The Auditor General Odysseas Michailidis is unwavering in his demand to control and have a say even in advance, in administrative acts of the Government. In fact, he made known his intention that he wants to take the form, even of an unwritten law, to the Parliament.
Under the pretext of a recent purchase of a building by the Government to house parts of the public service, Mr. Michailidis talks about opaque procedures and purchases above the value of the buildings and uses his own and Parliament's involvement, so that any similar act to have their prior approval.
In order to implement his intention, the Auditor General has already informed the Audit Committee of the Parliament, that during his presence before the Finance Committee for the 2022 budget, he will suggest the crossing of all funds related to the purchase of buildings.
In case his proposal is accepted, the release will require the approval of the Finance Committee, in order to oblige the Government to give explanations in advance and to document why the intended purchase of the building serves the public interest.
Justifying his action, the Auditor General stated that the Government has repeatedly acted in a way that shows its intention to buy buildings from the private sector in a scandalous way and referred to the recent case of buying a building for € 22.5 million. , which the Land Registry estimated at € 20 million and which is located on land belonging to the Archdiocese, for which land the state will pay rent for the next 100 years € 140,000 per year. It is an issue that has been discussed a lot lately and there have been explanations and documentation that this market was completely beneficial for the state.
There was also a recent case that was discussed in the Audit Committee (in January 2021) and which concerned a building of about 30 years belonging to the former president of the Cyprus Maritime Chamber, in order to house the State Ministry of Shipping, which would be bought at a price that as the Auditor General had pointed out, it was almost twice as much as it would cost to build a new building. However, it is true that the Auditor General was in favor of the construction of privately owned buildings for the purpose of meeting the housing needs of the state.
Members of the parliamentary Audit Committee, during its last session, pointed out that in some cases, buildings are actually purchased which remain unoccupied and in this way their owners are mainly served despite the public interest. It is noted that some of them are built to meet other needs and are eventually configured to function as public service offices. However, if there are such cases, they can be easily identified and actions that harm the public can be prevented in time.