Action Plan Implementation Report 2019-2020, 1st quarter of 2020, published on the webpage of the State Chancellery, in the national OGP repository area, https://cancelaria.gov.md/sites/default/files/raportul_privind_implementarea_planului_de_actiuni_pentru_o_guvernare_deschisa_pentru_anii_2019-2020_in_sem_i_2020.pdf
[68] Republic of Moldova, Law on the Official Webpages of the Public Administration Authorities, https://www.legis.md/cautare/getResults?doc_id=94487&lang=ro
[69] Interview with Tatiana Sava, researcher at Expert-Grup Independent Think Tank, 5 November 2020.
[70] For more details see OGP, Moldova Design Report 2019-2020, pages 24-25, https://www.opengovpartnership.org/documents/moldova-design-report-2019-2020/
[71] Quarterly Action Plan Implementation Report 2019-2020, 1st quarter of 2020, published on the webpage of the State Chancellery, in the national OGP repository area, https://cancelaria.gov.md/sites/default/files/raportul_privind_implementarea_planului_de_actiuni_pentru_o_guvernare_deschisa_pentru_anii_2019-2020_in_sem_i_2020.pdf; Public Procurement Agency Activity Reports webpage, https://tender.gov.md/ro/documente/rapoarte-de-activitate
[72] Interview with Diana Enachi, Expert, Think Tank IDIS Viitorul, 23 October 2020.

Commitments

Open Government Partnership