Audit Office claims €6.3m might have been misused in bonus pay at public institutions

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The State Audit Office will turn to the Prosecutor General over the misuse of funds paid in bonuses for employees at state institutions last year. The office claims up to €6.3m might have been misused in paying bonuses for public employees, Audit Office head Elita Krūmiņa said on May 18.

The office claims that despite the stated goal of motivating the best employees, an audit found that bonuses are often used only to drain the resources allocated for this goal, in effect turning bonuses into a guaranteed part of the wage.

The revision found that at seven institutions almost all employees were granted bonuses.

"Giving bonuses for a personal investment or job quality, in many institutions, is only formal ... there are cases when bonuses were doled out for meeting the things specified in the job description," said Krūmiņa.

She said that some institutions used year-end bonuses to spend the maximum possible of state-allotted funds. For example, the Citizenship and Migration Affairs Office had used 54% of the granted funds for bonuses in the fourth quarter of 2016.

The State Audit Office said it uncovered five law violations within the probe and will turn to the Prosecutor General once it has collected all the necessary information.

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