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Audit of Financial Statements of the Council on the Prevention and Elimination of Discrimination and Ensuring Equality

May 31, 2018 views 836

On May 31st 2017, the Court of Accounts examined the Report on the audit of the financial statements of the Council on the Prevention and Elimination of Discrimination and Ensuring Equality as of December 31st 2017. 

The purpose of the audit was to provide a reasonable assurance that the Council's financial statements, drawn up on December 31st 2017, are free of significant denaturation and provide a true and fair view and the financial transactions have been carried out in accordance with the regulations in force.

The Council on the Prevention and Elimination of Discrimination and Ensuring Equality was established on 21.12.2012, based on the Law no.298 of 21.12.2012. The Council is a collegiate body with the status of a legal person governed by public law established to ensure protection against discrimination and equality of all persons who consider themselves to be victims of discrimination in the political, economic, social, cultural and other spheres, regardless of race, color, nationality, ethnic origin, language, religion or belief, gender, age, disability, opinion, political affiliation or any other similar criterion, acting in an impartial and independent manner of the public authorities. The activity of the Council is financed from the state budget, the budget being approved by the Parliament.

In 2017 the Council administrated allocations in total value of 3.3 million MDL, the level of budget realization constituted 91.7%, the balance of unused allocations at the end of 2017 amounting to 0.3 million MDL.
According to the balance sheet data, the assets administrated by the Council amounted to about 2.072 million MDL and the debts to 172.2 thousand MDL, registering an increase of 241.5 thousand MDL and 58.9 thousand MDL, respectively, as compared to the beginning of 2017.
The findings of the Audit Report revealed that the financial statements drawn up by the Council as of December 31st 2017 do not present a true and fair view and are accompanied by distortions which have been influenced by institutional and financial management not in accordance with the principles of good governance, as well as by non-compliance with the regulatory framework, which caused the incomplete disclosure of the balance sheet information and unjustified salary payments.

The audit found that the goods received in use by the Council in 2015 on the basis of a Memorandum were not inventoried and respectively not reflected in the accounting records and reported in the off-balance sheet accounts, affecting the full presentation of the information in the balance sheet. The attested status is not an ordinary one, it is necessary to involve the responsible persons for the elaboration of accounting policies in the field of public finances in order to have a unique approach to this regard and to exclude such situations in the future.

The lack of an adequate internal control has conditioned the nonobservance of the regulatory framework provisions to award salary supplements for state secret access, which were awarded in the absence of an issued order and of the procedures stipulated in the State Secret Law.

There also was attested differentiated employees' awards for professional and non-working holidays, in the absence of clear provisions of the internal regulatory framework on the manner and the conditions for granting them.

Also, the lack of an adequate internal control has conditioned the non-compliance with the regulatory framework for public procurement, allowing the division of public procurement, as well as the failure of the members of the Procurement Working Group to make confidential and impartial statements, resulting in the risk of conflict of interests, respectively, the lack of assurance that the award of procurement contracts was carried out in an independent and impartial manner.

The audit mission found that the Financial and Control Management System within the Council for Prevention and Elimination of Discrimination and Equality is at the implementation stage, with internal control not fully functioning. These circumstances have generated deficiencies that have affected the reliability and credibility of the information in the balance sheet as at 31.12.2017.

The activities carried out to collect sufficient and adequate evidence and the findings set out in the Audit Report determined the audit team to express a qualified audit opinion to the Council's financial statements drawn up on December 31st 2017.

The audited entity is to inform the Court of Accounts on the implementation of the recommendations within 6 months of publication in the Official Gazette of the Republic of Moldova. The decision of the Court of Accounts shall be published in the Official Gazette of the Republic of Moldova, in accordance with art. 10 letter a) and art. 34 paragraph (2) of the Law of the Court of Accounts no. 260 of 07.12.2017.