Powered by Max Banner Ads
The Court of Accounts 2011 report reveals a veritable theft of public funds at the National Authority for Management and Regulation in Communications (ANCOM). The Court of Accounts verifications focused on the 2007-2011 period when ANCOM was led by Dan Georgescu (2007-2008), Liviu Nistoran (2008-2009) and Catalin Marinescu (since 2009). The institution spent hundreds of thousands of Euros on the periodical renewal of its auto park. Company cars were used not only by ANCOM’s 131 chiefs but also by simple employees. Thus, the ANCOM personnel uses 150 auto vehicles, without taking into account the 38 laboratory vehicles used for measurements and control. Moreover, the heads of ANCOM scrapped many cars for free, some of them luxury cars, considering them too old (5-10 years). “The audited entity transferred 39 auto vehicles, for free. Some of them were only 5-10 years old and some were part of the high-capacity category, being vehicles such as: 1 Jeep Grand Cherokee, 1 Toyota Land Cruiser, 1 Nissan Terrano II, 4 Daewoo Leganza, 4 Daewoo Lublin 3,” the Court of Accounts report reads.
Exorbitant rents: EUR 7 MMore millions of Euros were spent for the rental or buying of buildings that surpassed ANCOM’s needs.
From 2008 to 2011 the expenditures on rent grew constantly, reaching RON 9.5 M (EUR 2.3 M) in 2011 when ANCOM was led by Catalin Marinescu (50). Most of the money were earmarked for ANCOM’s central headquarters building, located on Delea Noua Street and rented in 2007. The Court of Accounts auditors established that in 2007 ANCOM’s leadership made no kind of analysis on the advantages and disadvantages of renting a building instead of building or buying one. The move turned out to be extremely costly, ANCOM spending no less than EUR 7 M on rent and utilities in three and a half years. Moreover, the contract contains clauses that are disadvantageous for ANCOM, the latter being forced to pay the building owner considerable sums in case it unilaterally denounces the contract. ANCOM’s leadership was generous with its territorial branches too. Millions of euros were spent on expensive plots of land and buildings that were way out of the institution’s needs. The reason for this megalomania, a reason found in ANCOM’s tender books, is mindboggling: “revising the institution’s image by showing special care to the way its headquarters look.”
Expensive “work-related” trips
The courses and working meetings organized from 2009 to 2011 caused further losses in ANCOM’s budget. According to the Court of Accounts, most of the courses were organized at the mountainside or at the seaside, not in Bucharest where most of the participants were living. Consequently, ANCOM registered unnecessary expenditures on lodging and transportation. Moreover, the expenditures were inflated, without there being a selection procedure. EUR 200,000 was spent to take part in the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) conference in Mexico. The selection of participants was based on criteria known only by ANCOM President Catalin Marinescu. The auditors also discovered cases in which ANCOM paid courses that had nothing to do with the institution’s line of work. Thus, ANCOM spent RON 10,000 (EUR 2,300) for an employee’s stay in London. The employee took part in an events management course. Other lucky employees were able to get their driver’s school and Master of Arts courses paid by ANCOM.