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State audits reveal deficiencies and inefficiencies

Take note – story published 1 year and 1 month ago

In the 2022 financial audits of ministries and central state institutions, the State Audit Office (Valsts Kontrole, VK) has revealed deficiencies in funding planning. Some ministries requested funding for a specific purpose, received it, but did not use it for the specified purpose or used it to finance other things, the head of the State Audit Office, Rolands Irklis, told LTV May 17.

According to Irklis, the State Audit Office has intensified its assessment of how the funding allocated to priority measures in the state budget was spent last year. "These are the measures that departments and ministries request extra in the budget every year. There is quite a fight for this, because in fact these requests are much larger than the budget possibilities," said Irklis.

Checking the requested financing for a total of 150 million euros, it was concluded that a third of this amount was not actually used for the purposes for which it was requested.

"Often, the money was diverted to other purposes, and therefore the results, the tasks that were intended to be achieved with this funding, were also not achieved. Here we are talking about quite important things," said the state audit chief.

For example, the Ministry of Health requested funding for therapy for children with autistic spectrum disorders , but since a system for acquiring funding has not been developed, the funds have still not been used.

"There is no system to help these children, no treatment rooms have been created in the regions. And accordingly, money has been allocated, but it cannot be used. Accordingly, most of this money is redistributed for other purposes than the purpose for which it was requested," said Irklis.

A much larger amount - 41 million euros - was allocated to the Ministry of Economy, specifically to the financial institution "Altum" for loans for large infrastructure projects, but this money also sits unused. "Actually, this money sits in the account for a whole year and is not used for the purpose for which it was requested," stated the head of the State Audit Office.

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Welfare has asked for funding to increase the salaries of employees of social care centers, but this funding has not been fully used either.

"We know that the workers there are paid very little and higher wages are needed. Here too, the money could not be used because of poor planning. To increase [wages] as much as the budget allows for these workers with very low wages, unfortunately these funds were not used to this end, and the money was left over and diverted to other purposes." 

The State Audit Office is set to provide full details of its audits of ministries and state institutions later on Wednesday.

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