President of the Parliament of the Republic of Moldova
President of theParliamentary Committee on Economy, Budget and Finance
Members of the Parlament of the Republic of Moldova
on ensuring transparent competition for positions at National Complaints Solving Agency,
as well as expediting the Agency's effective functioning
During the last two years, the public procurement system of Moldova underwent a series of significant changes, which can be, unfortunately undermined by the delay in recruiting key personnel for the National Complaints Solving Agency.
On May 1st, 2016, the new Law on public procurement, No. 131 entered into force. The law was developed with advise of European experts, bringing about several improvements to the public procurement process, as well as aligning the national framework to the acquis communautarie.
This law provides, among others, for the establishment of a separate entity responsible for solving complaints. Previously, complaints were solved by the Agency for Public Procurement, thus creating a conflict, where the Agency had to approve the procurement through its ex-ante control, as well as decide on complaints. The first version of the law provided that the new authority would be established under the Ministry of Finance. However, later, in September 2016, the law was modified (including upon advice of the international community), so that the Agency would become an authority independent from the executive, under the direct subordination of the Parliament.
The competition for selecting candidates for the position of councilors and leadership of the Agency was launched on 23.12.2016, and on February 1st, 2017, the Parliamentary Committee for Economy, Budget and Finance published a decision regarding the admission of certain candidates to the competition. The first hearing of the candidates in the Committee took place on February 28, the second – on March 13, while the third one is planned for June 14. It remains unclear why this process was drawled this long, both the launching of the competition, as well as the carry out of the hearings within the Committee. Thus far, no minutes of the hearings were published on Parliament's website. At the same time, public participation at these hearings is prohibited, as point 17 of the Regulation on the organization of this competition provides that the hearing of the candidates will be carried out in a closed session of the Committee.
It is even worse that all these issues happen in the situation when there is a vacuum of competence with regard to complaints' solving. For more than a year, companies which are unsatisfied with the results or the process of a public procurement procedure can only defend their rights in the court, which is a very lengthy and costly procedure.
Thus, there's an impression that this vacuum of competence was created on purpose, or, once noticed, was left as is. Otherwise, the new Agency should have started working at the beginning of the year already, or, if for sound reasons this was not possible, this issue should have been solved by adopting transitory legal measures, which are present in most of the new laws.
Having in mind the above mentioned, the signatories of the Appeal ask the Parliament of the Republic of Moldova to:
- Ensure a transparent and fair competition for filling in the positions of councilors, director general and deputy director general for the National Complaints Solving Agency, duly and timely informing the public about the stages and results of each stage of the competition on the web site of the Parliament;
- Expedite the process of effective functioning of the new Agency, avoiding unjustified delays.
- Association for Efficient and Responsible Governance(AGER)
- Legal Resources Center Moldova (CRJM)
- Institute for Development and Social Initiatives «Viitorul» (IDIS Viitorul)
- Serghei Merjan, expert in public procurement
- Transparency International Moldova
- Center for Policies and Reforms from Moldova (CPR Moldova)
- Institute for European Policies and Reforms (IPRE)
- Investigative Journalism Center (CIJM)
- Asociation for Participatory Democracy (ADEPT)
- «Torent Plus» J.S.C.