Moldova Project’s Public Procurement Monitoring Coalition held its 4th Working Meeting

On Friday, March 29, 2024, the fourth working meeting of the Coalition for Monitoring Public Procurement was held. During the event, sub-grantees of the Increasing the Integrity of Public Procurement project, implemented by the Institute for Development and Social Initiatives (IDIS) “Viitorul” in partnership with the Partnership for Transparency, reported on the state of their monitoring activities.

The meeting was also attended by a group of students from the Faculty of Economics of Moldova State University. Carolina Ungureanu, project coordinator and vice director of IDIS “Viitorul”, told them that public procurement has become an area of great interest and that it is necessary to monitor how public money is used. As a result, she indicated that the Coalition, represented by NGOs, activists and experts in the field, is monitoring the use of public money to ensure it is spent transparently. She said: “We are interested in disseminating this information and increasing the capacity of young people, of civil society, to have more experts and representatives overseeing the sector.”

Olga Diaconu, project coordinator at the Association for Efficient and Responsible Governance (AGER), presented the activities of the “Monitoring sectoral procurement in the Republic of Moldova” project which monitors procurement under Law No. 74/2020 in the fields of energy, water, transportation, and postal services. Several large contracting authorities were monitored on how they carry out procurement in these sectors in order to detect possible irregularities or risk indicators, as well as good or bad practices. The observations will later be reflected in a report, which will also include recommendations from AGER. This report will be shared with the contracting authorities to bring about improvements to the legal framework. Five articles have already been published on certain suspect situations, with risk indicators in the monitoring of sectoral procurement by Chisinau-Gaz, Chisinau International Airport, Termoelectrica, Moldova Railways and Apă-Canal Chisinau.

Ala Revenco, president of the “Parents in Solidarity” Public Association, which implements the “Increasing the integrity of low-value purchases made by the education directorates of the municipality of Chisinau” project, analyzed the way in which low-value purchases are carried out under the new regulation that came into force on July 1, 2023. As a result, it found that non-competitive procedures are predominant. 96% of the money spent, about 40.4 million lei (~8,729,292 USD), excluding VAT, was discretionary spending by the education directorates on low-value purchases made on the basis of fiscal invoices and direct contracts. In such cases, the risks of corruption and collusion are very high. At the same time, the monitored contracting authorities carried out 311 and 416 procedures in the third and fourth quarters of 2023 respectively through invoices and direct contracts. 7% of procedures were reported after the deadline in the third quarter and 32% in the fourth quarter. Through MTender, eight procedures were carried out in the third quarter and four were carried out in the fourth quarter. The thresholds for purchases through tax invoices and direct contracts were exceeded for sixteen procedures in the third quarter of 2023 and for eight procedures in the fourth quarter.

Ion Mazur, head of the Advocacy, Campaigns and Publications Department of the “Independent Press Association” Public Association which implements the “Strengthening Integrity in Public Procurement through Media Contribution” project, said that several procurement procedures of the National Programme’s “European Village” and “European Village Express” projects have been monitored through journalistic investigations, to make recommendations for authorities and economic entities, as well as to promote good local governance practices by producing thematic articles. Three investigations and three articles on best practices were published. The Monitoring Report on the correct use of public procurement procedures by first level local public administration, with proposals to eliminate illegalities and recover public money, analyzed 29 of the planned 65 contracts and procurement procedures.

Diana Grosu, president of the Association for Human Rights Lex XXI, which implements the “Monitoring and promoting transparency of public procurement in the social assistance sector in the Republic of Moldova” project, said that the project monitors public procurement carried out by the general directorates of social assistance in the northern part of the Republic of Moldova and by the Ministry of Labour and Social Protection. The results of the monitoring will be reflected in seven investigations and seven investigative reports, with four investigations and three investigative reports already carried out. The results of the investigations will be included in a monitoring report with recommendations to the contracting authorities/entities. “What we did kind of upset the authorities, given that we monitored how they use public money. As a result of these investigations, various threats were made, as the authorities are not used to someone monitoring them,” said Diana Grosu.

Lilia Zaharia-Cravcenco, Executive Director of Transparency International-Moldova, which implements the “Public Procurement in the City Hall of the Municipality of Chisinau, Chisinau under the magnifying glass of transparency” project, said that information from the procurement plans of the Chisinau City Hall and municipal enterprises for 2023-2024 was collected and analyzed. She said that several procurements were selected for monitoring in 2023 and that the contents of the budgetary and procurement components of websites belonging to Chisinau City Hall, the Directorate of Architecture, Urbanism and Land Relations and the MQ Autoalubritate were analzyed. Information from M-Tender and on purchases made by the contracting authorities, and data on awarded contracts registered with the Public Procurement Agency, were monitored. Information was also requested from municipal enterprises on purchases made in 2023. “The focus was on procurements with vulnerability factors and increased risks of corruption, but also those with significant procurement value. Contracting authorities seem to be more tempted to cancel procedures than to remedy them, a finding that emerged from the analysis of the decisions of the National Agency for Solving Complaints. We had difficulties at some stages of the journalistic investigations, but these have been overcome. We will also produce a monitoring report and hold a journalists’ club where we will invite the monitored institutions and the bidders who submitted complaints”, said Lilia Zaharia.

During the meeting, Valeriu Ciorba, a monitor from Parents in Solidarity, presented the draft of a public appeal from civil society regarding low-value public procurement. According to Valeriu Ciorba, nowhere in the legislation is it stipulated that contracts from 150 thousand to 350 thousand lei, which are carried out by Mtender, must be published. Thus, it is requested that changes be made regulating these procedures so that contracts that take place through Mtender are published.

The Coalition for Monitoring Public Procurement  was created at the initiative of the Institute for Development and Social Initiatives (IDIS) “Viitorul”, within the project Increasing the Integrity of Public Procurement, implemented in partnership with Partnership for Transparency. The coalition aims to support public procurement reforms in the Republic of Moldova. More than 20 civil society organizations, investigative journalists, experts and independent monitors from the Republic of Moldova are members of the Coalition.

So far, the Coalition for Monitoring Public Procurement has held three meetings, where a number of topical issues in the field of public procurement have been discussed.


The project Increasing the Integrity of Public Procurement is implemented by the Institute for Development and Social Initiatives (IDIS) Viitorul, in partnership with the organization Partnership for Transparency. The project aims to support public procurement reforms in Moldova that will increase transparency and fairness in public procurement by empowering citizens to hold relevant institutions accountable.

IDIS “Viitorul” is an independent think tank established in 1993 that combines social, political and economic research with strong advocacy components. The institution conducts applied monitoring research in several areas: economics, social policy, EU policies, regional development, and security and foreign policy risks.

Partnership for Transparency (PTF) is based in Washington, DC and its mission is to promote innovative civil society-led approaches to improving governance, increasing transparency, promoting the rule of law, and reducing corruption in developing and emerging countries. Since 2000, PTF has supported over 250 projects aimed at promoting NGO involvement in decisions, processes, and laws that enforce transparency and accountability in public procurement.