Instead of ignoring the recommendations of the SAI, which was the practice by now, the Government should take them into consideration and respond to them, especially to those which warn on the issues in implementing the public procurement and the capital budget.
Institute Alternative hereby invites the Government to adopt the Action Plan for the implementations of the recommendations of SAI, which will be better that the previous one and which will represent the first step toward to solving problems pointed out so many times by the auditors.
The current statistics, according to which only one third of the recommendations from the previous report DRI were conducted, states that the more responsible approach is necessary in fixing the problems that state auditors warned against.
During his speech at the Committee on Economy, Finances and Budget, the Minister of Finance has stated that, in his opinion, the recommendations of the SAI have the same power as the law itself.
However, the results on implementation of the recommendations of the SAI so far are not encouraging at all, and they suggest that the different approach is needed.
According to the last year’s report on the revision on the final invoice (year 2012), only 30% of the recommendations have been implemented. The majority of those which have not been taken into consideration and implemented are the ones related to the public procurements and capital budget, both problems which require systematic response.
In the last published report on the revision of the final invoice, the SAI has given the positive opinion about the financial audit, stating however that there are still irregularities present, which seek to be revised. On the other hand, while talking on the compliance of the work state authorities with legal and other regulations, the SAI has once again given the conditional opinion with the number of recommendations which should be implemented by state authorities.
The recommendations are related to the unclear debits, exceeding of the legally defined limits of the budget spending, excessive use of own revenues, irregularities in the work of the Department of the Public Revenues as well as the irregularities in using the budgetary reserves.
The same problems related to the implementation of the capital budget, public procurements and the management of the state property are repeated all over again, which are the fields with the highest number of recommendations which have not yet being dealt with in the recent years.
Therefore, we appeal to the Government to adopt the annual Action Plan for the implementation of the recommendations of the SAI. Apart from new recommendations, the old ones from the previous year must not be forgotten and therefore, have to be integrated in this Action Plan.
Also, it is necessary that this document finally has the basic elements of the Action Plan which were missing in the previous: clear deadlines for implementation of the recommendations, defined actions to be taken based on the recommendations of the SAI, the indicators that will measure whether something is implemented properly as well as precisely defined the actor who are about to implement the part of the Action Plan.
Public Policy Researcher
We are currently conducting research on whether and how the state audit’s recommendations are implemented. This is a part of a project supported by the Royal Norwegian Embassy, entitled “Together towards accountability – strengthening the impact of the state audit in Montenegro”. Besides analysis of the implementation of SAI’s recommendations, its components are strengthening ties with between the SAI and the Parliament of Montenegro, civil society organizations and internal auditors in the public sector.