The civil society asks the National Coordination Council for National HIV/AIDS Prevention and Control Programmes to abide by the law

The National Coordination Council for National HIV/AIDS Prevention and Control Programmes puts EUR 7,1 million at stake by an arbitrary decision to exclude the Principal Recipient (principal implementer) on behalf of the non-governmental organisations in the field of HIV/AIDS in Moldova from the Global Fund grant management process. Some project implementation organisations addressed a letter to the Council to point out that the exclusion was made with irregularities, and unless the violations are corrected, the Global Fund will be announced about the violations. 
The signatory organisations emphasise that the NCC Decision of 29 June that excluded the Principal Recipient representing the non-governmental organisations from the GF grant management process was adopted in violation of transparent decision-making process requirements.
There are many violations and these begin with the failure to observe the agenda, misinterpretation of the conflict of interest policy, letting NCC non-members to participate in the voting process, as well as adopting the decision with insufficient number of votes. Or, due to absolutely unclear reasons, the decision was made with 10 votes in favour out of 26.
„Voting on a subject matter, which was not included on the agenda and was not announced in accordance with the Operational Manual, is a violation of requirements for a transparent decision-making process. Also, misinterpretation of the conflict of interest policy trying to exclude the entire civil society from the voting process because of using resources from the grant, as service providers. We would like to underline that the country grant projects to support the National HIV Control Programme were developed by a multidisciplinary working group created by the NCC TB/AIDS and not by some certain members who would be in conflict of interest”, it is mentioned in the letter. If this logic is to be applied then some government institutions should be excluded from the voting procedure because they also use the Global Fund resources, as service providers.
„The updated list of members with voting rights or delegated votes was not announced, which contravenes the provisions of the Government Decision No.825 of 3 August, 2005, as well as Operational Manual provisions. The NCC non-members who have no voting rights were allowed to vote. The meeting was attended by unknown participants who did not introduce themselves and did not justify their presence based on any power of representation. Finally, the decision was adopted with insufficient number of votes, i.e. 2/3 of votes of present members, because 10 out of 26 votes accounts for 38.5%”, it is mentioned in the letter.
The authors of the letter request the cancelation of the Decision of 29 June as soon as possible, and the convocation of the Technical Working Group by the 7th of July to finalise the project proposal budget. Otherwise, the signatories of the letter resume the right to address to court and to notify the Civil Society Constituency of the Global Fund Board about the attempt to exclude the NGOs from the decision-making process and Global Fund project implementation. Furthermore, the organisations would address the Access to Funding Department of the Global Fund Secretariat to clarify the on-going Global Fund funding procedures, based on the latest essential amendments to the proposal.

Organisations that work directly with communities in the risk groups point out that the Global Fund recommends the „dual track financing mechanism implementation” which means that for transparency reasons, two Principal Recipients are required – one representing the Government and one representing the civil society. We would like to mention that as a result of procedures violation, Moldova risks losing EUR 7,1 million in financing for 2018-2020, because according to procedures, the country cannot make essential amendments in the funding continuation application, otherwise it loses the right to apply for financing based on the simplified procedure. If the changes are approved, the international organisation might reject the continuation application and request a full application development. We would like to specify that Moldova has currently two principal implementers – one representing the government sector (UCIMP) and one – non-government sector (Centre PAS). These also have sub-recipients.
The letter was signed by 6 NGOs members of the National Coordination Council – League of people living with HIV/AIDS, Union of NGOs active in HIV/AIDS Prevention and harm reduction, Gender DocM, Platform of Organizations active in TB Control, Soros Foundation Moldova and Centre PAS.
Author: Irina Papuc