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Sunday 17.02.2019 | Name days: Konstance, Donats
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State Audit finds it difficult to follow use of funding for Latvia’s Centenary events

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Baltic news, News from Latvia, BNN.LV, BNN-NEWS.COM, BNN-NEWS.RUAccording to Latvian State Audit, it is hard to follow the use of funding intended for Latvia’s Centenary events.

There are some problems and risks that make it hard to follow the usage of financing on events part of the celebration of Latvia’s centenary, as mentioned in State Audit’s report on Latvia’s state and municipal budget accounts for 2017.

A total of EUR 59.1 million was allocated for festivities of Latvia’s centenary in 2017-2021. EUR 13.2 million was used in 2017. Still, State Audit admits that the funding used in 2017 had exceeded planned expenses. A significant portion of funding was listed in the account as advance payments for activities that were launched in 2017 but never finished.

The audit mentions use of only 54% of the funding was used in accordance with the Centenary National Event Plan’s centralized supervision mechanism previously approved by the Cabinet of ministers. The head of the institution is responsible for keeping an eye on the rest of the funding, according to the general order. Nevertheless, rules do not establish a duty to monitor use of funding for such events.

«In this situation, when agencies do not have any formal restrictions on diverting budget funding on Centenary events, there is a high risk of exceeding allocated budget funding worth EUR 26.9 million. This is confirmed by what was found in the audit, when agencies divert more funding than initially planned on Centenary events,» as concluded by State Audit.

According to auditors, this may point to possible reserves in agencies’ budgets. Because of that, State Audit believes that Finance Ministry’s budget expenditures review process should address a specific issue – the reason why requests for additional funding are submitted.

Auditors also believe events of the Centenary are not objectively identifiable and separate from other events organized by the institution. «The open concept of Centenary celebrations and unspecified criteria allow calling any of the activities performed by participating institution dedicated to festivities. This is only allowed under the condition that the main functions are not put at risk and situations in which agencies exceed previously allowed expenses and request additional funding are prevented,» the State Audit concludes.

Auditors also say that the official website dedicated to Latvia’s Centenary – www.lv100.lv – has insufficient information about festivities and funding used to organize them.


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