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Court of Accounts finds serious irregularities in Moldovagaz company's activity

10:59 | 25.01.2023 Category: Economic

Chisinau, 25 Jan. /MOLDPRES/- The parliamentary committee on economy, budget and finance heard a report of the Court of Accounts on natural gas/ Moldovagaz company. The report sees irregularities in the company activity, including non-compliant expenses and network losses worth 2 billion lei (about 100 million euros) in 2011-2021.

Commission's deputy head Radu Marian said  that the elaboration of the report was possible as a result of a special law voted last year by the Parliament and which allowed for the first time a public audit in the natural gas to be completed.

"The findings of the report are particularly serious. They are many and I will separate them into four "blocks": 1 - non-compliant and dubious expenses, 2 - high risk of untruthfulness of the debts invoked by Gazprom to the right bank; 3 - the situation in the distribution networks: although Moldovagaz owns less than 35% of the networks, the Moldovan-Russian company controls the entire network; 4 - losses in the network amounting to 2 billion lei in 2011-2021", said Marian.

He said that Moldovagaz company spent about 500 million lei for the construction of the headquarters at Pușkin Street 64 (the initial estimated cost of the headquarters was 230 million lei including VAT). "Most of the documents, invoices related to the construction simply disappeared. The bags where the documents were supposed to be were found in a room with the seal broken in the Chisinau-Gaz headquarters, with the documents missing/destroyed. A criminal trial has also been initiated in this case by the PCCOCS. The 500 million were not accepted in the tariff by ANRE because the need for the construction of these buildings was not clear", Marian said.

Among the irregularities indicated in the Court of Accounts report is the construction of an administrative building in Ungheni. The building cost 20.7 million lei, but it is not yet used or put into operation. Also, the payment of an informational software, for which 140 million lei were allocated and which were also not accepted in the tariff until today.

The auditors announce that Moldovagaz would have made overpriced purchases through intermediaries, with the payment of commercial surcharges of about 153 million lei more than the value of the goods declared in customs. Irregularities in the payment of salaries were also found. "ANRE refused to accept expenses for the payment of salaries of 246.2 million lei, because these payments were not justified. Remuneration of people with management functions of Moldovagaz (18 members of the board of observers, administration and censors) represents 23% of the total salary budget. Also, advisers to the company's management were hired without it being clear what they were doing. "Moldovagaz indirectly recognized the irregularities, when it did not submit expenses worth 1 billion lei to the Tax Service for deduction," he said.

The report will also be heard in the plenary of the Parliament at the beginning of the upcoming session, and the Legislature will prepare a decision that will draw actions and tasks to the state institutions to improve the situation in the field.

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