Payment of Food and Accommodation Subsidies to the Border Guard Officials

12/3/2002 | 12:00 AM

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TALLINN, 3 December 2002 - The State Audit Office audited the payment of food and accommodation subsidies in the Border Guard Administration and the Northern Border Guard Area and Narva-Jõesuu Border Guard Training Center, being the parts of the structure of the Administration.

Resultant to the audit the State Audit Office concludes that the amounts of food and accommodation subsidies and the payment of thereof is mostly well-regulated and the Border Guard Administration has organized the payment of the said subsidies well enough. Nevertheless, the State Audit Office has to point out some of the findings of the audit which evidence that not all the risks which could cause the non-expedient payment of the subsidy have managed. For example, there is no explicit provision in the law, enacting whether the food and accommodation subsidies should be paid to the border guard officials during their annual and additional holiday.

As the payment of food and accommodation allowances as a subsidy is a very labor-intensive and includes a number of organizational tools, the State Audit Office has formed an opinion that it would be more expedient if the respective amounts would be paid to the border guard officials as additional wages. For that purpose, the Minister of Internal Affairs and the Minister of Defense should initiate an amendment to the law, enacting the payment of food and accommodation allowances as one part of service pay and unanimously requesting or refusing the payment of such subsidies during annual and additional holidays. The Minister of Internal Affairs agreed with the suggestions made by the State Audit Office.

Some evident violations were also discovered – the border guard institutions used some of the funds intended for subsides for some other purpose, for example, for paying tuition fees, increasing the current assets of cafeterias, paying for the treatment costs of the conscripts, salaries, etc.

The institutions should have paid to the state the income tax on fringe benefits for the provision of fringe benefits – this goes both for catering and accommodation – but, as a rule, this was not done (the only exception is the central institution of the Border Guard Administration). The payment of income taxes on fringe benefits was not compulsory in 2001, but individual’s income tax was due on such amounts. In 2001, the Border Guard Administration declared the individual’s income tax in amount which was by 100,000 kroons smaller than intended and was also not recorded as revenues.

The employer also covered the accommodation costs of some of the border guard officials from the budgetary funds. Substantially, this means that such border guard officials were doubly subsidized, which is in conflict with the principles for granting of the subsidies. The provision of fringe benefits also meant unfair treatment: the number of dwellings provided by employer is rather limited and less than 100% of the officials could make use of such dwellings.

The out-dated software is also seen as one of the problems, as errors may easily occur as the subsidies are calculated. The State Audit Office recommended to accelerate the purchase of economic accounting software for the border guard. Court disputes arising of the public procurement have been the obstacle which aggravate the purchase of common software for the state institutions within the administration area of the Ministry of Internal Affairs. At the moment, the opportunity to continue the procurement process has been opened again.


Sven Soiver
Press Representative of State Audit Office
Telephone: (372) 640 0787
GSM: (372) 53 414464
E-mail: Sven.Soiver@riigikontroll.ee

  • Posted: 12/3/2002 12:00 AM
  • Last Update: 10/15/2015 9:29 AM
  • Last Review: 10/15/2015 9:29 AM

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