The National Audit Office published results of financial audits 2012 of ministries

Toomas Mattson | 7/8/2013 | 2:10 PM

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TALLINN, 8 July 2013 - The National Audit Office published results of financial audits 2012 of ministries, which indicate that the state accountancy is at a good level and the transactions are legal.

Auditors of the National Audit Office did not identify any non-purposeful use of budget funds among the audited transactions. This means that the agencies have generally made investments for the money planned for investments and used the money planned for operating expenses to cover management and staff costs.
No material errors were detected in the reports on the execution of the 2012 budget as drawn up by the ministries. The organisation of public procurements in agencies has also generally improved. At the same time minor shortcomings were identified in the organisation of public procurements within the governing area of several ministries. In the transactions with state assets ministries and agencies have mostly proceeded from the principles of the State Assets Act.
The annual accounts of the ministries were accurate. This means that the annual accounts give a true view of the financial position and performance result of the ministries for 2012. The organisation of accounting in the ministries is mostly at a good level. However, there are also agencies where the level of accounting requires continuous improvement. The conclusions and findings of the National Audit Office about the accounting and legality of transactions have been presented in more detail in terms of ministries.
The Annual Accounts 2012 of the Ministry of Education and Research were accurate. Despite the generally good accounting level in the Ministry, auditors identified several errors in the recognition of transactions with fixed assets. When concluding transactions, the Ministry had adhered to the State Budget Act. No major violations were identified in the organisation of public procurements, but there are still minor shortcomings in the adherence to the Public Procurement Act. Similarly to previous years, in its audit the National Audit Office brought attention to the need for dealing more effectively with persons who incur study loan arrears.
The Annual Accounts 2012 of the Ministry of Justice were accurate. When concluding transactions, the Ministry had adhered to the requirements of the State Budget Act and the Public Procurement Act.
The Annual Accounts 2012 of the Ministry of Defence were accurate. The Ministry of Defence has adhered to the State Budget Act. According to the National Audit Office, some of the apartments of the Defence Forces are still in use under conditions that are unfavourable for the state. No major shortcomings were identified in the adherence to the Public Procurement Act in the Ministry and the Defence Forces, minor shortcomings were found particularly in the organisation of public procurements of the Ministry.
The Annual Accounts 2012 of the Ministry of the Environment were accurate. In its audit the National Audit Office brought attention to the fact that the accounting policies and procedures of recognition of the state forest are not suitable for the state forest as, according to the established method, the value of the state forest is found only through the value of the forest planned for cutting, this means that the actual value of the state assets is not considered and changes in the assets are not taken into account. The Ministry of the Environment has adhered to the State Budget Act and, mostly also the Public Procurement Act. Audit operations identified that two simplified procurement procedures had not been performed.
The Annual Accounts 2012 of the Ministry of Culture were accurate. The organisation of accounting in the Ministry of Culture and in agencies within its governing area has improved, but the level is still different in terms of agencies. Most of the shortcomings in accounting were identified in the Conservation Centre Kanut. When concluding transactions, the Ministry had adhered to the State Budget Act. The Public Procurement Act had been violated within the governing area of the Ministry of Culture by failing to organise public procurement procedures.
The Annual Accounts 2012 of the Ministry of the Economic Affairs and Communications were accurate. The accounting of the Ministry has improved compared to previous year. The agencies of the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications have generally adhered to the requirements of the State Budget Act, except the conclusion of such leasing contracts with which such obligations have been assumed that the agencies of the governing area had not foreseen upon the establishment of the budget (conclusion of such contracts is prohibited according to the State Budget Act if they have not been prescribed in the annual State Budget Act). There were shortcomings in the Road Administration in respect of contracts granting use of quarries that were not in agreement with the requirements of legislation. The Ministry and agencies within its governing area had failed to perform simplified procurement procedures in compliance with the requirements of the Public Procurement Act in total on three occasions.
The Annual Accounts 2012 of the Ministry of Agriculture were accurate. Compared to previous year, the organisation of accounting in all fields, except the accounting of fixed assets, has improved significantly. When concluding transactions, the Ministry had adhered to the requirements of the State Budget Act. Apart from the Jõgeva Plant Breeding Institute, where a lot of shortcomings were identified in the performance of public procurements, the National Audit Office did not identify any unorganised open procurements within the governing area of the Ministry and, in the case of organised open procurements, the Public Procurement Act had generally been adhered to.
The Annual Accounts 2012 of the Ministry of Finance were accurate. When concluding transactions, the Ministry had adhered to the requirements of the State Budget Act. Similarly, the Ministry has mostly adhered to the Public Procurement Act, except two unperformed procurement procedures.
The Annual Accounts 2012 of the Ministry of the Interior were accurate. There are still shortcomings in inventorying penalty claims as only 38 of the 49 bailiffs provided their feedback, thus the balance of penalty claims could not be compared in part by the time the Annual Accounts were prepared. When concluding transactions, the Ministry had adhered to the requirements of the State Budget Act. There are still shortcomings in the Ministry of the Interior in the adherence to the Public Procurement Act. For example, several county governments have not organised a simplified procurement procedure for the receipt of services, the Rescue Board has acquired spare parts and ordered maintenance service without organising a simplified procurement procedure.
The Annual Accounts 2012 of the Ministry of Social Affairs were accurate. Thereby the 2012 Annual Accounts of the Ministry of Social Affairs were prepared by the State Shared Service Centre, which provides the Ministry with accounting service as from this year 2013. The organisation of accounting in the Ministry of Social Affairs and in agencies within its governing area have generally been organised properly, but cooperation between the Ministry and the State Shared Service Centre does not yet take place as agreed and the State Shared Service Centre is not able to perform all the obligations required in an agreement between the two agencies. When concluding transactions, the Ministry has adhered to the requirements of the State Budget Act. The audit did not identify any shortcomings in the adherence to the requirements of the Public Procurement Act.
The Annual Accounts 2012 of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs were accurate. Money allocated for investments in fixed assets and for labour costs had been used purposefully. The audit did not identify any material shortcomings in the adherence to the requirements of the Public Procurement Act; however, the procurement procedure of the Ministry requires supplementation.

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The National Audit Office also published results of financial audits of constitutional institutions. The 2012 Annual Accounts of the Chancellery of the Riigikogu, the Supreme Court, the Office of the President of the Republic of Estonia, the Chancellery of the Chancellor of Justice and the Government Office were accurate. All the said agencies had adhered to the requirements of the State Budget Act when concluding transactions. The audit did not identify any shortcomings in the adherence to the requirements of the Public Procurement Act.

Background

The aim of the financial audits of the National Audit Office is to assess whether the annual accounts of ministries prepared each year are accurate and whether legislation has been adhered to in the conclusion of economic transactions in ministries and agencies within their governing area.

In order to express an opinion about the legality of transactions, the National Audit Office audited whether the state agencies have concluded transactions according to the State Budget Act and the 2012 State Budget Act. Thereby it was audited whether the budget has been adhered to, incl. whether investments have been made and labour costs used purposefully.

In addition to the State Budget Act, when auditing the legality, the National Audit Office also brought attention to the adherence to the main principles of the Public Procurement Act and the State Assets Act. For the purpose, it was audited, on a random basis, whether in the case of acquisitions exceeding the procurement threshold the rules of procedure set out in the Public Procurement Act have been adhered to and whether in the case of minor acquisitions the general principles of public procurements have been adhered to and it was assessed whether the assets have been used, preserved and transferred prudently.

Toomas Mattson
Head of Communication Service at the National Audit Office
6400777
5134900
toomas.mattson@riigikontroll.ee
press@riigikontroll.ee 

  • Posted: 7/8/2013 2:10 PM
  • Last Update: 11/10/2015 5:26 PM
  • Last Review: 11/10/2015 5:26 PM

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