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Saturday 14.12.2019 | Name days: Gaisma, Auseklis
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SA uncovers unjustified spending of allocated money in state institutions

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Baltic news, News from Latvia, BNN.LV, BNN-NEWS.COM, BNN-NEWS.RUAccounting matters are generally well-organized in state institutions. Nevertheless, there have been cases when officials used allocated money on unjustified purchases and unreasonable budget initiatives, as concluded by Latvian State Audit in the annual survey in ministries and state institutions.

Except for Culture Ministry, where SA uncovered major problems with the Latvian National Library, in all other cases SA provided a positive assessment. Culture Ministry has been given a report with remarks.

Remarks have been given in regard to matters LNL has not resolved in accordance with regulations. Violations apply to massive procurements of equipment and furniture for the new building of the library: different furniture, shelves for books, film projectors and other equipment necessary for the library to function. The problem is that the library’s administration has no secured proper accounting. A recent audit in the library has revealed cases when some of the procurement items are no longer found in the library; this applies to four missing portable computers worth EUR 1,000 each. A criminal case has been launched, SA reports.

This year’s audit also looked into the use of money allocated for different projects.

As part of this initiative, SA assessed new and recently launched projects and the use of finances allocated for them: support for people suffering from abuse, introduction of personal rights protection measures, measures aimed to combat African swine fever, measures to secure development of the National Guard, procurement of transports for state Fire and Rescue Service, liquidation of consequences of Zolitude tragedy, etc.

Certain flaws have been uncovered in new and recently launched initiatives. Among the uncovered problems, SA found illegal advance payments, ineffective use of money allocated for special programmes and breached procurement procedures.

SA has also uncovered that the state budget suffers more and more from having to pay for different road accidents involving duty vehicles. The same applies to storage of material evidence – state budget funding for these goals has increased by EUR 650,000 since 2013.

This year, SA focused on whether or not the use of funding allocated for events in line with Latvia’s presidency over the EU Council was reasonable. There are ministries that have used their allocated funding reasonably: Defence Ministry, Education and Science Ministry, Welfare Ministry and Transport Ministry. Nevertheless, there have been cases when the allocated money was instead used to pay increased wages, finance repairs of offices, unrelated procurements and intensified foreign visits.

In 2014, the state allocated EUR 47.5 million for different events related to the presidency. A total of EUR 36.3 million were used. Most of this amount – EUR 19.6 million – was spent by Foreign Ministry. Auditors found out that EUR 387,654 were used to finance the ministry’s main functions; emergency repairs in embassies; procurement of cars, furniture and electric devices. This only served to increase expenses of Latvia’s presidency.

Without first compiling a detailed and justified assessment, Foreign Ministry made a deal with Valsts nekustamie īpašumi in regard to an increase of rent pay in order to cover costs of securing constant representation in EU. As a result, the ministry has paid EUR 169,664 more than the actual maintenance costs.

Foreign Ministry is not the only state institution that tried to ‘effectively’ use all finances allocated to it. Other state institutions have also failed to comply with regulations and planning documents, as concluded by SA.

Ref: 102.109.109.6784


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