Increasing the Integrity of Public Procurement in Moldova

Increasing the Integrity of Public Procurement in Moldova

Increasing the Integrity of Public Procurement in Moldova

Overview:

In September 2020, PTF, in partnership with the Institute for Development and Social Initiatives (IDIS Viitorul) in Moldova embarked on a project to enhance the capacity of civil society organizations (CSOs) and journalists to engage in informed and responsible monitoring of public procurement. This project aims to support procurement reforms in Moldova that will increase the transparency and fairness of public procurement by empowering citizens—specifically civil society representatives and investigative journalists—to hold relevant institutions accountable.

Project Summary

The project will train CSOs, journalists, and other relevant groups, equipping them with the knowledge and skills to understand the risks of abuse at all levels of the procurement process and to prepare them to professionally and responsibly monitor public procurement at all stages. CSOs and investigative journalists from the Republic of Moldova who participate in the training program facilitated by PTF and IDIS will subsequently monitor public procurement in the country through a series of projects funded by sub-grants, and they will provide recommendations for improving the process and strengthening the integrity of the sector as a result of their monitoring work. A key tool to facilitate such monitoring is the e-procurement platform MTender, the pilot version of which was launched in 2018 and which is in the process of being expanded and updated. Outputs of the project will be at least fifteen organizations in Moldova, as well as CSOs and journalists that have been trained to understand the risks in procurement, important red flags, risk indicators, and risk evaluation. In addition, between three and six of the trained CSOs will be selected for eighteen months of funding to engage in actual monitoring, while receiving mentoring and support from the project team. Outcomes will include trained civil society watchdogs that will identify, quantify, document, and report abuses/irregularities to relevant Moldovan authorities for action and redress.

Intended Impact

As a result of their participation in the project, CSOs and investigative journalists who participate in the project training program and undertake the monitoring exercises will be better equipped to hold authorities to account, and to promote efficient and sustainable procurement reforms in the Republic of Moldova. Ultimately, these reforms will improve public financial management, promote efficiency, integrity and transparency in public administration, and raise the relevance and quality of the services provided to the citizens by public institutions.

Project Objectives:

The overall goal of the project is to encourage more transparent and effective use of public funds and ensure improved delivery of good and services to the citizens of Moldova.

The objectives of the program are the following:

  • Moldovan Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) and journalists are sufficiently equipped to conduct a meaningful monitoring of procurement processes
  • Procurement processes are appropriately monitored by Moldovan CSOs and journalists making use of the e-procurement system.
  • Findings and recommendations resulting from credible and professional CSO monitoring are taken seriously and acted upon by contracting entities, contractors and government oversight and law enforcement entities including the National Anti-Corruption Center

Additional Information: Civil Society Monitoring of Public Procurement

Project Activities:

The project is conducted in three phases: inception, training, and monitoring.

In the inception phase, the project team conducted a baseline survey and a series of informant interviews with key stakeholders to gather the information needed to solidify the project plan and ensure all major considerations were accounted for. This phase also included a risk analysis which allowed the team to adjust plans as needed in order to mitigate potential challenges to the project activities.

During the training phase, the team assessed the needs of participating CSOs and investigative journalists in order to prepare a curriculum and suite of training materials that would best suit their skills and interests. The training program consisted of twelve modules of two sessions each, and ran from October to December 2021. The training introduced the concept of effective and responsible procurement monitoring, emphasizing risks in procurement, important red flags, risk indicators and risk evaluation. It stressed the importance of a systematic approach with the use of checklists covering different stages of the procurement process, access to reliable data and analytical tools. By the conclusion of the program, over forty Moldova-based CSO representatives and investigative journalists were equipped to monitor public procurement process. All participants were selected through an open application process based on their experience and interest.

Following the completion of the training, the monitoring phase began, during which trainees monitored live public procurement contracts, with continued support from IDIS and PTF. CSOs and investigative journalists who participated in the training were able to apply for subgrants from the project in order to carry out this work. The project team and experts will assist the monitoring CSOs in analyzing procurement data and preparing queries and requests for investigation by Moldovan entities responsible for overseeing the procurement system, including law enforcement agencies in the case of suspected criminal activities and corruption. If these entities are not seen to take appropriate action, the monitoring CSOs, with the help of the project team, will work with international and bilateral donors represented in Moldova to incorporate such issues as part of their high-level policy dialogue with the government.

Project Team:

Hady Fink

Project Manager, PTF Europe

Karin Millett

Adviser and Board Member, PTF

Sabine Engelhard

Chief Legal Procurement Adviser, PTF

Wayne Wittig

Adviser, PTF

Lars Jeurling

Procurement Technical Specialist, PTF Europe

Marie-Carin von Gumppenberg

Project Adviser, PTF Europe

Samuel Stalls

Program Manager, PTF

Carolina Ungureanu

Deputy Director of International Cooperation

Diana Enachi

Project Coordinator and Public Procurement Expert, IDIS Viitorul

Viorel Pîrvan

Expert Consultant, IDIS Viitorul

Vadim Turcan

Expert Consultant, IDIS Viitorul

Ana-Maria Veverita

Communications Officer, IDIS Viitorul

About Our Partners:

IDIS “Viitorul” was established in June 1993 as a not-for-profit in Moldova. Its mission is to contribute to the growth of an independent thinking environment in Moldova and in other emerging democracies; to assist in the creation of a modern, viable and open market-economy; to assist in the expansion of a civil society in which the citizens act together to express their own interests; to exchange information; and to strive for mutual goals and influence government.

IDIS has implemented six projects and produced a number of policy notes on procurement in addition to many projects and policy notes in other areas. IDIS staff and consultants have acquired considerable expertise in detecting and analyzing how procurement laws and best practices are circumvented at the expense of society at large. They have also developed skills in designing a framework to prevent such practices which is indispensable for the development of a transparent and efficient procurement system. IDIS partners with regional governments, state agencies and private companies/contractors working towards building such a framework and committed to operating within it. IDIS is the founder of the National Business Agenda, a partnership with a wide range of private partners, including clusters of industries and business associations. The National Business Agenda assists partners building institutional capacity, enrich public-private dialogue and forge coalitions to boost regulatory policies.

Related Articles:

The June issue of Monitoring Moldova's Public Procurement details the benefits and risks involved in the draft amendment to the Public Procurement Act registered in Parliament, how many procurements were concluded in 2021, the most frequent violations in terms of public procurement, and the conditions to be respected in the case of works procurement.
PTF and IDIS Viitorul Meet with Grantees to Discuss Ongoing Public Procurement Monitoring Efforts
The June issue of Monitoring Moldova's Public Procurement details the benefits and risks involved in the draft amendment to the Public Procurement Act registered in Parliament, how many procurements were concluded in 2021, the most frequent violations in terms of public procurement, and the conditions to be respected in the case of works procurement.
The February issue of Monitoring Moldova's Public Procurement details the role and impact of integrity pacts, how the salary of construction workers in public works procurement is calculated, challenges of the Mtender system, and other interesting articles.
The December issue of Monitoring Moldova's Public Procurement details needed improvements in terms of public works procurement in Moldova, challenges with the new functionalities of the MTender system, risks that threaten the integrity of public procurement, and other interesting news.
During an in-depth training program organized by the Partnership for Transparency Fund (PTF) and the Institute for Development and Social Initiatives (IDIS)
As part of the project “Increasing the Integrity of Public Procurement in Moldova,” designed to enhance the capacity of civil society organizations (CSOs) and investigative journalists in Moldova to monitor public procurement processes, the Partnership for Transparency (PTF), in partnership with IDIS “Viitorul,” has launched a training program in webinar format that will be delivered between October 7 and December 17, 2021.
The September issue of Monitoring Moldova's Public Procurement details the changes resulting from the new regulation on low-value public procurement brings, which companies win the largest public procurement contracts, how to join a training program on public procurement monitoring, and other news related to public procurement in the Republic of Moldova.
Within the context of a new project: “Increasing the Integrity in Public Procurement,” civil society representatives and investigative journalists from the Republic of Moldova will monitor public procurement in the country and provide recommendations for improving the process and strengthening the integrity of the sector. The project launch took place on September 30th, 2021, at an online conference. The project is implemented jointly by the Partnership for Transparency (PTF) and the Institute for Development and Social Initiatives (IDIS)
A full Inception Report and Implementation Plan were written for the project: Increasing the Integrity of Public Procurement in Moldova, implemented by the Partnership for Transparency (PTF) and its partner organization in the Republic of Moldova, IDIS Viitorul (IDIS).
In the Republic of Moldova, public procurement remains an area vulnerable to irregularities, fraud, and corruption. The large amount of money circulating in the public procurement system and the frequent interactions between the public and private sectors make public procurement extremely vulnerable and a priority area of concern for the integrity of public administration.
In September 2020, PTF, in partnership with the Institute for Development and Social Initiatives (IDIS Viitorul) in Moldova embarked on a project to enhance the capacity of civil society organizations (CSOs) and journalists to engage in informed and responsible monitoring of public procurement. The objective of this project is to empower citizens to hold relevant institutions accountable, with the goal of increasing the integrity of public procurement through increasing transparency and fairness of processes and outcomes.
Funding for the project was approved in August 2019 and the project was scheduled to begin in November 2019, but implementation was put on hold due to the COVID-19 pandemic. As the COVID-19 situation improved, the project commenced its activities in November 2020.

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