Completed audits

15.01.2021. Having completed the audit of the 190 million euros allocated to the Ministry of Economics, which one intends to transfer to joint-stock company “Development Financial Institution Altum” from the state budget, the State Audit Office concludes in the interim audit report that not all the sum of the investment into Altum was justified. This amount was allocated in five programs to support economic operators in difficulty due to the outbreak of COVID-19. The State Audit Office has to admit that there is no clarity about the possible action with the balance of those funds after the end of the loan and guarantee programs, when the businesses will have repaid the loans and the term of the guarantees will have expired.

05.01.2021. There was a crisis benefit introduced from 22 March 2020 to provide support to those people whose income was not sufficient to ensure even basic needs and who were not entitled to other types of support introduced by the state during the state of emergency declared in connection with the established restrictions. The payment of benefit was assigned to municipal Social Services providing that the state ensured earmarked grant to local and regional governments to co-finance benefit expenses at 50% of the amount of benefit paid to an individual but not more than 40 euros per person per month and an additional 50 euros per child. Although the audit verified that the additional funding was used as intended, the auditors concluded that people with an equal income level could not receive equivalent support, as the amount of the municipal benefit ranged from 30 to 150 euros per month, and the approach of the Social Services to the provision of support differed.

 

22.12.2020. The State Audit Office inspected the funding allocated to the Social Integration Fund for media support of 1,040,928 euros and the funding allocated to the National Electronic Mass Media Council of 1,259,261 euros to ensure the broadest possible communication of the Latvian population and to ensure that the public has access to comprehensive information and views on overcoming the COVID-19 crisis, as well as to provide the security of the national information space in commercial electronic mass media. The Riga East Clinical University Hospital, the Pauls Stradiņš Clinical University Hospital, and the Ministry of Health were aware of the problems with the technical condition of the buildings for long before the emergency occurred, thus the funding requested from the budget program “Contingency Funds” of 1,323,563 euros was spent on the needs forecasted in advance to ensure that one should have planned the required resources in the annual budget of the hospitals. 

 

14.12.2020. Between 12 March and 30 September 2020, the Cabinet of Ministers allocated additional funds of 781,600 euros to the Ministry of Justice in connection with overcoming, mitigating, and preventing the COVID-19 crisis, including 518,730 euros in bonuses to the employees of the Ministry of Justice for working in high-risk and stress-related conditions in connection with the prevention of COVID-19 outbreaks and mitigating consequences. 

 

26.11.2020. Continuing to examine the solidity of the requests for additional budget funds allocated for the elimination of COVID-19 consequences and their actual use, the State Audit Office has compiled the results on the downtime benefit administered by the Ministry of Finance, and the downtime support benefit administered by the Ministry of Welfare. The proposals aim both at observing the same conditions for potential recipients of downtime benefits and at simplifying the complicated administration of benefits and extra payments by making it more logical and cost-effective for the state budget. Read more...

 

14.10.2020. Until 1 December 2020, the Ministry of the Interior shall recalculate the bonuses for the employees of the State Police and the State Border Guard, who were involved in mitigating the consequences of COVID-19 during the emergency in the country, as the State Audit Office has discovered during the audit on the bonus calculation procedure that the bonuses have not been calculated fairly and proportionate to the actual contribution in all cases. Therefore, one cannot state that officials have also been remunerated equivalently for equivalent work. Read more...

 

30.09.2020. The State Audit Office has prepared an interim report when auditing the use of the allocated funding for the provision of distance learning. Read more...

 

29.09.2020. The State Audit Office has prepared an interim report when auditing the use of the allocated funding for the payment of crisis benefits to the clergy and ministries of religious unions (churches).

 

11.09.2020. When assessing the justification for the transfer of funds allocated to the Ministry of Justice to the Latvian Council of Sworn Notaries, the auditors of the State Audit Office have concluded that the Latvian Council of Sworn Notaries as the owner of the state information systems, namely, the Register of Inheritances and the Register of Last Wills and Testaments, performs a non-typical function for the Council, that is, the Council maintains the state information systems at its own expense although the Law on state information systems stipulates that the maintenance of state information systems is the duty of the State and they must be maintained from the state budget funds.

 

09.09.2020. The State Audit Office submits proposals to the Prime Minister after audits of COVID-19 related procurements. Read more...

 

02.09.2020.  When examining the use of additional funding allocated to the Ministry of the Interior from the budget program “Contingency Funds” for the purchase of personal protective equipment, disinfectants, and their packaging during the audit, the auditors could not assess whether the supplier selection process met pre-defined criteria understandable to all parties involved. Only during the coordination of the interim report, the Ministry of the Interior did inform the State Audit Office about the set criteria (the potential supplier responded to the offer immediately, offered a reasonable price, short delivery times, and did not request prepayment) and the position regarding documentation of procurement progress (ensuring protection of the employees urgently was more significant than specific documentation of each activity). However, when assessing the documents provided by the audited entities, that is, the Provision State Agency and the State Police, and the information provided by their officials, the auditors could not be confident that they had used any criteria in selecting potential cooperation partners and evaluating the submitted tenders, as one had documented the tender assessment process only partially. Consequently, not all decisions made in the process of purchasing personal protective equipment are traceable, and one cannot consider the procurement process as a whole cannot be transparent. Read more...

 

17.08.2020. This interim report covers the activities carried out in the period from 2 April 2020 to 9 June 2020, that is, the takeover of the management of crisis-related state material reserves and centralised procurement from the Ministry of Health, the definition of emergency procurement procedures, and procuring itself. Following this interim report, the State Audit Office will also report on how the management of crisis-related state material reserves is ensured, including identification of types and quantities of material and technical resources required, and whether a reserve of personal protective equipment and disinfectants has been established for at least three months in accordance with the order of the Cabinet of Ministers. Read more...

 

20.07.2020. A pandemic of this magnitude like COVID-19 was unpredictable in the world and Latvia. Therefore, the consequences of long-term inaccuracies in the planning and procurement of material reserves are revealing under the state of emergency in a short period, and the organisation of the process of purchasing personal protective equipment still raises a number of unanswered questions. Undeniably, the new circumstances required the ability to respond and adapt to an emergency quickly and caused deviations from the usual order. At the same time, the audit has discovered that in the process of delivering personal protective equipment in the health sector, one has made a number of unilateral decisions, has lacked transparency while explaining supplier evaluation criteria, and this raises suspicions of a possible risk of corruption. Read more ...

 

01.06.2020. Analytical overview of interventions by national and European authorities on deviations from procurement and compliance assessment rules and regulations during COVID-19 pandemic. The report:

  • analyses the approaches proposed by national authorities and the European Commission to applying public procurement and conformity assessment principles and procedures;
  • is supposed to serve as the ‘background document’ for further assessment  of the decisions made by the government and public institutions when assessing specific issues like public procurement procurements as well as, by analogy, other interventions or instruments applied by the government to address COVID-19 consequences. Read more ...