The charges of some services stipulated by the VAS Road Traffic Safety Directorate (RTSD) are unjustified, the State Audit Office (SAO) established during the audit.
By determining the tariffs and not linking them with prime costs or by making cross-subsidies, customers overpay for several services, such as the state vehicle technical inspection, whereas for other services they pay less than the service prime costs require or even receive a free service, for instance vehicle write-offs, reports LETA.
During the audit, the SAO found that the implemented RTSD management policy by the Ministry of Transport (MT) should be improved to ensure effective enactment of the RTSD shareholder functions.
As a state capital company shareholder, the MT is authorized to influence RTSD business strategy, to determine public performance results, to balance the financial and social objectives, as well as to regularly assess the implementation of strategic objectives and invested asset return. The MT has not fully used the mentioned rights, consequently, RTSD drafts and implements long-term development plans, independently setting the amount of profit and investments and deciding the directions, explains the SAO.
The SAO also indicates that RTSD confirms the tariffs for part of services, which are provided by carrying out state administration delegated tasks. Consequently, the requirements stipulated in the normative acts on the Cabinet of Ministers competence in tariff approval have not been observed, as well as the state supervision over the task implementation has not been ensured; creating a monopoly situation.
It has been established that the handover of technical control services to private entities has took place without organising open selection procedures, without ensuring equal competition opportunities in the vehicle technical inspection market. The SAO also indicates that there is a risk that further economic operators’ accreditation for technical control service provision will be formal, because the economic operators have gained significant advantages for future accreditation by operating in the technical control market over the past 15 years.
The SAO notes that RTSD has created favourable financial conditions for the accredited private corporations, ensuring the profitability of their business operations. It was achieved by providing technical control stations with high vehicle flow and affordable investment repay period, but not the control stations in Balvi, Aluksne and Gulbene with a small vehicle flow.
The SAO draws attention to the irregularities in the normative acts due to which the impact on budget revenues was created. Although the normative acts foresee penalties to car drivers for driving without a valid vehicle technical inspection, they do not determine the mechanisms and the vehicle owners’ responsibility for proper vehicle maintenance or disposal and removal from the register, if the technical inspection has not been carried out for a long time.
Approximately half, or 46.8% (537 640) of the registered vehicles on January 1, this year, did not have a valid technical inspection.
Due to the deficiencies of the normative acts, 199 166 lats were not directed to the budget in 2009 as the state duty on vehicles with a valid technical inspection, because the normative acts stipulate duty payment only for the current year, but does not require a claim for duty payment, if in the previous years the vehicle was registered in Latvia, but a duty was not paid for it.
The audit of the RTSD activities compliance with the requirements of normative acts s and efficiency assessment was carried out for the period from January 1, 2008 until June 30, 2010.