The State Administration and Local Government Committee of the Saeima supported the further review of the amendments to the State Audit Office Law at the second reading after their four year-long staying in the Saeima. Thea amendments envisage the recovery of losses from a person if the audit reveals illegal actions with public funds and property.
“We are pleased that the ice has finally moved, because the public rightly raises the question of what the point is when the State Audit Office criticises the illegitimate use of taxpayers’ money. It creates the notion that individuals are not punished for illegal actions with public funds or property and that the budget losses are not recovered. These amendments will ultimately address the issue of recovering the losses,” stressed Auditor General Elita Krūmiņa. She added, “MPs need a political decision on whether attitudes and responsibilities towards the use of taxpayers’ money should be commensurate with the requirements of the private sector, where employees are clearly accountable for the use of the financial means and property of the owner.”
Having carried out discussions with the stakeholder authorities previously, the State Audit Office sent the draft law to the Public Expenditure and Audit Committee of the Saeima in September 2015. However, these amendments were not adopted during the 12th convocation of the Saeima, but the 13th convocation of the Saeima decided to continue the review of the draft law and adopted it at the first reading on 20 December 2018.
Amendments to the law provide that the loss will be recovered from the guilty person if he or she will have not indemnified the losses voluntarily. The State Audit Office will decide on the recovery of losses only if the audited entity or its higher authority do not address the issue of recovery of the damages from the guilty person itself. The Council of the State Audit Office will decide on the recovery of the losses, and its decision may be appealed in three instances of the Administrative Court.