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Funding Required to Latvian Cadet Force Calculated, Development Plans Still Unclear

14/01/2019 Drukāt šo rakstu

In the opinion of the State Audit Office, the current Latvian Cadet Force training system is neither of good quality nor safe. Such conclusion was made by the State Audit Office after completing the audit on legality and effectiveness of the use of funding granted to Cadet Force development that was conducted in 2018. Having become acquainted with the content of the informative report “On Introduction of National Defence Training and Latvian Cadet Force Development 2019–2027” drawn up by the Ministry of Defence and approved by the Government, the State Audit Office has sent a letter to the Ministry of Defence wherein it is stated that this report cannot be considered as a development planning document of the Cadet Force. The aforementioned sheds no light as to what goals and tasks should be accomplished by using State budget funds allocated to the Cadet Force, what results should be achieved and what indicators would demonstrate this.

The estimates prepared in the informative report drawn up by the Ministry of Defence show that the functioning of the Cadet Force requires EUR 62.3 million in the period from 2019 until 2021, whereas the introduction of the defence training requires EUR 72.9 million in the period from 2020 until 2027.

Having analysed the informative report, the State Audit Office concludes that the measures contained in the report are related mainly to the introduction of the national defence training and requesting of financial means necessary for this purpose; however, there are only a few further development objectives of the Cadet Force outlined in the report. Moreover, these objectives are quite general. According to the State Audit Office, full quality achievement ought to be set forth as the primary mandatory requirement and the result to be achieved, thus, ensuring the content and organisation of the training according to a uniform standard and setting out qualification requirements to persons involved in the training process of Cadet Force.

Taking into account the conclusions of the audit conducted in 2018 concerning the legality and effectiveness of the use of funding granted to Cadet Force development, the State Audit Office in its letter emphasises that without immediate improvements in organising the functioning of the Cadet Force, it is uncertain whether a good quality basis for the introduction of the national defence training at schools would be achieved.

Already in the course of the audit, the State Audit Office expressed concerns that the Ministry of Defence is focused more on the introduction of the national defence training at schools, accenting that equal focus is required to immediate improvements in the functioning of the Cadet Force and Information Centre which acts as the implementer of interest-related education and in the development of the Cadet Force. The Cadet Force is currently the first stage in national training of children and young people and will remain such also in the future.

The State Audit Office recommends developing a development policy for the Cadet Force not only preserving the focus on the enlargement of the movement and increase in the number of its members, but also striving towards improving the quality of the training content and organisation thereof.

In the letter addressed to the Ministry of Defence, the State Audit Office states that just now is the right moment for developing a policy for the Cadet Force and for making qualitative changes within the Cadet Force, also taking into account the objectives of the Ministry of Defence while introducing the national defence training to secondary school pupils. In the opinion of the State Audit Office, the policy of the Cadet Force can be improved and in order to define preconditions for effective use of State budget funds allocated for the development of the Cadet Force it is also necessary to improve the quality of the training process of Cadet Force. Audit report: https://ej.uz/d2mi

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