By Samuel Stalls
On August 17, 2022, Partnership for Transparency Fund (PTF) and partner IDIS Viitorul met virtually with eight CSOs from around Moldova to discuss their efforts to monitor public procurement processes. These organizations had all received training, grants, and expert assistance from PTF and IDIS as part of the Increasing the Integrity of Public Procurement in Moldova project.
“We are committed within the project to support reforms in public procurement, which will increase the transparency, efficiency and fairness of procurement, through the involvement of civil society and investigative journalists. Our central objective is to improve the situation in the field of transparency, and recommendations for improving the legal framework or for strengthening the capacities of civil society, contracting authorities and economic operators. I would like to thank the organizations that are part of the sub-granting program for openness, involvement, great work and I am happy for the unique activities carried out“, said Carolina Ungureanu, deputy director of IDIS “Viitorul” and manager of IDIS Viitorul’s team on the project.
As part of this session, attended by a total of 30 attendees, including representatives from PTF, IDIS, and eight organizations , the CSOs shared information about their work, including the number and type of procurement processes being monitored, response from local authorities and efforts to inform the public.
PTF Project director Hady Fink lauded the gathering, stating “This exchange of information is very welcome. It it is great to know the achievements of each organization, to learn from the experience of others and to use different methodologies”.
One example of the ongoing work includes the journalists of the “CU SENS” media project, who monitored over 50 public procurement procedures and produced videos on how to challenge public tenders. As part of the “Clean – Dirty” investigation, they also investigated a cleaning company who continues to take about 60% of public money for cleaning services contracts.
“We want to put pressure on the authorities and certain interest groups that are behind acts of corruption and to increase the degree of intolerance to corruption in society”, emphasized journalist Sergiu Ipatii.
At the regional level, the Association for Human Rights “LEX XXI,” from the municipality of Balti, discussed their campaign to inform citizens about public procurement procedures, which included a public dialogue in July about issues of transparency.
“We want citizens to know public procurement procedures better and get involved because public money is our money,” said Diana Grosu, President of the association.
Following the completion of these monitoring projects, the results of the investigations and subsequent recommendations for improving transparency and combatting corruption will be compiled and presented to decision makers for implementation. The long-term goal is to prevent waste and corruption in the use of public money, and improve the quality of public goods, works and services for the citizens of the Republic of Moldova.