A letter of reply to the International Organization of Supreme Audit Institutions (INTOSAI) will finally be sent by the Speaker of Parliament, Adamos Adamou, on the issue of safeguarding the independence of the Audit Office, as it emerged after the complaint of the Audit Office of Cyprus, due to copies of naturalization files.
It is recalled that INTOSAI asked both the Government and the Parliament for opinions on the issue, after it was addressed to the Auditor General of the Republic.
As decided today, the Speaker of Parliament, who is the recipient of the letter from INTOSAI, will send a letter with answers to the questions of the International Organization, which will include the letter of the Audit Committee of the Parliament.
At today's meeting of the Audit Committee, reservations were expressed by Members regarding the handling of the issue. DISY considers that the issue should be handled at the highest level, ie by the Presidency of the Parliament, while AKEL considers that the reply letter of the Parliamentary Audit Committee should be sent separately.
In his statements, the Chairman of the Committee, Zacharias Koulias, stated that today, after a consultation with Mr. Adamou, there was an agreement as their letter is sent to the Speaker of Parliament, so that he can respond on their behalf.
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“There were some remarks to include the letter of the competent Committee as it is. If it is included as it is, there will be no objection. The letter was sent to Mr. Adamou and we are waiting. “I have confidence in the President that the content of the letter will be included as it is,” he said.
DISY MP, Annita Dimitriou, said that her party considers that “the issue should be handled at the highest level, by the Presidency of the Parliament, given that the letter was addressed to the Speaker of Parliament, since it is for an international organization and our response should be official at this level as well “.
For her part, AKEL MP Irini Charalambidou said that her party considers that “the Audit Committee cannot be without an opinion”, noting that “the letter has been sent directly to the Parliamentary Audit Committee”.
However, he added that “the request of the President is very respectable, for this reason we will give some days for consultation, to discuss it among themselves and in the meeting of leaders, in order to reach an end to this issue”.
“However, since the Letter to the Chairman of the Audit Committee came separately, we believe that it should be answered separately by the Parliamentary Audit Committee,” he said.
Ms. Charalambidou added that “we certainly do not consider that the opinion of the Audit Committee, which is the substantive committee, on issues concerning the Audit Office and we have regular cooperation with the Auditor General” should disappear.
“If we end up discussing at the level of all parties, given the public statements from various parties, there will not be a conclusion and conciliation. “You can not write a reply letter of this kind and style in an independent organization of this scope”, he said.
Purchase of a building for housing of the Ministry of Shipping in Limassol
In addition, during the meeting of the Audit Committee, the procedures followed in relation to the purchase of a building for housing of the Ministry of Shipping in Limassol were discussed.
The members of the Parliamentary Audit Committee expressed reservations about the purchase of this building, as they said, it is a common phenomenon for the state to rent or buy unsuitable buildings with old facilities and then be forced to pay several thousand euros for repairs.
During the session, suggestions were made for an attempt to build a building on state land in Limassol in the area near the port of the city, however, the Auditor General said that the purchase of public buildings should be the exception and not the rule.
The Audit Committee called on the competent Ministries to coordinate their efforts in order to find the best possible solution.