State Audit: prime minister’s statement about the institution was ill-advised

Latvia’s State Audit is confused over the statement given to the media by Prime Minister Māris Kučinskis about the conclusions made by this institution in the report regarding lasting inaction in the management of real estate properties owned by country’s interior affairs sector, as well as the double standards in behaviour of state officials.

«The role of the supreme audit institution in a democratic country is being a pillar of development in public administration, promoting honest and lawful use of state finances and property in the best interest of society. We trust the prime minister understands the State Audit’s role and the fact that the ones who committed violations should be put to answer for them,» says the State Audit.

«Nevertheless, statements about ‘ruining everything’, calling the work performed by the audit institution as ‘attacks’, are ill-advised and do not benefit cooperation in public administration. Neither so such statements inspire trust in state administration,» the State Audit adds.

«It’s not about hoses or hunting»

«Facts about the hunting club in the firefighting depot and the EUR 3 million in misused funds, or the situation when the higher-ups pay considerably smaller rent fees while firefighters are forced to buy equipment and furniture with their own funds is only the consequence of continued inaction and lawlessness from officials. The legs of the hunting club grow from the corridors of the industry’s offices, self-service way of thinking and soviet pseudo-morality,» State Audit comments on the situation.

SA also notes that the biggest violations are reported fully to shed light on the real root of the problem and urge officials to search for solutions.

«Finally, it is necessary to find pre-conditions to ensure more efficient management of real estate property owned by the interior affairs sector. We need a unified plan to improve management of all real estate properties. There is no unified management policy. Because of that, measures realized so far do not comply with Cabinet of Ministers principles and Interior Affairs Ministry’s own developed concept,» the State Audit notes.

The institution notes: «We do not want to assume the head of the government cannot understand or wants to cover something up, stay quiet and act blind. No one likes criticisms, but people have to learn to accept and use them to develop the industry and the country.»

«As for the prime minister’s statements regarding the need to attract experts for State Audit’s activities, we respond that there are no reasons to worry. We did attract experts for our last audit. We have also communicated with the industry to ensure objectivity and comprehensive coverage of different matters. As noted by Interior Affairs Ministry, recommendations from the State Audit will help improve interior affairs sector’s infrastructure management and ensure efficient use of state budget finances,» explains State Audit.

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