The case focuses on the use of educational licenses, following a notification of the PM’s Inspection Body. Former Education Ministers Daniel Funeriu and Valerian Vreme on the list, among others.
The National Anticorruption Directorate (DNA) initiated criminal proceedings in rem for traffic peddling, corruption, offering and accepting bribe, and abuse of office charges brought in a case involving the use of educational licenses, hotnews.ro reports. Anticorruption prosecutors initiated the proceedings following a notification of the Gov’t Inspection Body on “the use of educational licenses without legal or contractual grounds” starting in December 2009, during the terms of former PDL ministers Daniel Funeriu and Valerian Vreme.
The two former ministers have been accused of potentially criminal offenses for promoting a note approved by Emil Boc, based on which the Ministry of Communications purchased educational software, even though such a purchase should have been carried out through a Gov’t Decision, a report published on the Executive’s website shows. Prime Minister Victor Ponta’s Inspection Body claims the Ministry of Education relayed a number of necessary educational licenses higher than the actual number, “thus resulting in an amount EUR 5.4 million higher than necessary.”
In a press release issued Thursday, DNA announced that an investigation has been opened into a criminal case ensued following the notification filed by the Prime Minister’s Inspection Body on May 23, 2013, the object of which was the leasing and extension of educational licenses by the Ministry for Information Society and the Ministry of National Education, who concluded supply contracts in violation of legal provisions (Framework Agreement No.32/12.08.2009 and GD No.460/2009). There is also reason to suspect payments of approx. EUR 9 million have been made to education institutions.
According to judicial sources consulted by HotNews.ro, DNA prosecutors are looking into the following four contracts.
The lease contract for Microsoft Enterprise Agreement Subscription license concluded between the Romanian Government and Microsoft Ireland through Fujitsu Siemens Computers Austria GesmbH, worth USD 105 million, valid from 2004 to 2009;
The lease contract for Microsoft Enterprise Agreement Subscription license concluded between the Ministry of Communications and Information Society and the D-CON.NET consortium (MCSI MS-EAS), worth EUR 96 million, valid from 2009 to 2013 (extended in 2013 by EUR 33 million, currently ongoing);
The contract concerning the Computerized Educational System (MEC SEI) concluded between Siveco and the Ministry of Education, worth EUR 124 million (carried out in six stages between 2001 and 2009);
The contract regarding the Integrated System for State Frontier Security (MAI SISF) concluded between EADS Deutschland GmbH Germany and the Ministry of Internal Affairs, worth EUR 534 million (extended in 2009 by EUR 200 million).
Judicial sources cited by Realitatea TV say the Directorate will request permission to lift the immunity of multiple ministers in the upcoming days.
The prosecutors say there are indications that the feasibility study, which pointed to EADS as the only company worldwide capable of supplying the Integrated System to the Internal Affairs Ministry, was worked out by Midocar Consulting staff and is in fact a round-up of previous studies conducted on the same matter, that were achieved by other firms to the benefit of the border police. Based on the study made available by Bearing Point, the ministry negotiating team decided to purchase the Integrated System by negotiation with a single source, namely with German EADS.
Subcontractors FSC, UTI and Felix Telecom ‘played the role of carrying the bribe necessary to approve the contract through’, the prosecutors say. ‘As a result, during the negotiations an utterly inadequate for the Romanian state formula was reached, namely an outline contract with a fixed amount of 650 million euros, without giving details of the technical solutions, the equipment or services that were to be delivered, as such details were to be subsequently agreed by EADS together with the Project Implementation Unit of the Romanian Border Police Inspector’s Office.
In this way, EADS was able to constantly control the profit it was to make by this contract, by the offered technical solutions and such profit was to be used to pay the bribes necessary for the contract approval’, the investigating body said. The 650 million euro contract for the purchase of the Integrated System was signed on Aug. 12, 2004. For EADS to get the contract, the company managers were set the condition of closing a contract with the irrevocable promise of subcontracting orders ranging from 40 million to 60 million euros with FSC. EADS also signed contracts of successful-implementation bonuses with Gessa firm for 10 percent bonus and Profinet firm for 5 percent bonus, ‘with such money representing bribery for persons in the Internal Affairs Ministry leadership and the Prime Minister’s Cabinet’.
Chief of the General Secretariat of the Government heard as witness by DNA
Also yesterday, Ion Moraru, chief of the General Secretariat of the Government (SGG), went to the DNA headquarters to be questioned as a witness in a corruption case involving the purchase of IT equipment by the Ministry of Education, judicial sources cited by Mediafax have stated. Upon entering the building, Moraru said, “I’ve been called in as a witness,” without offering any other details on the ongoing case. According to the cited sources, the case was opened following a report drawn up by the Gov’t’s Inspection Body, in connection with which DNA investigators have expanded their enquiry. Ion Moraru has held positions in the SGG and during Adrian Nastase (PSD) and Emil Boc (PDL)’s terms.