SLOVAKIA might see its flow of money from EU funds temporarily suspended.
The European Commission (EC) criticised the Slovak government in late March 2014 concerning the auditing of projects financed from EU funds. This was not made public at that time since the correspondence between the EC and the Slovak government was secret. Slovak Radio however got a hold of the report and made some of its findings public on May 12.
The EC might suspend billions of euros for projects for some time unless the Slovak government improves its control over the flow of money from EU funds, the report reads, as cited by the Slovak Radio.
The EC auditors found serious flaws that Slovak auditors overlooked, according to the report.
The DG Regio (Regional Politics Directorate General) found during the audit that “the Commission cannot rely on the results of the work and the conclusions of the audits”, Slovak Radio quoted the report as stating.
This goes for all operational programmes that draw EU funds, and could result in the temporary suspension of these programmes.
The Finance Ministry, which is responsible for the audit at the national level, now has until June to make improvements. The EC auditors could still change their minds. The Finance Ministry however did not specify for Slovak Radio how they would respond to the EC.
“The EC is saying that here the system of control is failing as a whole, and they do not trust it as a whole anymore,” said opposition MP Miroslav Beblavý, to whom Slovak Radio showed part of the report.
Analyst with the Conservative Institute Dušan Sloboda told Slovak Radio that the national-level audit is performed merely formally, but “in fact, the auditors are not doing what they should be doing”.
Compiled by Michaela Terenzani from press reports.
The Slovak Spectator cannot vouch for the accuracy of the information
presented in its Flash News postings.
13. May 2014 at 10:00