Extension of the Increasing the Integrity of Public Procurement Project in Moldova
In September 2022, PTF was granted an extension of the Increasing the Integrity of Public Procurement Project in Moldova through June 2025.
With additional time and funding, PTF and local partner IDIS Viitorul plan to:
• Continue supporting and funding civil society organization (CSO) monitoring of public procurement;
• Establish a community of CSOs and investigative journalists across the country and empower them to connect, build trust, and share knowledge and good practices;
• Design and operate a digital platform for CSO and investigative journalist cooperation;
• Support a multi-stakeholder approach to create a national platform that will enable different entities to advocate jointly for changes to the public procurement framework in Moldova that will increase its integrity, transparency, and accountability; and
• Inform the public in Moldova and abroad about the activities and achievements of the project.
In September 2020, PTF, in partnership with the Institute for Development and Social Initiatives (IDIS Viitorul) in Moldova embarked on a project to enhance the capacity of civil society organizations (CSOs) and journalists to engage in informed and responsible monitoring of public procurement. This project aims to support procurement reforms in Moldova that will increase the transparency and fairness of public procurement by empowering citizens—specifically civil society representatives and investigative journalists—to hold relevant institutions accountable.
The project will train CSOs, journalists, and other relevant groups, equipping them with the knowledge and skills to understand the risks of abuse at all levels of the procurement process and to prepare them to professionally and responsibly monitor public procurement at all stages. CSOs and investigative journalists from the Republic of Moldova who participate in the training program facilitated by PTF and IDIS will subsequently monitor public procurement in the country through a series of projects funded by sub-grants, and they will provide recommendations for improving the process and strengthening the integrity of the sector as a result of their monitoring work. A key tool to facilitate such monitoring is the e-procurement platform MTender, the pilot version of which was launched in 2018 and which is in the process of being expanded and updated.
Outputs of the project will be that at least fifteen organizations in Moldova, as well as CSOs and journalists, have been trained to understand the risks in procurement, important red flags, risk indicators, and risk evaluation. In addition, between three and six of the trained CSOs will be selected for eighteen months of funding to engage in actual monitoring, while receiving mentoring and support from the project team. Outcomes will include trained civil society watchdogs that will identify, quantify, document, and report abuses/irregularities to relevant Moldovan authorities for action and redress.
As a result of their participation in the project, CSOs and investigative journalists who participate in the project training program and undertake the monitoring exercises will be better equipped to hold authorities to account, and to promote efficient and sustainable procurement reforms in the Republic of Moldova. Ultimately, these reforms will improve public financial management, promote efficiency, integrity and transparency in public administration, and raise the relevance and quality of the services provided to the citizens by public institutions.
The overall goal of the project is to encourage more transparent and effective use of public funds and ensure improved delivery of good and services to the citizens of Moldova.
The objectives of the program are the following:
- Moldovan Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) and journalists are sufficiently equipped to conduct a meaningful monitoring of procurement processes
- Procurement processes are appropriately monitored by Moldovan CSOs and journalists making use of the e-procurement system.
- Findings and recommendations resulting from credible and professional CSO monitoring are taken seriously and acted upon by contracting entities, contractors and government oversight and law enforcement entities including the National Anti-Corruption Center
Additional Information: Civil Society Monitoring of Public Procurement
The project is conducted in three phases: inception, training, and monitoring.
In the inception phase, the project team conducted a baseline survey and a series of informant interviews with key stakeholders to gather the information needed to solidify the project plan and ensure all major considerations were accounted for. This phase also included a risk analysis which allowed the team to adjust plans as needed in order to mitigate potential challenges to the project activities.
During the training phase, the team assessed the needs of participating CSOs and investigative journalists in order to prepare a curriculum and suite of training materials that would best suit their skills and interests. The training program consisted of twelve modules of two sessions each, and ran from October to December 2021. The training introduced the concept of effective and responsible procurement monitoring, emphasizing risks in procurement, important red flags, risk indicators and risk evaluation. It stressed the importance of a systematic approach with the use of checklists covering different stages of the procurement process, access to reliable data and analytical tools. By the conclusion of the program, over forty Moldova-based CSO representatives and investigative journalists were equipped to monitor public procurement process. All participants were selected through an open application process based on their experience and interest.
Following the completion of the training, the monitoring phase began, during which trainees monitored live public procurement contracts, with continued support from IDIS and PTF. CSOs and investigative journalists who participated in the training were able to apply for subgrants from the project in order to carry out this work. The project team and experts will assist the monitoring CSOs in analyzing procurement data and preparing queries and requests for investigation by Moldovan entities responsible for overseeing the procurement system, including law enforcement agencies in the case of suspected criminal activities and corruption. If these entities are not seen to take appropriate action, the monitoring CSOs, with the help of the project team, will work with international and bilateral donors represented in Moldova to incorporate such issues as part of their high-level policy dialogue with the government.
About Our Partner
IDIS “Viitorul” was established in June 1993 as a not-for-profit in Moldova. Its mission is to contribute to the growth of an independent thinking environment in Moldova and in other emerging democracies; to assist in the creation of a modern, viable and open market-economy; to assist in the expansion of a civil society in which the citizens act together to express their own interests; to exchange information; and to strive for mutual goals and influence government.
IDIS has implemented six projects and produced a number of policy notes on procurement in addition to many projects and policy notes in other areas. IDIS staff and consultants have acquired considerable expertise in detecting and analyzing how procurement laws and best practices are circumvented at the expense of society at large. They have also developed skills in designing a framework to prevent such practices which is indispensable for the development of a transparent and efficient procurement system. IDIS partners with regional governments, state agencies and private companies/contractors working towards building such a framework and committed to operating within it. IDIS is the founder of the National Business Agenda, a partnership with a wide range of private partners, including clusters of industries and business associations. The National Business Agenda assists partners building institutional capacity, enrich public-private dialogue and forge coalitions to boost regulatory policies.