On September 18, the State Audit Office will disclose the results of the audit, which evaluated municipal infrastructure objects constructed with financing from EU funds and the loan granted by the State Treasury. The information sent by the population contributed significantly to the selection of the objects for this audit.
The public call to the community be engaged in the identification of audit objects received great response and, as a result, encouraged auditors to expand the scope of the planned audit. Therefore, the State Audit Office extends gratitude to every provider of the information. The State Audit Office received more than 200 proposals in total.
Such infrastructure objects basically include stadiums, swimming pools, schools, and other facilities which were obviously unsustainable at an early stage, but which were still built or renovated, actually becoming a burden on municipal budgets for several decades. The information provided by the population was collected and used when selecting the projects for auditing. Some of the information received from the population was included in this audit, while the rest will be crucial in planning other audits and inspections in different local governments.
“Engagement of the population is very essential because it provides control of the use of public resources indirectly. We work to give every taxpayer confidence in the purposefulness and efficiency of the use of their money. Therefore, the link with the society is always important not only in publicising audits but also in their planning. After this positive experience, communication with the public will continue to be intense, open, and mutually significant,” admitted Auditor General Elita Krūmiņa.
The audit was carried out in 15 local governments: Bauska Region, Carnikava Region, Dundaga Region, Jaunjelgava Region, Jaunpils Region, Jelgava Region, Jēkabpils City, Kuldīga Region, Krustpils Region, Ludza Region, Rugāji Region, Salacgrīva Region, Sigulda Region, Stopiņi Region, and Valka Region.
In this audit, the State Audit Office sees an opportunity to assist local governments in assessing risks to avoid decades-long credit commitments by abandoning obviously unsustainable projects.
The idea to build a swimming pool in a region of Latvia was one of the objects, why the scope of audited entities was expanded. One discovered that no cooperation with the Latvian Swimming Federation has occurred during the exploration process; hence, there is a risk that the revenue forecasts of the swimming pool are too optimistic and the local government is not fully aware of the burden of swimming pool maintenance costs on the municipal budget.