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Wednesday, February 8, 2023

Gaps in the industrial areas and delays in taking measures were identified by the Audit Service

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There is a long delay in taking the necessary measures (e.g. creation of low-cost gas stations, etc. ) by the involved Ministries to strengthen competition, states the Audit Service in its report on “Audit of the Ministry of Energy, Trade and Industry”, while also pointing out that the management of the Government Industrial Areas presents serious weaknesses.

As the Audit Service states in its report, within the framework of the provisions of Article 116 of the Constitution of the Republic of Cyprus and Article 81 of the Fiscal Responsibility and Fiscal Framework Law (L.20(I)/2014), the Audit Service conducted audit of a sample of receipts and payments transactions of the Ministry of Energy, Trade and Industry (YEEB) for the year 2020, which was selected with a specific methodology, in the context of the audit aimed at formulating an audit opinion on the financial statements of the Republic of Cyprus.

Also, it conducted a compliance audit of the Ministry's Administration for the year 2019, which was however updated until the date of the audit.

In the chapter “general conclusions” it is stated that based on the individual findings of the financial audit, as well as the compliance audit, the Service concludes that the entire process of monitoring the prices of petroleum products may have been “useless, considering that, the background for issuing a decree for determining the maximum wholesale price of petroleum products, until the recent amendment of the relevant legislation, was problematic”.

Also, he notes, “there is a long delay in taking the necessary measures (e.g. creation of low-cost gas stations, etc. .a.) by the involved Ministries to strengthen competition”.

The Audit Service notes in its report that the management of Government Industrial Areas (GIA) presents serious weaknesses.

He adds that the need for an immediate review of industrial land lease contracts with the aim of correcting the onerous nature of the contracts used to date, to the detriment of the State, is deemed imperative, so that the mismanagement of public property and the speculation of private interests are not allowed at the expense of the public.

It also states that there is a long delay in the collection of rent due from KBP tenants, with the result that the risks of loss or damage to the detriment of the Republic are present.

End , in its general recommendations, the Audit Service mentions faithful compliance with the legal framework and good practices and procedures for sound financial management, safeguarding the interests of the State and compliance with the General Principles of Administrative Law.

The report has been posted on the website of the Service, at http://www.audit.gov.cy/audit/audit.nsf/annualscg_gr/annualscg_gr?Open Form.

Source: www.reporter.com.cy

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