Court of Accounts confirms fraud about which the Center for Investigative Journalism wrote in an article

Tudor Iaşcenco, Cuvântul

Under a recent audit report, the Court of Accounts found that the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Industry had not assured the full and appropriate management and monitoring of the centralized procurement of apples for students and National Army soldiers.

The audit report showed that the Government did not publish on the web page any report on the execution of the Government Decision No.958 dated 17.11.2014 "On the distribution of funds to partially compensate the farmers’ losses related to exports blockage.

The irregularities detected by the Court of Accounts have been disclosed yet in March, current year in an investigation of the Center for Investigative Journalism. The authors revealed fraudulent way of organizing and developing public procurement by the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Industry. Over 19.5 million lei earmarked from the state budget to purchase apples from farmers aimed to compensate their losses due to partial exports blockage, were divided to only 27 companies. The children and the soldiers received a much smaller amount of apples, while the financial means from budget reached the accounts of some companies under the protection of the Ministry.

The Court's audit also found a number of gaps in the activity of the Public Procurement Agency, other government structures, but also in public procurement legislation.

While the Court of Account's audit found a number of frauds in public money management, the National Anticorruption Center argues there are no grounds for opening a criminal case to this effect. "Following the multilateral examination and all aspects presented in the petition (we sent the Article to CNA, not the petition), proofs invoked and reason for starting criminal investigations were not confirmed. The Center is responsible for it, that is why, the control on the information collected was stopped", said Vadim Cojocaru, deputy director of CNA.

The journalistic investigation was based on evidence, confirmed by employees of the Ministry and the Public Procurement Agency and by many economic units and civil servants who proved that public finances for supporting agricultural producers, educational institutions and National Army soldiers were used fraudulently.

Tudor Iaşcenco, Cuvântul

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