The second seminar of the capacity-building program in the field of good governance was held online on Thursday, 18 February, for a group of civil society organizations. The seminar included presentations by IDIS “Viitorul” experts Viorel Pirvan and Diana Enachi, who talked to participants about budget process and budgetary transparency, professional ethics, conflict of interest, and social services.
The capacity building program, which aims to strengthen the role of the CSOs as watchdogs, is being conducted within the ”Transparent public authorities for active and informed citizens” Project, implemented by IDIS ”Viitorul” and financed by European Union and Konrad Adenauer Stiftung, through the ”Development of local civil society in the Republic of Moldova” Grants Program.
”The principle of budgetary transparency is not a caprice of civil society organizations but is stipulated in the law on public finances and budgetary-fiscal responsibility. Although local public authorities are obliged to develop and manage local budgets in a transparent manner, and also to present the budget-related information to citizens in a clear and accessible manner, we find that these legal provisions are not always respected”, said Diana Enachi.
The expert also mentioned that, according to the 2020 Local Transparency Ranking developed by IDIS Viitorul, only 19 district-level public administrations (59%), and 25 first-level local public authorities (42%) used the website for public consultation purposes and in order to inform the public about the draft budget for 2020. ”The training of local civil society organizations leads to an increase in their capacity to monitor budgetary transparency and implicitly promotes of the accountability of local public authorities”, mentioned Diana Enachi.
In turn, Viorel Pirvan stated that the authorities have the responsibility to develop integrity measures. But, the expert added, for various reasons not enough anti-corruption tools have been developed at the local level, or if such tools have been created, they carry but a formal character and are without impact. Furthermore, they are inefficient and sometimes non-existent as mechanisms for supervising and sanctioning of subjects who do not follow the provisions of the integrity legislation.
"Active citizens in civil society organizations and at the community level have the role to identify the gaps in the local anti-corruption tools, to put pressure on authorities so that the latter align themselves with the existing requirements, and also to notify the competent authorities when proper reaction of the elected and other local public officials is missing, including in the cases where illegalities have been detected ", stated Viorel Pirvan.
"We remembered what the budget system is, but we also learned what budgetary transparency means to the citizen”. The exchange of experience helped me to reflect on the situation of LPAs in our country and to conclude that there is a lot of work to do. The laws are good, but "favoritism" and a "lack of professional ethics" predominates in our society and. The change comes from us”, stated Svetlana Olaru, a participant in the seminar.
"The local budget transparency allows the inhabitants to know exactly the services they can expected to be provided by the local public administration. The inhabitants of any locality must be involved in the way in which the public budget is formed and carried out because it is they who participate in the accumulation of financial means in the budget by paying local taxes and fees", noted Margarita Rotari, also a participant in the seminar.
"Through this project, we want to ensure that the local civil society in our country has the right knowledge and skills for an active involvement in the community life, as well as for promoting democratic values and participating in solving various socio-economic problems. Active civil society members are an important factor in democratic countries. Civil society is instrumental for promoting fundamental, democratic and pluralistic values in any country, but also for encouraging the involvement of citizens in the development processes. Civil society, as a catalyst, can contribute to the democratic development of the Republic of Moldova, and the beneficiaries of the program can become future leaders of their communities", added Ana Znaceni, the project coordinator.
The program has three components: 1) education, 2) mentoring, and 3) the stage of the elaboration of the transparency and accountability monitoring reports for 32 level II LPAs and 60 level I LPAs in the Republic of Moldova. The training process involves the organization of three seminars. The mentoring stage will guide the participants through the steps necessary for the preparation of monitoring reports. The last stage is the preparation of reports. Other activities envisaged in the project, among them being three TV shows conducted at a regional level, three (online), regional conferences where the CSOs can bring to the attention of citizens and stakeholders the findings of monitoring and evaluation reports.
The first seminar was conducted on February 4, and the last will be conducted on February 25.
The ”Transparent public authorities for active and informed citizens” Project is implemented in the September 2020 – July 2021 timeframe.
The ”Development of local civil society in the Republic of Moldova” Grants Program, financed by the European Union and Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung, will offer during the years 2020-2021 grants amounting to about EUR 3 million Civil Society Organizations, which operate outside the city of Chisinau.
The purpose of the program is to contribute to the development of local civil society in the Republic of Moldova, which promotes and monitors the transparency and the responsibility of public institutions, including in the implementation of the Moldova-EU Association Agreement.
This press release was elaborated with the financial support of the European Union. The content is the responsibility of the ”Transparent public authorities for active and informed citizens” project and doesn’t reflect the point of view of the European Union.