Press release: Government ignores SAI’s recommendations

Annual Report of the State Audit Institution (SAI) for 2012 reveals disturbing insight into the degree in which its recommendations (which Parliament adopted as its own conclusions) are implemented. Namely, audit subjects fulfilled only 15% of the imposed recommendations, while the SAI has found that many of the Government’s figures on the implementation of SAI’s recommendations are not accurate.

Last year, SAI gave a conditional opinion in its report on the final account of the budget and as many as 47 recommendations for remedying the situation. In this year’s report we read that only 7 recommendations were fulfilled. On the other hand, 12 recommendations were completely neglected, while the others are in mainly early stages of implementation. If we recall the data from last year, when SAI found that more than 70% of its recommendations remained unfulfilled, it is clear that there is a serious, systemic problem in the Government’s attitude towards the work of the SAI.

These figures are worrying for another reason – they do not match the data of the Government. In the Government’s quarterly reports on the implementation of the Action Plan to meet the SAI’s recommendations, SAI has In many cases found that when the Government says something has been implemented, it does so with no grounds in practice.

For example, while the Government claims that it has fulfilled the recommendation that the service contracts will not be used for recruitment of state servants and employees, SAI provides specific information that the recommendation has not been implemented and that the situation in this respect has not improved. A similar disagreement between Government’s and SAI’s data can be observed in areas such as compliance with the legal framework, work of the tax administration, accounting regarding salaries of employees in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, remuneration for working groups assignments, subventions policy, etc.

A year ago, when the Government adopted its SAI Action Plan, Institute alternative criticized it and claimed it had serious deficiencies, a plan doomed to fail. SAI’s findings confirm our fears , and it turned out that the system of monitoring the implementation of the action plan has not been established in way that it provides reliable data. In order to avoid having the same situation next year, it is necessary that the Parliament and the Government undertake dynamic measures .

We expect the Committee for Economy, Finance and Budget to deal with the Government’s relation to Parliament’s conclusions and insist on a new, high-quality Action plan for meeting the SAI’s recommendations by the Government.

This new Action plan must be nothing like the previous one – it must have SAI’s recommendations translated into concrete activities, stakeholders clearly defined, carefully weighed deadlines and clear indicators of success established. Only an Action plan of this quality can be considered as a responsible response to the concerns raised by the SAI.

Marko SOŠIĆ
Policy Analyst

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