bnn.lv Latviski   bnn-news.com English   bnn-news.ru По-русски
Saturday 21.07.2018 | Name days: Meldra, Meldris, Melisa
LatviaLatvia

Latvia’s State Audit sees options for saving millions in real estate management

FaceBook
Twitter
Draugiem
print
(No Ratings Yet)

Baltic news, News from Latvia, BNN.LV, BNN-NEWS.COM, BNN-NEWS.RUIn Latvia’s State Audit’s opinion Interior Affairs Ministry and Provision State Agency have not organized sufficient and efficient management of their owned real estate property. Inappropriate and unplanned use of funding allocated for the construction of firefighters depot, use of state property for private needs, disorganized allocation of apartments to officials, lack of appropriate rent fees and planning are but some of the problems uncovered during the audit.

«Enough time was provided to sort out management of real estate properties. Instead of results, however, we see irrational planning, waste of money allocated with intention of improving firefighters’ day-to-day environment, favourable treatment of high-rank officials, unauthorized use of space intended for the firefighters’ depot for needs of a hunting club, as well as provision of low rent fees for use of apartments. Such double standards should be prevented to make sure society does not lose its trust in state administration,» said State Auditor Elita Krūmiņa.

Could’ve saved three million euros

The state auditor says the largest amount of funding was allocated for the renovation of State Fire and Rescue Service’s depot. «Unfortunately the use of this funding has not been sufficiently efficient or economic so far. SFRS’ construction initiatives received no sufficient control from Interior Affairs Ministry. As a result, the depots were too large. Some of their rooms are not used to their full potential. Building maintenance costs are also too high.»

Proper construction planning of the six depots could have helped save at least EUR 2.8 million, State Audit notes.

«Lack of standard construction projects proves inefficiency. This approach would have benefitted depot construction. Another problem is the fact that SFRS’ developed technical goals included two times more construction workers than was necessary, even though there are no plans to increase the number of workers. Had the depot rooms been planned rationally with allocated funding in mind, more depots could have been built in Latvia. Unfortunately, none of the territories that suffer from low efficiency of SFRS were included in the construction plans, demonstrating the glaring lack of proper management of real estate properties,» as concluded by State Audit.

Firefighters and rescuers forced to wash work apparel at home

State Audit mentions that a situation when funding allocated for depot construction was used solely for construction work and not for procurement of equipment, furniture and necessary machineries. «Firefighters and rescuers are not even provided with important facilities like work apparel washing and drying machines. There are rooms intended for them, but no equipment to put in them. Firefighters and rescuers of Ērgļi depot are forced to wash their work apparel at home. Kitchen equipment for Ape depot was procured by firefighters without state support.»

The allocated EUR 11.5 million were enough to build only some of the planned depots. Because of that, it is now necessary to search for additional funding to commence construction of fire and rescue depots in Riga and Daugavpils. The real priorities become clear when you consider that more than EUR 2 million of the allocated funding was not used for construction of depots or improvement of firefighters’ and rescuers’ work conditions in the countryside. Instead this money was used for the construction of a new administrative building in Riga region, State Audit reports.

Ķeipene depot managed by a hunting club

The audit also revealed that illegal activities were performed with sate property in Ogre, Ķeipene County. Specifically, the State Fire and Rescue Service’s depot was being used for different hunting-related activities. No lease agreements are signed and no lease fees are paid for use of premises.

Since 2009, Plauži hunting club has been registered at Ķeipene firefighters depot’s address. Its chairman is the director of Fire Safety and Civil Defence College. The contact telephone number is the same as the official work phone number of the chief of SFRS Financial Planning Office. Several high-ranking SFRS officials were well-informed about this situation. During the audit, however the address and contact number of the hunting club were changed. Nevertheless, the State Audit has turned to Corruption Prevention and Combating Bureau.

Three times more expensive for cadets

The audit revealed that interior affairs sector’s apartments are leased at least partially from the state budget. Some tenants, including one high-rank SFRS official, are provided with more favourable rent fee contracts than other tenants. Cadets of the Fire Safety and Civil Protection College are charged rent per 1 m2, which is nearly three times higher than the rent fee for the deputy chief of SFRS.

Lack of proper monitoring and planning

The portfolio of real estate properties owned by the interior affairs sector is expansive. The majority of them are in a critical state, and funding for their maintenance is limited. Because of that, it is important to secure a unified development look.


Leave a reply

SRS: cash register reform still stagnates, but has become much faster than it was last year

The cash registers reform continues stagnating. However, it has become much faster than it was a year ago, as reported by State Revenue Service.

Specialists to search for solutions to topical environmental problems in Ventspils

On Friday, 20 July, a meeting was held between Ventspils Commercial Port representatives and specialists from State Environment Service.

Children with functional disorders to receive services financed by EU funds

Child invalids will have access to social services intended to improve their social skills and mobility. More than EUR 4.2 million has been allocated for this goal from the European Social Fund, as confirmed by Latvia’s Central Financing and Contracting Agency.

Producer price level in industry up 4.3% in Latvia

Compared to June 2017, the average level of producer prices in Latvian industry increased by 4.3 % in June 2018. Prices of products sold on the domestic market rose by 4.8 % and those of exported products by 3.7 %.

Total tax debts in Latvia in July – 1.212 billion euros

At the beginning of July total tax debts in Latvia, including outstanding debts, halted debts and debts applied with repayment term extensions, accounted for EUR 1.212 billion, which is 0.8% less than a month prior, according to data from the State Revenue Service.

Survey: every third Latvian resident has received illegal loan offers

Nearly every third resident in Latvia or 31% of respondents admit having received offers to use illegal loan services, as concluded in a survey performed by Latvian Alternative Financial Services Association and SKDS.

Libya opposed to EU's idea to establish migrant centres in North Africa

Libya is against the solution of the European Union to set up migrant centres in the North African country as a means to keep migrants from arriving in the bloc and Libya would not be convinced with financial support, its Prime Minister Fayez al-Sarraj has noted.

Arrest warrant on Catalan ex-President cancelled by Spain

The Supreme Court of Spain cancelled a European arrest warrant for former Catalan regional leader Carles Puigdemont, as Germany refused to extradite him to face accusations of rebellion for declaring the independence of Spain's region, Catalonia in 2017.

Latvian government plans to allow handing expired food to charity

Latvia’s Agriculture Ministry has prepared amendments to the Law on the Supervision of the Handling of Food that provide permission to hand over certain types of food products to charity after the end of their expiry date.

Estonian industrial producer prices up 2.9% since June 2017

Estonian industrial producer price index has risen by 2.9% between June 2017 and the first summer month this year, resulting in an increase of export prices as well, Estonian statisticians have estimated.

Putin urges NATO to quit «irresponsibly» developing ties with Ukraine, Georgia

Russia's President Vladimir Putin cautioned NATO against developing deeper relations with Ukraine and Georgia, evaluating such a policy was irresponsible and would have consequences for the military alliance.

Latvian parliament not in a hurry to support president Vejonis for a second term

Political parties represented in the Saeima are not eager to support President Raimonds Vējonis for his remainder for a second term.

Weather in Latvia will remain warm and even hot at times

Weather in Latvia in the nearest couple of days will be dictated by a cyclone. Because of that the sky will be partially covered by clouds; thunderstorms are also expected, as reported by State Environment, Geology and Meteorology Centre.

Hungary sued in EU Court for criminalising help to illegal immigrants

The European Union's executive body has stated that a law in Hungary that criminalises support for illegal immigrants is in breach with EU law and Hungary has now been referred to the European Court of Justice for the alleged non-compliance.

Estonians buy alcohol in Latvia; country loses EUR 20 million in six months

Latvian stores located close to the Latvian-Estonian border have sold 1.6 million litres of strong alcoholic drinks in the first half year of 2019. This means Estonia has lost more than EUR 20 million in taxes, according to data from Association of Estonian Alcohol Producers and Importers.

Lithuania’s election watchdog slams ruling LFGU over popular TV series

Political messages can be channeled in various ways and the ruling now Lithuanian party, LFGU has chosen a very delicate way of the communications – through a TV series featuring the beauty and the ambiance of Naisiai, a picturesque settlement in Siauliai district.

Association: around 3,3000 people know of their HIV infection but receive no treatment

HIV remains a serious problem in Latvia – around 3,300 people are aware of their status but receive no treatment and continue spreading the infection. Because of that, it is necessary to act quickly for Latvia to lose its status as HIV kingdom and limit the spread of the infection, says Baltic HIV Association, informing decision-makers and responsible officials in institutions and hospitals about the HIV/AIDS situation.

Driver shortage may force reduction of international road haulage volumes

Latvia’s road haulage companies have started experiencing shortage of drivers. On top of that, if employment conditions for residents of non-EU member states do not change, it may be necessary to reduce the volume of road haulage volumes, says Latvijas auto president Valdis Trēziņš.

Lattelecom’s turnover up 9% in first half-year of 2018

Lattelecom Group’s turnover reached EUR 98.7 million in the first half-year of 2018, growing by 9% in comparison with the same period of 2017, according to unaudited financial results.

1,140 fewer births registered in Latvia in 2017

Since 2016 the number of births in Latvia is declining again. Compared to 2016, a total of 1,140 births fewer were registered in 2017. Also, the provisional number of births registered over the first six months of 2018 (9,664 children) is by 664 children smaller than that registered over the respective period of 2017.

Citadele Bank decides to reform Lithuanian subsidiary as a branch office

Citadele Bank has decided to reform its Lithuanian subsidiary as a branch office, as confirmed in the statement the bank submitted to Nasdaq Riga.

Russian pension age hike discussed amid protest outside Duma

As the Russian paliament votes on the proposal to gradually increase he pension age to 65 for men and 63 for women, some 200 people were seen protesting against the reform in Moscow.

Corruption watchdog chief says bureau has done no illegal actions

After going through Corruption Prevention and Combating Bureau’s past investigative activities, the bureau’s chief – Jēkabs Straume – found it confusing that officers often took no appropriate actions after acquiring evidence or receiving indications regarding necessary steps.

Illegal border crossings to Estonia on rise after Russia World Cup

Football fans with temporary residency permits of the Russia World Cup, or fan Ids, are trying to illegally cross the Russian border with Estonia, a member of the European Union.

Estonian 13-year-old lethally overdoses fentanyl

Estonian prosecutors have accused a 15-year old of negligent homicide after a girl, 13, passed away from fentanyl overdose.