“Most of the errors were found in the use of funds allocated for programme implementation,” said auditor general Giedrė Švedienė. “Unfortunately, the ministry failed to prevent errors identified during the last year’s audit.”
The auditors had no comments concerning the set of financial statements of the ministry. As to the budget execution reports, the same observation was made as last year, namely, that the funds planned and allocated to other entities (Lithuanian Railways, 11 enterprises responsible for the maintenance of roads of national importance, public establishment Road and Transport Research Institute) should be distributed accurately according to their economic purpose.
More observations were made concerning the regularity of the management, use and disposal of public funds and assets by the ministry and its subordinate institutions and the use of public funds and assets for purposes laid down by law.
The Lithuanian Road Administration is authorised to carry out the funding and administration of the Road Maintenance and Development Programme. This Programme is funded based on the collection of certain taxes and charges. Therefore, the funding should be adjusted during the year taking into account the actual amount of the taxes and charges collected. However, despite the fact that the revenue received was less than expected, the Lithuanian Road Administration did not align the amount of actual contributions and paid and used three million litas more than it was supposed to, thus leaving less funds for general budget needs. The same error was indicated to the ministry after the last year’s audit.
Another comment made to the Lithuanian Road Administration concerned new roads and road reconstruction works with a carrying cost of more than LTL 608 million (EUR 176 million) outsourced to state enterprises, although no relevant Government resolution had been passed.
There were also cases when the ministry failed to ensure proper use of appropriations from the state budget. When using budget funds for the implementation of the programme Ensuring Transportation by Waterways, a state enterprise used more than one quarter of funds (LTL 485,400 or EUR 140,500) allocated for regular maintenance of long-term fixed assets for purposes other than the intended one.
The National Audit Office made recommendations to the ministry of Transport and Communications aimed at ensuring more efficient use of public funds and assets.