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The State Audit Office: Target Audience and Criteria for Granting Support within the Housing Support Programme should be More Precise

The Law on the State Budget for 2015 and 2016 states that the Ministry of Economics (ME) should transfer assets of the state budget to fund purchase of the first housing for families with children, while normative acts that regulate granting a guarantee does not foresee to grant it according to a condition “purchase of the first housing”; furthermore, there are no normative acts that would explain what exactly “the first housing” is. Thus granting the guarantee may not reach its objective, which is currently stipulated in the law on granting the funding — established the State Audit Office. (more…)

The state invests millions in electronic services that are used by just a few percent of inhabitants

After the introduction of the electronic identity card (eID) in Latvia, the electronic authentication and e-signature option has also been recently introduced so that people can officially prove their identity in the electronic environment. The state pays for it EUR 847,000 a year, but, since there are more convenient and cheaper possibilities to access electronic services, the electronic opportunities of the eID card are used by only a small percentage of the inhabitants, which means that the funds invested in the service do not pay off, the State Audit Office has concluded in its audit. But the state is planning to keep providing this service and to double the investments. (more…)

State Audit Office: Righteousness of Freeport of Riga Authority leads to expenditures amounting to several hundreds of Euro.

Since the Competition Council made its first decision in 2009 about violations against competition – abuse of dominating status in organizing tugboat services at the free port of Riga, the Freeport of Riga Authority has incurred expenditures amounting to more than one million Euro. Out of which 850,000 Euro account for the fines imposed by the Competition Council and more than 200,000 Euro – expenditures for legal services by challenging the decisions of Competition Council in several proceedings. (more…)

Due to inefficient spending most of victims of violence and persons who committed violence not to get law-prescribed support

In seven years since it became known that the state would have to provide new social rehabilitation services to adult victims of violence and persons who committed violence, the Ministry of Welfare (MoW) has not been able to take all the necessary steps to provide the services to these groups of people in a timely fashion and in the amount specified. Last year, it was determined that crucial services would be provided to 600 people who suffered from violence and to almost 500 who committed violence; however, the audit conducted by the State Audit Office has revealed that only 17% of the funds provided for this purpose was spent on these services, which were provided only to a small part of the target group, while the rest of the funding was used for other purposes. (more…)

Expenditure compliance assessment reveals spending efficiency doubts for millions of euros

Having completed its financial audits for 2015, the State Audit Office (SAO) has concluded that accounting in most of ministries and central state institutions is in good order. This year, SAO has not submitted any reports with caveats regarding financial accounts. This is a good result, achieved over a long period of work with state institutions, introducing improvements year after year by issuing recommendations and controlling their implementation. This is why particular attention during the audits was paid to assessing the compliance of the expenditures reported with the specific goals set, i.e. the so-called compliance assessment. There are still many shortcomings in this regard, as well as inefficiencies in spending amounting to millions of euros. (more…)

The time has come to decide on finalising privatisation, according to the State Audit Office.

Privatisation in Latvia has a long history; however, already in 2003 the government was aware that its objectives have been reached and the privatisation process should be directed to the closing phase. In 2005, the Law on Finalising the State and Municipality Property Privatisation and Use of Privatisation Certificates was adopted, creating regulatory basis that had to facilitate completion of the privatisation process. (more…)

Future of 77 million euro EU funding for Krievu Island project is unclear, finds State Audit Office

During the audit on lawfulness, effectiveness and efficiency of the activities of the Riga Freeport Authority in the management of the project “Development of Infrastructure on Krievu Island for the Transfer of Port Activities from the City Centre” discovered not only violations but also lack of professionalism. (more…)

The State Audit Office is organising and hosting a meeting of the European Union Contact Committee communications coordinators

On 7 April the State Audit Office will organise and host a meeting of the European Union Contact Committee communications coordinators where 58 delegates from 37 SAI, including representatives of the European Court of Auditors and SIGMA (OECD) will take part. (more…)

Meeting of the supreme audit institutions (SAI) of the European Union candidate countries and potential candidate countries

On 6 April a meeting of the supreme audit institutions (SAI) of the European Union candidate countries and potential candidate countries took place at the State Audit Office where 18 delegates from 13 countries/institutions took part. The meeting was chaired by the SAI of Bosnia and Herzegovina. During the meeting it was planned to discuss topical issues related to the information exchange network of the candidate countries, the parallel performance audit project, the independency of SAI, the content and wording of auditors’ opinions, as well as relations between SAI and parliaments. (more…)