Statements by Prime Minister Ludovic Orban and other Cabinet members at the start of the Cabinet meeting

20 January

[Check against delivery]

 

Ludovic Orban: Ministers, Secretaries of State, State Advisors, Secretaries-General, Directors, Directors –general, I invite you to put forward proposals to be included in the meeting agenda. Minister Bolos, you know that we needed to prepare the normative act on establishing formations of the courts, specialized in public procurement at the level of courts of appeal, to simplify the procedure. Have you achieved progress in this respect?

Marcel Boloş: The draft emergency ordinance and the draft normative act are about to be completed. As aforementioned, it contains both the formation of the court specialized in public procurement procedures, accompanied by a package of measures for observing the procedural deadlines that are now provided by legislation, and a procedural component regarding the National Public Procurement Agency, where the ex-ante control, the one specific to these types of procedures, we also want to settle it.

 Ludovic Orban: Therefore, to establish deadlines for approving the auction documentation by ANAP.

Marcel Boloş: Precisely, including with a system of sanctions for the personnel who is involved in this ex-ante control process.

Ludovic Orban: Therefore, basically, as regards the procedure, you have the ANAP opinion on auction documentation, you have the award that is made by the beneficiary, the one conducting the auction, and afterwards, we need to have only two levels - CNSC, National Council for Solving Complaints, and if anyone is dissatisfied with the CNSC solution, to address only specialized units at the level of the courts of appeal. That's how the mechanism was designed.

Marcel Boloş: The whole process you mentioned is subject to this regulation and, as you have mentioned, including with the system of penalties for non-compliance with deadlines, so that the delays we have now in the public procurement procedures are no longer an impediment in implementation of projects and we can ensure, within a reasonable time, the conduct of public procurement procedures.

Ludovic Orban: Did you see what happened to the two railway sections, Brasov-Apaţa, Caţa-Sighișoara, where, instead of validating the decision of the CNSC, and the decision of the substantive court, the Court of Appeal invented another solution and continues to judge a case that would normally have to be resolved immediately. This is why we are losing European funds, effectively.

Marcel Boloş: These types of projects are, indeed, projects that bring an additional argument to impose a certain discipline in the public procurement process and these delays are having an impact on the loss of funds /.../.

 Ludovic Orban: The second theme: simplifications during the procurement procedures, which must be prepared as well.

Marcel Boloş: The draft ordinance is also about to be completed. We aim to establish, at the level of the beneficiaries, this system of accountability for those unfolding projects with European funds.

Ludovic Orban: Therefore, I saw management authorities requesting, for example, an environmental agreement or permit and, the applicant is told by the Environmental Agency that no environmental agreement or permit is required, but the applicant waits for 90 days until he/she receives this answer. Therefore, they have previously invented a hyper-bureaucracy that hinders the absorption of European funds.

Marcel Boloş: Yes, there are these procedures, some of them can be simplified, because a simple request for a review should not be considered as an initial opinion. So the procedure should not be passed again by the environmental agencies. But all the announcers who are involved in this process ... From this point of view, it is a task that we have assumed through the government program, that of ensuring the cutting through the red tape and the procedural simplification for the projects ...

Ludovic Orban: I will further request you to held consultation with the civil society, on the institutional structure, but especially on the European funds destination on the 2021- 2027 budgetary exercise, so that, next week, at the latest, we can adopt the memorandum which is the base of negotiations and related normative acts.

Marcel Boloş: This process of consultation with the business environment is scheduled for Wednesday, starting 1 p.m., we want to present them both the funding possibilities for the 2021- 2027 programming period, and also regarding the top technology funding, where the European Union attached particular importance to these technologies, and to what they need to prepare from the perspective of obtaining funding so that we can ensure the funds absorption as regards the first objective of European policy, smart specialization, where the research is prevalent along with the technological transfer and intelligent production, as it is known.

Ludovic Orban: Thank you.

Marcel Boloş: Thank you.

Ludovic Orban: I am waiting for the proposal. Minister of Finance.

Florin Cîţu: For the Competition Council colleagues, we have an emergency ordinance in the first reading today, on amending the Government Emergency Ordinance 77/ 2014, on national procedures in the state aid field, as well on supplementing the Competition Law 21 / 1996.

Ludovic Orban: Yes, I discussed with president Chitoiu, and I endorse it. Minister, please.

Nicolae Ciucă: Mr Prime Minister, for the additional list, a draft Government decision on establishing accommodation rights,  those facilitating family connections, recreation and transportation of military and civilian personnel participating in missions and operations outside the Romanian state territory.

Ludovic Orban: I agree. Minister Stefan.

Ion Ştefan: Mr. Prime Minister, we have two requests, one to withdraw from the meeting agenda the first draft law regarding the ..

Ludovic Orban: regarding the approval of technical-economic indicators.

Ion Ştefan: Yes. The second request is to accept the inclusion in the meeting agenda of a report on the unfolding of the investment programme PNDL I and PNDL II.

Ludovic Orban: Is it a report on the controls carried out by the Control Unit and the State Inspectorate?

Ion Ştefan: Yes, indeed, between January 7 – January 18, the Public Works Ministry continued control operations in the territory, following 1554 applications, in the amount of 900 million lei. Following the control carried out by the Control Body, 139 UATs(administrative-territorial units) of eight counties were verified; the value of the defrayments requested by them was 320 million lei. Following controls, 19 non-compliant applications were found, with a value of ten million lei. Also during the same period, ISC inspectors verified 1497 payment applications throughout the country, discovering the following problems: on PNDL I, 215  applications were verified, six were found with irregularities, six were non-compliant, with a value of 2,162,000 lei, and six applications were withdrawn by applicants.

Ludovic Orban: Willfully withdrawn.

Ion Ştefan: Indeed. They were in the amount of 2.4 million. For PNDL II. /.../ Yes, we considered verifying 1282 applications. 43 were found non-compliant, with a value of 27 million lei, and 18 were voluntarily withdrawn, with a value of 10 million lei. In total, during these two weeks of control, works worth 53 million lei were found to have irregularities. The works were withdrawn from payment, and this week and in the following weeks we will make payments for the works found compliant in the territory.

Ludovic Orban: All right. Minister Alexandru?

Violeta Alexandru: Mr. Prime Minister, I         inform you that we are at the end of an ample consultation process which included the opinion of trade unions and employers regarding the organization of the Ministry of Labour and Social Protection. Next week, I propose to consider its inclusion in the meeting agenda, with the hope that the ministries will give me support with their opinions. Thank you.

Ludovic Orban: All right.

Violeta Alexandru: We are also conducting the organization process at the level of the coordinating institutions. In a very short time, you will have an initial report on the results of this evaluation. Thank you.

Ludovic Orban: Maybe I won’t see the ITM chief there anymore. Yes, Minister.

Lucian Bode: Mr. Prime Minister, please approve the inclusion in the additional meeting agenda of a draft executive decision for the re-approval of the technical-economic indicators related to the investment objective of building a synthetic training center P plus 3, a flight simulator building and spaces connected, equipped with a Boeing 737 FF6 flight simulator.

Ludovic Orban: Ok.

Lucian Bode: Thank you.

Ludovic Orban: Thanks to the media.

Marcel Vela: I still have ...

Ludovic Orban: Yes, yes, please, say.

Marcel Vela: Mr. Prime Minister, I would like to supplement the meeting agenda with a draft emergency ordinance on amending and supplementing Government Ordinance number 83/2001 on the establishment, organization and functioning of community public services for issuing and recording simple passports and community public services, driving license and registration of vehicles. We speak for ...

Ludovic Orban: Ok.

Marcel Vela: Thank you.

Ludovic Orban: As you have addressed this topic, you can find a solution, with the Minister of Transport, to help people, so that when they go to register with RAR, all other documents can be released. A solution must be found here, you cannot oblige them to queue at RAR and the Interior Ministry, to receive registration plates and other matters. The procedure should be simplified, unified, people go to some point and solve the problem. I agree. Please, Minister.

Bogdan Gheorghiu: I just want to make a brief presentation. As you have asked me in the previous meeting, we have prepared the notifications to the three ministries whose opinion we need, related to the inclusion of the Rosia Montana in UNESCO Heritage and tomorrow morning, the notifications are sent to the three ministries. Depending on how fast we receive the answer, they will know what action to take until February 1.

Ludovic Orban: Yes. Thank you.

 



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