The NAO audited the collection of lighthouse and navigation dues

Toomas Mattson | 4/26/2006 | 12:00 AM

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TALLINN, 26 April 2006 - The NAO audited the collection of lighthouse and navigation dues and the organisation of procurement by the Maritime Administration in 2004. Lighthouse and navigation dues are fees imposed by the government which are levied from vessels visiting the Estonian ports. The dues are collected by the Maritime Administration and attributed to the state budget - in 2004, the amount was about EEK 150 million.

Based on the audit, Olav Lüüs, the Chief Auditor of Audit Department IV of the NAO stated that compared to the neighbouring countries, the price for entering the Estonian ports is among the cheapest in this part of the Baltic Sea, but the share of dues levied by the government in the total amount of dues charged to the ship-owners in ports is one of the lowest. "The dues collected by the government do not cover the expenses that the government intends to make in this sector and the government needs to decide whether to cover the missing part from the funds received from other sectors or to increase the government share in the dues charged upon visiting the ports,” explained Lüüs.

The NAO also found that the Maritime Administration has collected the dues in a satisfactory manner. However, some mistakes have been made: for example, in spring 2004, the ship-owners were charged EEK 1.9 million in excess. And in some cases, the ship-owners had not been invoiced for visits. The NAO thinks that several legislative provisions concerning the collection of these dues should be made more accurate – both the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications and the Maritime Administration agreed to this.

Furthermore, the audit revealed that the recovery of the arrears of lighthouse dues of EEK 6.3 million from AS Tallink Grupp and AS Hansatee Cargo had been waived without good reason. The Minister of Economic Affairs and Communications announced that he will file an action before the end of April to recover that amount.

As far as public procurement was concerned, the Maritime Administration had, in general, observed the requirements of the Public Procurement Act in 2004. However, there were purchases which were made without invitation to tender or where the most appropriate procurement procedure was not used.

In 2004, the buoy-laying vessel EVA-316 was converted in order to add spill response, ice-breaking and fire-fighting functions to it. The conversion cost EEK 138 million. If the cost of conversion would had been correctly estimated in the first instance and if the necessary funds would had been allocated, the government could have accepted a tender which was lower by EEK 30 million. The contract for the conversion of the vessel contained several disadvantageous terms for the government: the contractor received advance payments on terms better than normal, and the government assumed some of the contractor's risks unduly. The vessel itself is different from the initially planned one: because of the change made in the course of the procurement, the vessel's ability to help other vessels in difficult ice conditions was reduced.

Toomas Mattson
Communication Manager of National Audit Office
Telephone: 6400 777
Mob: 51 34900
E-mail: [email protected]

  • Posted: 4/26/2006 12:00 AM
  • Last Update: 9/18/2015 2:11 PM
  • Last Review: 9/18/2015 2:11 PM

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