Public money

How the “Kickbacks” from the Public Procurements Fatten the Budgets of the Political Parties in Election Campaigns

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Author: Mariana Colun
24/09/2015 14690

The campaign of the political parties for the local election held in last June was copiously financed, likewise the one for the legislative election of last November, by employees of companies which had concluded fat contracts with the State over the past years. The analysis of the financial reports submitted by the political parties to the Central Electoral Commission (CEC) during the campaign for the election of the 14th of June 2015 has revealed that founders, managers and ordinary employees of companies which had signed procurement contracts with different State institutions are among the generous sponsors of the parties. Some of these companies have won fat contracts even during the election campaign.

During the campaign for the general election held in June of this year, the Democratic Party has spent the largest amount of money – 23,8 million lei, followed by the Party of Socialists – 18,5 million lei and “Our Party” – 13,7 million lei. The other political parties have more modest budgets: the Party of Communists – 8,2 million lei, the Liberal-Democratic Party – 6. 8 million lei, the Liberal Party – 4,6 million lei, the European People’s Party of Moldova – 2,3 million lei and “Ravnopravie” – 2,6 million lei.

These are the amounts which were officially declared to the CEC by the political parties involved in the campaign. However, the financial reports of the parties do not show the expenditures for the grandiose concerts, the informal advertisement on TV channels, for "buying" votes and other.

The budgets of the parties were made up exclusively from donations, which, as in the campaign for the legislative election of November 2014, have flooded some parties. The heaviest donations came from the representatives of business entities who had fat contracts with the State in the recent years. The reporters of the Centre for Journalistic Investigations have documented the companies whose representatives made donations in the campaign of June 2015 to the parties involved in the election race. Here is what we have discovered.

The link between donors, parties and the awarded tenders might not seem direct at first glance, but, on the other hand, the employees of several companies which had won contracts with the State in the field of transport have made generous donations exactly to the party whose member is the Minister of Transport and of Road Infrastructure, while the employees of companies which had won tenders in the field of construction have made contributions to the electoral fund of the party whose member is the Minister of the Regional Development and Construction. The picture appears even more contoured at the local level – the employees of the companies which were the winning bidders in tenders made donations to parties represented by the local government leaders.

 

Donors to the Democratic Party

The most beautiful picture is the one of the Democratic Party, which has received donations of tens and hundreds of thousands lei from employees of over 50 companies that benefited from contracts estimated to millions of lei from the public money.

 

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RED Nord JSC

RED Nord JSC

The largest amount of money – 1,072,700 lei, was paid out to the budget of the Democratic Party by 50 employees of RED Nord JSC and RED Nord Vest JSC. These two State-owned joint stock companies are the main electricity distributors in the northern part of the country. The energy sector is managed by the Ministry of Economy, led by Stephane Bride – a minister proposed by the Democratic Party. According to the Public Procurement Agency, in 2013, RED Nord JSC was awarded tenders of a total value of 1,094,028 lei. Local governments of Parcova, Edinet, Briceni and Balti municipality are among the institutions with which contracts were concluded.

Moldtelecom JSC

The staff of Moldtelecom JSC donated together more than 700,000 lei. This institution is subordinated to the Ministry of Information Technology and Communication. This minister is led by Pavel Filip, a representative of the Democratic Party. During the period 2011-2015, Moldtelecom has signed contracts worth 35.8 million lei with different State institutions. The largest contract of 10 million 160 thousand lei was signed with the Ministry of Labour, Social Protection and Family, led by a Democrat, for the provision of Internet services. Contracts estimated to nearly 600 thousand lei were concluded with the National Employment Agency, which is subordinated to the Ministry of Labour, Social Protection and Family;  4 million came from the Ministry of Finance; 2,3 million - from the Register of Animals; 2,7 million - from the Security and Intelligence Service. The Centre for Investigations has already written that friends and business partners of Vitalie Iurcu, manager of Moldtelecom, were awarded, through a group of companies, tenders worth millions of lei, organized by this State-owned joint stock company, but the administration of Moldtelecom drew a veil on this issue.

Moldtelecom Director, Vitalie Iurcu, was recently appointed as the Deputy Minister of Economy, a ministry controlled by the Democratic Party.

UNIC JSC

Natalia Sanduţa, manager of UNIC department store, is a member of the Democratic Party and was among this party’s candidates for Chișinău municipal council in the campaign for 2015 local election. Nine employees of the company led by Sanduța donated together 120 thousand lei. UNIC JSC has won tenders worth 234,000 lei for the delivery of various materials and office supplies. 60 thousand lei came the company’s account from the General Prosecutor’s Office for the purchase of carpets.

Drumuri-Edinet JSC

Photo: tender.gov.md

The Democratic Party also benefited from the important donations – 100,000 lei – of three employees of Drumuri-Edineț JSC, including the company's director, Leonid Corcimari. In 2013, the State Administration of Roads launched a tender for the purchase of current repair works for the public roads in the districts of Briceni, Dondușeni, Drochia, Edineț, Fălești, Florești, Glodeni, Ocnița, Rîșcani, Sîngerei, Șoldănești. Drumuri-Edineț JSC was the winning bidder and, after concluding the contract, the accounts of the Company fattened by 1,7 million lei.

Constructorul Telenesti JSC

In the local election, Mihail Tetelea, an employee of Constructorul Telenești JSC, also made an important donation of 80 thousand lei to the Democratic Party. In 2012, Constructorul Telenești JSC signed a contract of over 305 thousand lei with the District Council of Telenești for the provision of sidewalk repair works in the village  of Mândrești. After the election of this year, a Democrat is at the helm of this village, and the Democratic Party has 10 seats in the District Council of Telenești.

Molddata JSC

An amount of 70 thousand lei was put into the money box of the Democratic Party by the employees of Molddata Company, another institution subordinated to the Ministry of Information Technology and Communication which is led by a representative of the Democratic Party. Molddata JSC concluded between 2011 and 2015 procurement contracts worth 1,622,216 lei with several State institutions. The largest amount of public money came to the budget of Molddata from the contracts signed with the General Prosecutor’s Office - about 600 thousand lei for information system administration.

Serghei Rapcea

The member of the Democratic Party, Serghei Rapcea, currently district councillor in Anenii-Noi, donated 90 thousand lei to the Democrats. In November 2014, Serghei Rapcea was among the candidates of the Democratic Party for the legislative election. In the financial reports submitted by the Democratic Party to the CEC, Serghei Rapcea stands as an employee of Gara-Auto LLC, although such a company is not registered in the data base of the State Registration Chamber (SRC). On the other hand, in November 2014, Rapcea declared he was temporarily unemployed, while, according to the data of the SRC, he was the general director of Transpremium LLC. He is also the founder of Cristehtrans LLC and the director and founder of Cristranscom LLC. Cristehtrans LLC is specialized in transport services, and also performs building renovation works. During the period 2013-2014, Cristehtrans LLC signed with the State contracts totalling 1,7 million lei. Most of the awarded tenders were organised by public institutions from Anenii Noi. In 2014, Transpremium LLC, specialized in transport services, won two contracts worth 116,227 lei, again in Anenii Noi. The third company owned by Serghei Rapcea, Cristranscom LLC, specialized in road repair, has also been awarded a number of tenders during the period 2014-2015, estimated at over 18 million lei. During the election campaign of this year, Cristranscom LLC has won a fat contract worth 1 million lei from Anenii Noi District Council. The other contracts signed in 2014 had as an object road repair works in different localities of the districts of Strășeni, Ștefan Vodă, Anenii Noi and Edineț. In all these districts, the presidents of district councils are representatives of the Democratic Party.

Oztor LLC

Valeriu Veleșcu, an employee of Oztor LLC, donated 70 thousand lei to the Democratic Party. The company which employed Veleșcu provides a wide spectrum of services – construction of buildings, construction of stadiums, renovation works, community arrangement works and even water supply services. During the period 2011-2014, the company concluded with different State institutions contracts totalling nearly 9 million lei. Among the institutions which contracted the services of Oztor LLC, to note the Implementation Unit of the Social Housing Project, an institution subordinated to the Ministry of Regional Development and Construction (led by a Democrat)  – a contract of nearly 2,3 million lei, the Civil Protection and Emergency Situations Service of the Ministry of Interior – over 1,5 million lei, Călărași District Council– 609 thousand lei, local government of  Onișcani (district of Călărași) – 176 thousand lei, local government of Bogzești (district of Telenești) – nearly 285 thousand lei and local government of Tuzara (district of Călărași) – 193 thousand lei. In the last three communities, representatives of the Democratic Party are at the helm of the village after the election.

Vaspus LLC

Vasile Pușcaș, an employee of Vaspus LLC, a company specialized in the construction of aqueducts, contributed with 60 thousand lei to the election fund of the Democratic Party. In 2011-2015, this company was awarded tenders worth 4,6 million lei. Most contracts were concluded in localities of the district of Călărași. The District Council of Călărași concluded with Vaspus LLC contracts of 1,7 million lei. In the local election, the Democratic Party won nine seats in Călărași District Council. During the period when the contracts were concluded, the Democrat Ilie Rău was the president of Călărași district. 356 thousand lei came to the accounts of Vaspus LLC from the local government of Călărași for the construction of the sewerage network. The mayor of this town is also a member of the Democratic Party.

Ranao-Transcom LLC

Photo: tender.gov.md

Alexandru Rotari, the founder and manager of Ranao-Transcom LLC was generous to the Democratic Party, donating 60 thousand lei. The company which pays him a salary has won two public tenders launched by the local government of Rezina, totalling about 424 thousand lei. One of the two contracts has been won during the election campaign, for soil works on the land adjacent to 27th August Street, in Rezina. A Democrat held the office of mayor of Rezina at that time, and after the election a colleague from his party acceded to this position. An investigation conducted by the Centre for Journalistic Investigations points out that both procurement contracts concluded with the local government of Rezina were only partly honoured by Ranao-Transcom LLC.

Lucasciuc Igor

Another sponsor of the Democratic Party is Igor Lucașciuc, who donated 50,000 in the local election. Although he declared himself an employee of Ocniţa Railway Node, he has been working as a lawyer for Vista-Const LLC since March 2010. Just in 2014, this company won several public tenders totalling more than 300,000 lei. A month before the election held last autumn, the company won the public tender worth over 81,500 lei for the renovation of the retirement home of the village of Calarașovca, launched by the Directorate for Social Assistance and Family Protection of Ocnița. Also in 2014, "Vista-Const" provided construction materials worth 122 800 lei at the request of the Directorate for Education, Youth and Sport of Briceni. An amount of 200,000 lei of public money came to the account of "Vista-Const" in 2013.

Stilconstruct LLC

Photo: tender.gov.md

Anatolie Iașciuc, the director of Stilconstruct LLC, is another donor who was generous to the Democratic Party, donating 50,000 lei. Although this company is specialized in construction, it is among the winning bids in tenders for the supply of food products. During the period 2012-2014, Stilconstruct won five tenders totalling about 3,7 million lei. 695 thousand lei for food delivery came to the company's account from the local government of Stăuceni, where the Democratic Party won the election.

The Directorate for Education, Youth and Sport of Râşcani has fattened the company’s accounts with about 3,3 million lei.

Conplast Design LLC

Valeriu Papcov from Conplast Design LLC donated 50,000 lei to the Democrats. Since 1998, this company manufactures and sells windows, doors, stained-glass windows and shutters, various accessories. The company has won several tenders totalling 219 549 lei. The contracts were concluded with “Toma Ciorba” Clinical Hospital for Infectious Diseases and with the Culture and Tourism Department of Soroca District Council.

Podiș LLC

Podiș LLC, a supplier of construction materials, donated 50,000 lei to the budget of the Democratic Party through Trifan Druța. In 2011-2012, the company won tenders worth 638 thousand lei, most of them being contracted by the local government of Teleneşti. At that time, Trifan Druța was a councillor in the local council of Ineşti, representing the Democratic Party. In 2015, a Democrat became the mayor of this community. The Democrats also won 10 seats in the District Council of Teleneşti.

 

Donors to the Liberal-Democratic Party of Moldova

While in the election campaign of November 2014, the Liberal-Democratic Party had benefited from a scheme of rich donations, in the campaign for the local election of 2015 the donation scheme has considerably faded. The analysis of the financial reports shows that a part of the former donors have migrated to another political party made up of former Liberal-Democrats.

 

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Plai Mereni LLC

Alexandru Barbaroşie from Plai Mereni LLC put 99 000 lei to the money box of the Liberal-Democratic Party. The company is specialized in bakery and it is managed by George Barbaroşie, father of Alexandru Barbăroșie. During the period 2011-2015, it concluded with various State institutions procurement contracts totalling nearly 2,5 million lei. Throughout the period when Andrei Usatîi, representative of the Liberal-Democratic Party, was the interim Minister of Health, contracts totalling 1,2 million lei were concluded with a number of institutions subordinated to the Ministry of Health. The fattest contracts were signed with the Municipal Hospital of Phthisiopneumology - 734 137 lei.

The company also had some deals with institutions subordinated to the Ministry of Education, which, by virtue of the political division, was led by a person appointed by the Liberal-Democratic Party. Over half million lei from the State budget came to the accounts of Plai Mereni for food delivery to a number of educational institutions. The fattest contracts were concluded with Vocational School No. 5 of Chișinău - 362 312 lei and with the National Sport Boarding School – 283,682 lei.

Another advantageous contract was signed with the local government of Codru, Chișinău municipality – 292,085 lei. In the local election, the battle for the mayorship of Codru was won by Vladimir Munteanu, a member of the Liberal-Democratic Party. By the way, after the local election, Alexandru Barbaroșie, the donor who made a donation of 99 thousand lei to the election fund of the Liberal-Democratic Party, became the President of Anenii Noi district.

Bias-Trans LLC

A similar amount of money - 99 thousand lei – was donated in the election campaign by Sergiu Budescu, an employee of Bias-Trans LLC. Throughout the period 2011-2014, this company received money for its transport services from different institutions of Anenii Noi. A procurement contract worth 308 thousand lei was concluded with the local government of Anenii Noi. After the election, the Liberal-Democratic Party has nine seats in the District Council of Anenii Noi and the office of president of the district.

 

Donors to the European People’s Party of Moldova

The European People’s Party was founded several months before the local election, consisting mostly of former members of the Liberal-Democratic Party. The analysis of the financial reports shows that not only members of this political party migrated to the new political organisation, but also some generous donors who had public procurement contracts with institutions whose heads had been promoted by the Liberal-Democratic Party.

 

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NiRom-Roz LLC

The manager of the company NiRom-Roz LLC, Nicolae Rozembac, donated 55,525 lei to the European People’s Party.  This company is specialized in road construction and repair, and also provides roadwork services. Throughout four years, from 2011 to 2015, huge sums from the public budget fattened the company's accounts – 103,3 million lei. The fattest contracts were signed in 2011-2012 with the State Administration of Roads – 63,3 million lei. In addition to it, procurement contracts worth over 33,7 million lei were concluded either directly with the District Council of Călărași, or with different communities of this district. Just in the midst of the election campaign of 2015, the company concluded on the same day two procurement contracts for the renovation of two roads with Călărași District Council. Two other tenders worth 1,19 million lei were won by the company in 2014, and contracts were subsequently signed with the local government of Vălcineț (district of Călărași), a village where a representative of the European People’s Party won the local election. Moreover, four representatives of this party acceded to the District Council of Călărași after the election.

Maxprof Grup LLC

Another generous donor was Tudor Popescu, an employee of Max Prof Grup LLC, who donated 60 thousand lei to the European People’s Party in the election campaign. In 2012,  the Ministry of Interior purchased from „Maxprof Grup” LLC an automated integrated access system worth 764,9 thousand lei, while the website of the Ministry indicates the amount of 779 thousand lei. After this transaction, the Public Procurement Agency, the Ministry of Interior and „MaxProf Grup” LLC were sued by "Media security" LLC, a company which performs the same kind of activities and which challenged an administrative act to the court. According to the website of the Public Procurement Agency, its action was rejected.

Bass System LLC

Photo: tender.gov.md

A company whose employee Andrei Cojocari contributed with a sum of 50 thousand lei to the budget of the European People’s Party also benefited from contracts with the State. During the period 2011-2013, Bass System LLC concluded three procurement contracts totalling 28,8 million lei with State institutions. Public money coming from the Customs Service, the National Commission for Financial Markets and the Court of Accounts came to the company’s accounts for various IT equipment and services.

Donors to the Liberal Party

Most of the generous donors who support the Liberals come from the structures and services of Chișinău municipality, whose mayor is a representative of the Liberal Party.

 

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”Piața Centrală” Municipal Enterprise

12 persons working as entrepreneurs at “Piața Centrală” Municipal Enterprise made generous donations to the Liberal Party - 288 thousand lei. The director of “Piața Centrală”, Ion Stratulat, is a member of the Liberal Party and was one this party’s candidates for the Municipal Council of Chișinău in the local election of 2011. Over the past four years, “Piața Centrală” Municipal Enterprise won tenders worth almost 44 million lei for the sale of food products to public institutions of Chișinău.

Contracts of over 2.7 million lei of public money have been concluded between “Piața Centrală” Municipal Enterprise and „M. Viteazul” Theoretical Lycee of Chișinău, a close to the Liberal Party institution. In addition to it, contracts worth almost 37 million lei were concluded with the General Directorate for Education, Youth and Sports of Chișinău. Alexandru Fleaș, deputy director of this authority, is a Liberal councillor to the municipal council.

Ruta-Prim LLC

Another gesture of extreme generosity was made by Rodica Topală, the wife of the Liberal councillor Iurie Topală. She is the founder and the manager of Ruta-Prim LLC and made a donation of 300 000 lei to the election campaign of her husband’s party. According to the website of the Public Procurement Agency, Ruta-Prim Service, a company which holds 40% of the shares of Ruta-Prim LLC, supplied in 2013 snow removal equipment worth 5 million lei to the General Directorate for Public Transport and Ways of Communications of Chișinău municipality. Three years before, Ruta Prim Service had concluded a contract worth 37,8 million lei for the purchase of winter road maintenance equipment with the "State Administration of Roads" Enterprise. From 2009 to 2013, the Ministry of Transport and Road Infrastructure, an institution to which the State Administration of Roads is subordinated, was led by Anatol Șalaru, vice-president of the Liberal Party.

Transcom-M JSC

Photo: anticoruptie.md

In 2011, the company "Transcon-M" JSC, managed by the liberal councillor Iurie Nastas, who donated to his party 400 thousand lei, concluded three procurement contracts for road repair and construction with different State institutions. The contracts totalled about 3,87 million lei and the fattest one, worth 2,68 million lei, was concluded with the State Administration of Roads. In 2011, this institution was under the Ministry led by a member of the Liberal Party.

 

Donors to the Party of Socialists of the Republic of Moldova

 

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Dina Cociug LLC

Four employees of the company Dina Cociug LLC, specialized in the delivery and maintenance of the technological equipment, made a generous gesture in the local election campaign, donating together the sum of 195,100 lei. Over the past years, the above-mentioned company had won procurement contracts worth millions of lei with State institutions. Just in 2015, the company concluded three contracts worth 226 141 lei with the local governments of Bălți and of Ocniţa. In the same year, a representative of the Party of Socialists, Ion Ciumac, acceded at the helm of Ocniţa town hall. During the period 2013-2014, Dina Cociug LLC signed contracts worth 4,4 million lei with different State institutions. The largest amount of money came from: "Mihai Eminescu" Theoretical Lycee of Fălești – 518,940 lei, the Directorate for Education, Youth and Sports of Rezina - 279 432 lei, local government of Cahul – 238,265 lei, "Gheorghe Raducan" Agro-Industrial College of Grincăuţi - 304 125 lei, Agricultural College of Țaul - 479 760 lei. On the other hand, Victor Chirlici, an employee of Dina Cociug company, was among the candidates of the Socialist Party for Chișinău Municipal Council. In Fălești and Rezina, the Socialist candidates for the office of mayor came out to the second round of the election, but both of them lost the race.

Bujor Sport LLC

Another company which made substantial donations to the Party of Socialists, Bujor Sport LLC, concluded between 2012 and 2013 procurement contracts for sports equipment and clothing, worth 399,495 lei, with the National Olympic Committee and the Sport Centre for National Teams Training. In the local election campaign, an employee of this company, Olesea Popova, donated 65,300 lei to the Party of Socialists.

Autotehnica LLC

In the midst of the election campaign, Autotehnica LLC signed with the local government of Vărvăreuca, district of Florești, a contract of 106 thousand lei for the supply of gravel. 10 employees of this company donated together 122 000 lei during the campaign.

 

Donors to Partidul Nostru” (“Our Party”) People’s Party

 

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Mobilemn-Grup LLC

In the local election campaign, Iurie Ceban, manager of MOBILEMN-Grup LLC, put the sum of 50,000 lei into the money box of "Our Party". During the period 2013-2014, hundreds of thousands of lei - public money – fattened the accounts of this company specialized in furniture manufacturing, coming particularly from Gagauzia Territorial-Administrative Unit (TAU). This company concluded four procurement contracts with State institutions: in 2013 – a contract worth 74 880 lei with the General Directorate for Youth and Sport of Gagauzia TAU and in 2014 - a contract of 73 400 lei with the Emergency Situations Directorate of Gagauzia TAU; a contract of nearly 50 thousand lei with the local government of Făleşti and a contract of about 80 thousand lei with the local government of Ialpujeni, district of Cimișlia. As a result of the election, “Our Party” won the race for mayor in Comrat - the capital of Gagauzia UTA, as well as in other four villages of the region. A representative of the party of Usatîi won the office of mayor of Fălești.

Goliat-Vita LLC

"Goliat-Vita" LLC is another company specialized in furniture manufacturing that made substantial donations to “Our Party” People’s Party.Its founders – Serghei and Ludmila Anastasov, alongside with two other employees, donated a total sum of 220 thousand lei. Although the production of furniture is the main activity of this company, it also declared other areas of activity. In 2014-2015, the company of the Anastasovs won 12 tenders organized by different institutions of Gagauzia UTA. The amount of the contracts totals nearly 800 thousand lei. The largest contract worth 199,9 thousand lei was signed with the local government of Sireţi, district of Strășeni. Sergei Anastasov is also the President of the Association of Entrepreneurs of Gagauzia and was the candidate of “Our Party” for the office of mayor of Comrat who won the runoff election.

 

Donors to the Party of Communists of the Republic of Moldova

 

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The “piggy bank” of the Party of Communists received huge sums allotted by employees of the companies which are members of Daac Hermes Group or its affiliates. DAAC Hermes Group is the official dealer of several brands of automobiles. Its activities cover several areas, but car selling and car service are its priorities. Corneliu Cornețchi, manager of Antares LLC, donated 1,25 million lei to the Party of Communists. His company is a subsidiary of DAAC Hermes Group Holding, owned by Vasili Chirtoca, candidate of the Party of Communists for mayorship of the capital.

After the examination of the financial reports of the Party of Communists, it transpires that its donations come from businesses entities and that they are legalized by the means of indicating the names of natural persons. Iurie Moroşan, for instance, donated 500 thousand lei to the Party of Communists, but he declared himself  the manager of Pielart JSC when he donated the sum of 300 thousand lei, and when he donated 200 000 lei, he declared himself the manager of Daac Prom JSC, both companies being daughter companies of DAAC Hermes Group (!). Iurie Moroşan is also the vice-president of the Administration Board of "DAAC-Hermes Group" JSC.

Gheorghe Dodi, another DAAC Hermes Group Board member, disbursed 300 thousand lei to the treasury of the Communists, but he did it as the manager of Stelarinvest LLC. Vladislav Chircu, Communist candidate for the Municipal Council, donated 100 thousand lei to the Party that he represented. Vladislav Chircu is the manager of Gura Bâcului fishery, belonging to Daac Hermes Group. The same Vladislav Chircu also appears as the vice-president of DAAC-Eco-Plant.

Auto Mall LLC is another affiliate of Daac Hermes LLC. Five employees of this company put up 60 thousand lei to the budget of the Party of Communists. On the other hand, the employees of Daac Auto LLC, another company of Daac Hermes Group, also showed loyalty to this party, donating to it 40 thousand lei. Three other Daac Hermes employees donated 71 000 lei, among them - Vladimir Hînculov, who is also the manager of Logistic Standard LLC, a company that donated the amount of 1,7 million lei as a legal entity.

All companies of Daac Hermes Group have procurement contracts worth tens of millions with State institutions.

DAAC Hermes

Throughout the year 2015, Daac Hermes concluded procurement contracts totalling 1.8 million lei with different State institutions. The largest amount came from the National Patrol Inspectorate under the Ministry of Interior’s General Police Inspectorate – 1,2 million lei. During the period 2011-2014, Daac Hermes concluded procurement contracts amounting to 9,85 million lei with different State institutions: Chișinău Customs Office – 489,066 lei, the Automobile Subdivision of State Chancellery – 1,03 million, the Ministry of Interior – 674,523 lei, the Moldovan Parliament’s Secretariat – 659,600 lei, the National Patrol Inspectorate under the Ministry of Interior’s General Police Inspectorate – 1,96 million lei, the Penitentiary Department - 891 932 lei, the State Protection and Guard Service - 374 700 lei, the Automobile Subdivision of the Parliament of the Republic of Moldova - 693 490 lei.

Auto Mall LLC

Photo: anticoruptie.md

Throughout the period 2013-2014, 1,2 million lei came to the accounts of Auto Mall LLC  from different State institutions: the Intelligence and Security Service – 450,000 lei,  the Ministry of Interior – 306,600 lei.

DAAC Auto

Throughout the year 2015, Auto Daac concluded procurement contracts totalling 1,4 million lei with different State institutions. Just in the midst of the election campaign, Daac auto sold a vehicle worth 250 thousand lei to the District Hospital of Cimişlia. During the period 2011-2014, Daac Auto concluded procurement contracts amounting to 55,5 million lei with a number of State institutions: Penitentiary Department – 2,3 million lei, the National Agency for Food Safety – 818,360 lei, the Ministry of Interior – 1,4 million lei, the Customs Service – 3,4 million lei, the Secretariat of the Parliament of the Republic of Moldova – 1,8 million lei, the Financial Inspection – 1,6 million lei, the Office of the President of the Republic of Moldova – 1,7 million lei, the Automobile Subdivision of State Chancellery – 3,7 million lei, the National Integrity Committee – 1,02 million lei, the Court of Accounts – 2,5 million lei, the State Tax Inspectorate – 865,294 lei, the Administration of Giurgiulesti Harbour - 894 452 lei, the Automobile Subdivision of the Parliament of the Republic of Moldova – 1,4 million lei, the State Protection and Guard Service – 2,9 million lei, the Broadcasting Coordinating Council – 1,04 million lei.

What the experts say

In 2013, the Group of States against Corruption (GRECO), whose member the Republic of Moldova is, recommended in the third round of evaluation to Chișinău authorities to improve the legislation on funding of election campaigns and to remove the vulnerability in terms of political relationship between the business entities and the political parties.

A number of experts we talked with said that, as long as the legislation is not enhanced, the parties will use obscure schemes for financing of election campaigns. One of such schemes is related to public procurements. Some contracts are conditioned by payoff, one speaks about 10% of the total amount of the contract, the so-called "kickback" paid to the party whose member is the head of the institution which organizes the tender. The business entities which finance the political parties use to do it through natural persons, employees or even outsiders, whose income is not subject to check up from the perspective of the conformity with the donations they make to the parties. This is the easiest way, experts say: no check up, no striking links with the party when the company wins a tender or enjoys other benefits.

Photo: anticoruptie.md

While invited to comment on the situation related to donations made to parties and on the benefits which some business entities might enjoy before or after the elections, the anticorruption expert, Mariana Kalughin said that "political parties in Moldova are dependent on the funds coming from the interest groups, companies".

"The picture is predictable. The donations - made either directly or through some other people - reconfirm that their beneficiaries are supported in the election campaign by the interest groups, so that later, when they accede to governance, they would provide some benefits to their supporters: by virtue of the existing links and affiliation, they might favour them in the public tenders, but in fact the circle of such mutual rewards is much broader", the expert said.

According to many experts, this happens because of the fact that the law on financing of political parties was not updated. No provisions were included to request that the donations of business entities shall be accepted based on a decision of the representative body - the board, the general assembly or the founders assembly. As far as the natural persons wishing to make donations are concerned, a check up shall be done to assess if the amount of the donation complies with the individual’s income and if taxes were paid to the State. Law enforcement bodies have not launched any investigation concerning the suspicious cases, invoking the fact that citizens submit an income declaration by 31st of March and no verification can be done before. But thereafter nobody remembers about such investigations.

The Romanian anti-corruption expert, Laura Stefan, considers that "there is need for a very strict control on the donations made to political parties."

"We could see the same thing in Romania, as well as in other countries with similar schemes, under which the employees of companies make donations to political parties or independent candidates. In fact, such donations are a matter of evidence, after all, and of investigation. I know that, in some countries, the national control authorities check if people who make donations to the political parties have enough financial resources enabling them to make such donations. This is the key, in fact. If you see that someone living at the limit of subsistence makes fat donations to political parties, no doubts it’s a sign for the control authorities to raise some questions", the expert declared.

"I know that, in the Republic of Moldova, the Central Electoral Commission should verify all these issues and apply sanctions, including the redirection of the donations that do not comply with the legal provisions towards the State budget, penalize for infringements, if they exist, of course" , Laura Stefan added.

Over the past years, the Centre for Journalistic Investigations conducted a number of investigations which revealed the links between certain public procurements and dubious donations made to the parties, or certain extremely huge donations made by unemployed, retired people, nevertheless, the law enforcement bodies have not started any investigations on the respective cases.

 

The investigation has been done in the framework of the Campaign „Public Money Is My Money Too”, conducted by the Centre for Journalistic Investigations (CJI) and the Association for Efficient and Responsible Governance (AGER), within a project funded by the European Union and the National Endowment for Democracy.

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