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Auditor General Mihkel Oviir presented a report to the Riigikogu today in connection with the overview of the use and preservation of state assets in 2010, submitted to the Riigikogu. In Oviir’s words, among other things, the National Audit Office had reviewed in depth the activity reports of five ministries in the consolidated annual report of the state: the activities of the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications, the Ministry of Social Affairs, the Ministry of Education and Research, the Ministry of the Environment and the Ministry of Internal Affairs. It was revealed that Estonia has altogether two concerns in the area of government of these five ministries: first, the State Chancellery did not approve a European funds programme and, second, the number of children without parental care has increased. Oviir stated that he could not find a word about unemployment, poverty, or the concern about health care or the competitiveness of the economy. The Auditor General put the following question: “What results did the state achieve with the help of the money of all of us in reducing poverty and unemployment, reducing the waiting lists for medical care or supporting the competitiveness of the economy?” He continued: “The Ministry of Finance has included only positive aspects in the report. These 68 goals and important activities which were not achieved in these five areas of government last year were simply not reported to you.” Oviir stressed that the activity report has to be connected with money, that is, it has to indicate explicitly for what purposes and how much the Riigikogu has allocated and what has been achieved for this money. It should also show the reasons why the goals set were not achieved. The Auditor General asked the Riigikogu to request form the Government that it assess the impact of its activity and give an honest account of it. He urged Members of the Riigikogu to ask the Government what the problems in health care, the labour market, the economy and people’s subsistence are and to require an explanation as to what it has done to resolve the concerns and what results it has achieved.

Drawing upon analyses of the state budgets of recent years, Oviir drew attention to the fact that the expenditure fixed by law has increased very rapidly. It mostly concerns social and health insurance costs which have increased faster than state revenue. While the state budget revenues have increased by 29% in the last five years, the fixed expenditure has increased at more than double speed, that is, by 62%. This year, the expenditure fixed by law constitutes approximately 75% of all expenditure. Oviir warned that the expenditure increasing at such rate cannot be financed endlessly.
Oviir also spoke about the connections of the Europe’s debt crisis with the use of the money of the Estonian state, financial issues of state companies, investments, the use of the European Union funds and the impact of the demographic processes on tax revenues.
On behalf of factions, comments were presented in this matter by Annely Akkermann, Neeme Suur and Mihhail Stalnuhhin.
Due to the end of the working hours of the sitting of the plenary assembly, the first reading of the Draft Resolution “Approval of the Consolidated Report of 2010 of the State” (91 OE) was adjourned. The deliberation will be resumed tomorrow, on 19 October, at the sitting beginning at 2 p.m.
The Riigikogu Press Service