“The main goal of our project is to strengthen civil society’s activities and make its monitoring of public spending more effective.” says AGER President and Project Director Olesya Stamate.
A study conducted last year by “Expert-Grup”, as well as audits carried out by the Accounting Chamber of Moldova, have revealed widespread violations and an inefficient use of budgetary funds in public procurement in Moldova. According to the authors of the study, hidden partisan interests are the main obstacle towards legitimate public procurement. “Moldova faces the full spectrum of applied manipulation: collusion, conflicts of interest and other violations in the field of public procurement. This is facilitated by high levels of corruption, weak supervision by law enforcement and civil society actors, a non-transparent business environment and above-all, the murky desire of public authorities to finance their party interests by gaining a profit on tenders.” says Dmitriy Budyanski, one of the experts from the group.
In many ways, the collective findings of the Accounting Chamber and Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) gave civil society the renewed impetus to monitor public procurement. April 2015 marked the onset of the “Government Budget – my money too” project, an initiative financed by the European Commission in the framework of the EU’s Neighbourhood Policy. It is being implemented by the Association for Efficient and Responsible Government (AGER) and the Centre for Investigative Journalism in Moldova with a budget worth up to 244 thousand euros that is expected to last until the end of March 2017.