Public procurement

Tenders for the family of the Director of the Public Procurement Agency

Foto: CIJM
Author: Victor Moșneag, Anatolie Eșanu, Mariana Colun
14/01/2016 13852

The company owned by the Director of the Public Procurement Agency won in the last 2 years tenders’ worth 35 million lei, managed by the state institution. Most of lucrative tenders won by this company have been challenged by competitors, but in most cases, the Agency’s representatives have dismissed the claims of economic units. Business partners and the family of the Head of Public Procurement Agency have been successful at tenders in recent years, winning contracts worth tens of millions of lei.

The building where is located Public Procurement Agency. Photo: CIJM

Viorel Mosneaga was appointed deputy director at the Public Procurement Agency (AAP) on November 21, 2013, after in the period 2003-2013, he activated in the field of procurement at the Division of finance of national economic, capital expenditures and public procurement within the Ministry of Finance (MF). Half a year later, on March 10, 2015, he became interim director and a month and half later, on April 21, 2015- full right director of this institution.

Property of the director “landowner” of the Public Procurement Agency

In July 2015, Viorel Mosneaga was subjected to a control on behalf of the National Integrity Commission (CNI) that has detected several irregularities in completing the official declaration on income and property (2013). The case was closed. According to the act of finding of CNI, "Mr. Mosneaga Viorel said that omissions and mistakes on the statement for 2013 were admitted from ignorance and not of the intention to conceal or hide owned properties, all omissions are declared in the statement for 2014 ".

In that statement, Mosneaga declared 60 plots registered on his or his wife’s name, purchased or obtained by exchanging land in the period 2010-2014. The land owned by family Mosneaga covers an area of ​​46 hectares, with a cumulative cadastral value of half a million lei. Its market value is much higher. The lands are located in the villages Tudora and Crocmaz, district Stefan Voda. Couple Mosneaga owns a three-bedroom apartment with an area of ​​48.3 square meters, located on str. Independentei in Chisinau, purchased in 2005 by the mother in law of the director of the Public Procurement Agency, Liudmila Ganenco and offered in the same year, based on donation, to her daughter Viorica Ganenco, Viorel Mosneaga’s wife, two cars - an Audi A6, purchased in 2008 at the price of 130 thousand lei and a car Toyota Yaris purchased in 2013 at the price of 60 thousand lei. In 2014, Viorel Mosneaga declared revenue of salary estimated at 90 thousand lei, and a sum of 85 thousands lei from the office of representative of the state in 3 companies.

35 million within 2 years

In his declarations on incomes and property, director of AAP declared that he did not own any company. Data from the State Registration Chamber show that neither he nor his wife are official owners of SRLs. However, his sister founded a company that gains tenders of millions of lei, sponsored by the Agency headed by Viorel Mosneaga. Company „Aldos Grup” SRL was founded in 2005 by the sister of the Director from Procurement, Diana Cotruta when she was 21 and by her partner Ion Avram. SRL is registered in village Scoreni, Straseni, the home place of the family Mosneaga. At the State Tax Inspectorate, SRL is represented by Dan Mosneaga, Viorel’s brother while residents of the village say that this company is owned by the family. The main activity of the SRL is construction works, and in 2012, the company declared over 2, 6 million lei from sales. According to the information from the website of AAP, www.tender.gov.md, from 2011 up to present, the company won about 20 public tenders. When Viorel Mosneaga was promoted  from the Ministry of Finance to the office of deputy director of AAP (November 2013), the agreements signed by the company of the family with the state and approved by the Agency increased by over half of millions of lei.

In all, in the period 2014-2015, since Viorel Mosneaga manages APP, the company of his family „Aldos Grup” signed 8 agreements amounted at 34, 9 million lei with many state institutions. For instance, in the period 2011-2013, when Mosneaga did not manage AAP, the company of the family estimated 12 agreements estimated at 2, 9 million lei.

Tenders won by the sister’s company, contested at her brother’s Agency

The biggest agreement won by „Aldos Grup”, estimated at 10,3 million lei was registered at AAP recently, on October 6, 2015. This agreement stipulates the construction by „Aldos Grup” of the aqueduct for water supply in the village Slobozia, district Stefan Voda. The biggest part of money was earmarked by the National Ecological Fund and the rest of financial means was the contribution of the community. The mayor of the village Slobozia, Anatolie Zavalisca says that though the lowest prices were proposed by another company, the winner of the tender was selected „Aldos Grup”. „The Commission decided so. The main criteria for selection was experience to perform such works, not the price, because some works were performed on the school’s roof by a company and… The company which we selected meets all our requirements and its price was lower than the amount of expenditures. We have already collaborated with them and I want to say that the result of their work is very good. The project is very big, but a sector is completed and commissioned. This company has equipment, workers, big and small excavators and welding equipment. They have everything”, said the mayor. Asked if the decision of the commission that designated the winner of the tender was somehow influenced of the fact that the company is owned by the family of the director from AAP, the mayor denied any influence and was surprised that officially this company was founded by Viorel Mosneaga’s sister: „How of his sister? There is Dan  Mosneaga…but I did not see Dan many times, I see Mr. Sergiu (Mazur, manager of the company), he is the director. Dan attended the tender, but I do not know him, I do not know their relatives, names…We just need their work. That is all,,, as far as I know, they worked in Crocmaz and I received very many good references”, said the mayor.

Top 5 largest Aldos group contracts have been challenged, but the appeals were rejected

Otherwise, the results of this tender were contested by two participant companies, „Uralis” SRL and „Litarcom” SRL, and the Public Procurement Agency, headed by Viorel Mosneaga rejected their pretentions. In all, 6 of the most valuable 7 agreements attributed to the company „Aldos Grup” following the public tenders, were not contested by other participants. Thus, the results of the tender for the reconstruction of some hostels in the villages Crasnoarmeiscoe and Pervomaiscoe, district Hancesti, works estimated at 6, 6 million lei, were contested by the company „Sarco Service” SRL, that later on withdrew its contestation. Another tender contested was for the construction of the system of water supply and rehabilitation of the artesian wells in Saratenii Vechi, Telenesti. This time, the contesting company was „Lucet Comert” SRL. AAP rejected their pretentions. Another agreement, estimated at 2,9 million lei was won by „Aldos Grup” in Alexandresti, district Rascani. „Vocație” SRL contested the results, but the AAP rejected again the contestation. The fifth in the top of the most lucrative agreements signed by „Aldos Grup” SRL and the state institutions is for thermal isolation of facades and renovation of the woodwork office in the lyceum in village Dorotcaia, district Dubasari. Contesting company was „Marconex Prim” SRL, but the pretensions were rejected by AAP.

 „ Public procurement is not what it should be...”

I discussed with representatives of many companies that participated in these tenders. I found out that the tenders are often arranged in advance and the contestations were useless. „We filed the contestations to AAP. Nothing was done. They confirmed that the decision is correct. Viorel Mosneaga’s brother won the tender. Dan Mosneaga (Viorel Mosneaga’s brother) is responsible for tenders. All people know that he signs the document”, said the director of a construction company that applied to the tender. "I met the director of the district, but I was not done right. I gave up. Simply it is not worth it. Public procurement is not what it should be. They organize tenders as they want. They find different methods to discourage you not to participate. Especially, at Public Procurement ...  You do not understand what, with whom and why", complains the head of another company, who lost the tender to the detriment of the family of the company of the director from AAP.

An agreement worth over 2 million lei was signed in March 2014 by „Aldos Grup”  with the Mayor’s office in Crocmaz, Stefan Voda, home village of Viorica  Ganenco-Mosneaga, wife of the director from AAP. Ion Velesco, mayor of Crocmaz, said that the tender won by the company of the director from AAP in his village developed correctly as it was attended by 12 participants. „ Viorel’s brother, Dan came to the tender. It was a right tender without any pressure. There were contestations which proved to be wrong. Some companies proposed unreal prices-others- too high. Of course, I knew about Mosneaga, but he did not have an influence on the results...”, said Ion Velesco.

Partner with tenders worth over 85 million

Ion Avram's companies. Photo: cis.gov.md

Diana Cotruta’s partner at „Aldos Grup” SRL, Ion Avram,  has other 3 companies which he founded in 2004, 2005 and 2006: „Avramprim” SRL, „Lozmangal-grup” SRL and „Cristranscom” SRL,  the latter was founded based on partnership with Serghei Rapcea. „Avramprim” SRL is specialized in the trade with coal, wood material, construction materials and forge. SRL „Cristranscom”, founded in partnership with Rapcea,  is specialized in roads’ reparation. In just one year, 2014-2015, the company won 26 tenders estimated at about 24 million lei, for works of roads’ reparation in districts Straseni, Stefan Voda, Anenii Noi and Edinet. The biggest agreement estimated at 4, 5 million lei was signed in July 2014 with the Mayoralty Lozova, Straseni, home village of Ion Avram. Avram’s partner, Serghei Rapcea, donated 90 thousands lei for the Democratic Party during the elections from 2015.

The most prosperous company of Ion Avram, „Lozmangal-Grup” SRL, with a social capital of 105.400 lei, manages the trade in fuel and declared in 2012 sales incomes estimated at over 46 million lei. The company won as of 2011, 287 tenders and got over 60 million lei from the state. Most of the agreements were signed with institutions in Straseni, the home town of Ion Avram and Viorel Mosneaga. Almost one million and half of lei, public money, went to the accounts of the company „Lozmangal-grup” SRL from the Mayor’s Office Scoreni, home village of the director from AAP. Svetlana Tabacari, mayor in the locality said that the institution she manages has not signed any agreement with this company and actually the District Council organized the tender and the Mayor’s Office was the beneficiary of this agreement.

Ion Avram said that he founded just „Lozmangal-Grup” SRL and he does not know any information about other 3 companies, which according to data from the State Registration Chamber, she was founder or co-founder. Also, Ion Avram said that he did not know Diana Cotruta-Mosneaga (founder together with Avram in „Aldos-Grup” SRL),  Dan or Viorel Mosneaga. The businessman was surprised to find that his name was registered in other companies and said that this can be a coincidence of names. So, we asked Ion Avram to give us the personal numeric code (CNP). Following the controls at the State Registration Chamber, and the CNP offered by Ion Avram, we confirmed that he is founder and co-founder of all these 4 companies: „Aldos-Grup” SRL, „Lozmangal-Grup” SRL, „Cristranscom” SRL and „Avramprim” SRL. Avram could not explain the fact that he does not know his business partners.

Plots in Stefan Voda and the pool in his home village

Mother in law of the director from Public Procurement Agency (AAP), Liudmila Ganenco founded 2 companies - Individual Enterprise „Simbol-Ganenco”, specialized in bars and barber’s management, trade, transportation and „Cromolagro” SRL, founded together with Ludmila Bucataru in 2010. This company is specialized in fruits, vegetables, tree growing and trade and declared in 2012, incomes worth 60 thousands lei. Representatives of the Mayor’s Office Crocmaz said that the family Ganenco owns about 100 hectares of agricultural land with the help of this company. Many of these plots (60% , according to the representatives of the Mayor’s Office) are leased by people. A part of 100 hectares are owned officially by couple Viorel and Viorica Mosneaga.

The pool from Scoreni - reason of quarrel between primary
and the brother of Viorel Moşneaga. Photo: Victor Mosneag

In 2013, in village Scoreni, Dan Mosneaga, brother of the director from AAP leased from another villager, Andrei Mosneaga, the pool from the village with a total surface of 24,4 ha. A conflict appeared between the two sides and the Mayor’s office for not paying the lease. Currently, the sides are on trial at CA Chisinau after brother of the head from Procurement Agency won the trial in first court, the Court Straseni. „ Following the conflict between the two sides, the budget of the Mayor’s office suffered. The lease was not paid, we did not get a sum of about 200 thousands lei, which is an important sum for us”, said Svetlana Tabacari, mayor of the village Scoreni.

Brother of the director from the Public Procurement Agency: „ Leave me in peace or not?”

We tried to discuss with Dan, Viorel Mosneaga’s brother, who represented the company „Aldos Grup” in many tenders. Dan did not want to answer the questions. Here is the dialogue bellow.

Reporter: Good evening. Mr. Dan? I am a journalist and we are investigating on a report  about tenders. You are the representative of the company „Aldos-Grup” who participates in tenders…

Dan Mosneaga: and what…I resigned for a period.

Reporter: Ok, one of the founders of this company is your sister, Diana.

Dan Mosneaga:  I do not understand… your question.

Reporter: The question is whether your brother, Viorel as director of AAP, helps you to win tenders? Lately, this company won a lot of tenders.

Dan Mosneaga: I do not know. You keep on asking me (smiles).

Reporter: It is a simple question. Does Mr. Viorel help you or not?

Dan Mosneaga: and I replied. Leave me in peace or not?

Reporter: yes, of course…

Dan Mosneaga: He hung up and later on he did not answer our calls.

Director of the Agency: „A deliberate misinterpretation”

Viorel Mosneaga, whom I found in his office, said that he did not know details about the company „Aldos Grup”, that is owned by his family and which, since he was elected director at AAP won agreements estimated at 35 million lei. „It is very strange that you relate a certain company to my family or with me. I and my wife do not own any company. I have never had a company in my life. I admit that it is registered on my sister’s name but I am not informed on the activities of my sister or brother. I have a sister and a brother, they have their families. My sister immigrates to Canada on February 29. I know this. I know that together with my brother they started some activities”, said Viorel Mosneaga.  I asked him how he explains the fact that the company won millions of lei after he was elected director of the Agency. „Certainly, this is a misinterpretation”, said the official. I presented him many concrete data, including names and figures related to the contestations of the companies that participate in the tenders won by the company of his family. „ I am sorry; I do not want to comment. It is not right to comment. I am not informed. I do not know. It is a company like any others. I did not have any influence. To my knowledge, they established a company...”.

I asked Viorel Mosneaga whether there is a conflict of interests as many documents related to the company Aldos Grup are signed by him. „So what, if I am head at AAP, nobody from my family within 3 generations is entitled to participate in tenders?  Regardless of the company, name of the owner, in this case, members of my family, I cannot comment, because I am not informed. I have my family. Brother and sister…Sometimes, I do not talk to them for a year”, said Viorel Mosneaga. „All decisions are signed by the deputy director, in charge with solving the contestations. I am economist. I am not the deputy director to handle them. The new law on Procurement stipulates the setup of a new structure that would ensure the independence of contestations settlement. The deputy director is responsible for all decisions. I do not sign any document. I do not participate in the process of contestations’ settlement. I do not examine them. I select them and send them to the deputy director. He might have consultations with me or not”, concluded director from APP.

Though Viorel Mosneaga says that one of the deputy directors is responsible of contestations, we own a contestation, filed following a tender won by „Aldos Grup”, signed by the head from AAP and this contravenes to Viorel Mosneaga’s statements.

This investigation was conducted within the Campaign "Public Money is My Money too" carried out by the Center for Investigative Journalism (CIJM) and the Association for Efficient and Responsible Governance (AGER),  under a project funded by the European Union and the National Endowment for Democracy.

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