According to a note from the ministerial department, to which the Lusa agency had access, this increase in the limits of competence for authorising expenditure by municipal administrators, corresponding to 75 per cent, falls within the New Rules for the Implementation of the 2020 State Budget, approved by Presidential Decree No. 141/20 of 21 May.
The Ministry of Finance stresses that this change is intended to give more and more autonomy to municipal administrators in the formation of public contracts at the level of local government and, consequently, to make the purchasing process more efficient and less bureaucratic at the level of municipalities.
"Therefore, with the introduction of the limits of competence for the authorisation of expenditure in the rules of implementation of the 2020 State Budget, Presidential Decree No. 282/18 of 28 November, which updated the limits of competence for the authorisation of expenditure in 2018, which were, until now, defined by the Law on Public Procurement, is revoked", the note further states.
The document also highlights that the initial 'down payment' limit for contracts for the acquisition of goods and services is increased from 15 per cent to 50 per cent, the same percentage being maintained for public works contracts.
The decree also creates a general rule, which defines the percentage of revenue to be allocated to Budget Units (UO), set at 60 per cent to revert to the UO and 40 per cent to the Single Treasury Account (CUT), when nothing is set in the respective statutes or diplomas setting the rates.
The Ministry of Finance shall also cancel, instead of captivating, the budget appropriations of all public investment projects whose approvals to contracts are refused by the Court of Auditors.
In the new rules, all invoices or equivalent documents sent out after the deadline for payment of expenses by the UO must be forwarded to the General Inspectorate of State Administration for the appropriate legal effects.
The UO and its dependent bodies, which do not submit the report, in compliance with the principle of transparency, will have financial resources allocated for the following month, in accordance with the new rules.
The Ministry of Finance also stresses the creation of a general rule on the need to follow up the process of settling arrears by concluding settlement agreements with creditors.