Funds for research purposes are not distributed in accordance with the law

11/7/2003 | 12:00 AM

Text size: [-A] [+A]

Language: EST | RUS | ENG


TALLINN, 7 November 2003 - The SAO examined whether the Ministry of Agriculture distributes funds for research purposes to research establishments in conformity with the principle of equal treatment. The audit revealed that in the financing of research work the Ministry ignored the provisions of the Organisation of Research and Development Act. The said Act provides that the Ministry must finance research projects according to the Research and Development Program. However, no such program has been drawn up. Instead, the Ministry developed, in accordance with its own needs, a procedure for financing research projects where the applicants for funds were not treated equally.

Different methods were used for financing research projects according to whether the recipient was a research establishment administered by the Ministry or some other research establishment. The establishments administered by the Ministry received funds in accordance with administrative procedures, but in the case of other establishments the Ministry commissioned research work under a contract, similarly to any goods or services. The latter establishments had to pay VAT on the amount received for applied research, which reduced the amount of funds available for the performance of the research task.

In order to get funding, the research establishments outside the Ministry’s jurisdiction had to participate in a public competition in 2003, whereas the Ministry’s research establishments received funds without any competition. The former were also subjected to restrictions as to the use of funds (e.g. the prohibition on acquiring test equipment), which did not apply to the Ministry’s research establishments.

The problems faced by the Ministry of Agriculture in financing applied research were among other things caused by the fact that the Organisation of Research and Development Act sets no requirements to the development of national research programs or the organisation of public competitions for implementing these programs. The Ministry made efforts to prepare the research program, but was unable to justify it to the Research and Development Council. As a result, the program did not receive the approval of the Government.

The Ministry is hoping to improve the situation in 2004. The Minister noted that the development of the concepts of national research and development programs has been taken in the Ministry’s work schedule for the next year. The Ministry has announced that after the revision of the Development Plan for Improving the Financing of Research and Development it is planning to submit proposals concerning amendment of the Organisation of Research and Development Act and setting our the rules for the development of research programs and the organisation of competitions.

In 2002 the Ministry of Agriculture financed applied research in a total amount of 12,141,468 kroons and the allocations for 2003 amount to 16,481,160 kroons.

Sven Soiver
Press Representative of State Audit Office
Telephone: (372) 640 0787
GSM: (372) 53 414464
E-mail: [email protected]

  • Posted: 11/7/2003 12:00 AM
  • Last Update: 10/2/2015 3:40 PM
  • Last Review: 10/2/2015 3:40 PM

More News