Reports that touch the family environment of the President of the Republic Nikos Anastasiadis and specifically for the marina of Ayia Napa and for a company that owns a resort with a golf course, are included in the findings of the audit carried out at the Ministry of Tourism by the Audit Office.
Specifically, the Audit Office conducted compliance audits that mainly concerned marinas, licensing procedures for yacht moorings, the tender for the promotion of Cyprus abroad, the contracts for kiosks of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in international tourism exhibitions and Offices.
The most important findings and recommendations of the audit are the following:
Staffing of the Ministry of Tourism
The Ministry of Tourism has not appointed Responsible Coordinators for all contracts it handles, while it remains without properly trained technical staff with a background in engineering and experience in managing contracts of this scope.
We suggested that as Responsible Coordinators they undertake, even on a temporary basis, officials who were already employed in the Ministry.
Checking marina management agreements.
Lack of timely and systematic monitoring of amounts due and arrears.
We requested the recording of the arrears and the taking of all the appropriate measures for the collection of the due amounts.
Marina St Raphael – Amendment of the terms of the original contract and rent debt for the years 2017 and 2018.
We asked the Ministry of Energy, Trade and Industry to justify the reasons for amending the contract which led to a very large reduction in rent.
Limassol Marina – Disagreement between the administrator and the Ministry of Energy, Trade and Industry regarding the correctness of rent adjustments.
We suggested resolving the issue for the purpose of timely securing of public revenues.
Ayia Napa Marina The Council of Ministers approved the application of the Concessionaire of the Contract for the Development of the Ayia Napa Marina, for the lease of an adjacent state plot of 3,093 sq.m. for tourist purposes and specifically for its integration in the area of the Ayia Napa Marina, for a period of time as long as the Lease Agreement of the Ayia Napa Marina, substantially modifying both the terms of the tender that had taken place and the concluded Contract itself.
“We note, for the sake of transparency, and especially since the lease was decided by the Council of Ministers, that one of the Directors of the Concessionaire is a person from the family environment of the President of the Republic. Also, Directors of the parent company received between 2018 and 2020 the Cypriot citizenship within the framework of the Cyprus Investment Program without meeting the investment criteria set by the relevant Decision of the Council of Ministers. They were naturalized with the provision of the law firm in which the daughters of the President of the Republic have an interest. We expressed the view that the conclusion of the Lease Agreement of this state plot by the Ministry of Interior is not in accordance with the legislation and should be followed openly. “, a transparent and competitive process in cases of lease of state land, which ensures the management of the property of the Republic in the most economical, efficient and effective way, while the basic terms of public procurement can not be modified a posteriori”, he underlines.
Tender documents for consultant / designer for marina and cruise ship reception infrastructure in Paphos.
The tender, which was announced in 2006 by the then Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Tourism for the development of the Paphos Marina, based on a decision of the Council of Ministers, on. 2.3.1994, for a marina with a capacity of 1,000 vessels, did not have a successful outcome, resulting in its final cancellation in 2018.
The Council of Ministers, on 15.11.2019 decided to announce an open tender for the purchase of consulting services, in order to study whether it is possible to develop a combined marina and infrastructure for hosting cruise ships in Paphos, find an investor, and prepare all relevant documents, including the terms to be included in the successful bidder’s contract.
“We suggested that the Ministry of Tourism announce a tender, which would be limited to the market of consulting services, in order to study whether combined development is possible, in order to avoid a possible unfair predisposition to reach the solution of combined development, in order to obtain greater economic benefit. . “If it was judged that the Project is legally, technically and environmentally acceptable, as well as financially viable and the approval of the Council of Ministers was secured, to proceed with the announcement of a second tender for the purchase of consulting services to prepare the relevant documents to find an investor.”
Arrears of Larnaca Marina
Non-collection of arrears of income from renting premises and mooring fees.
“We asked for the advance payment of the mooring fees and the continuation of the effort for the collection of the delayed revenues.
- Audit of Foreign Offices. Unallocated Funds of the approved Budget of 2019, which could be used for additional promotions.
We suggested that the preparation of the Budget be done on a more rational basis.
Recommendation for review of the operation and restructuring of the Offices Abroad, as well as reassessment of the substantial contribution of the Offices in attracting tourists. Weaknesses and deficiencies in the audit of payments, in the control of rest and sick leave of the on-site staff, as well as in the control of the arrival and departure of the on-site staff from their work.
- As we found out, a company that owns a golf course resort received a grant of € 260,000 for the two international golf tournaments. We noticed that the sponsorship seems to violate the provisions of article 25 of the Accounting and Financial Management and Financial Control of the Republic Law (Law 38 (I) / 2014) and was given without obtaining the legal approval provided in EU law for state aid issues. The director of the company is a first degree relative of a person who belongs to the family environment of the President of the Republic. It should be emphasized, however, that no evidence has come to our notice that indicates any intervention of the President of the Republic himself in this case. “