Audit agency saves state millions

The implementation of State Audit Agency (VK) recommendations by various institutions in the apparatus of Latvia’s government has saved the state budget several millions of euros just in the past year, Comptroller General Elita Krūmiņa told LTV news program Rīta Panorāma Friday.

In her morning news interview she called the prior twelve months "dynamic and productive" for the agency. While unable to cite exact figures, she claimed to have confirmed estimates with various ministries “that the sums are quite large, measurable in the millions of euros.”

Some of the best results came in troubled sectors like welfare and health, as well as programs supervised by the Agriculture ministry, but Krūmiņa said that more precise figures would be available at the beginning of the new year.

She acknowledged that there had been problems with certain less-than-compliant clients, such as the Free Port of Riga, which only recently implemented 21 out of 23 VK recommendations after years of acrimonious dispute with the state’s auditors.

Krūmiņa also pointed out that VK is still working on tightening liability for officials found to have squandered state budget resources ineffectively, “as this remains a not-very-bright spot in our country regarding the responsibility of officials for spending budget money wisely."

She added that the VK’s official cooperation with police and prosecutors in such cases of official liability has improved, “in that we’re not tossing rocks into each other’s yards anymore, but working better together.”

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