Baltic auditors-general sign memorandum on auditing Rail Baltic
The directors of the national audit offices of Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania signed a memorandum of understanding in Bratislava on Thursday concerning the organization of the cross-border auditing of the Rail Baltic project.
The memorandum, signed by auditors-general Alar Karis of Estonia, Elita Krumina of Latvia, and Arunas Dulkys of Lithuania, sets out the key principles that the auditing bodies of the three nations will base their actions on, for instance in exchanges of information. It also sets out the auditing standards that serve as the basis for the conduct of joint and parallel audits, as well as the action plan of a joint work group for the near term, spokespeople for the National Audit Office of Estonia said.
The memorandum builds on the initiative of Alar Karis, dating back to 2014, when Karis spoke out in favor of coordinating external auditing of the Rail Baltic project, and for it to be ensured from the very start.
Rail Baltic was a subject that inspired passion in each of the countries in its own way, and a balanced approach to it was in the interest of taxpayers in all three Baltic countries, Karis said.
“The auditors-general can help by seeing to it that preparations for the project are made in a prudent manner, taking into account the significant risks. And what’s more important still, hedging those risks in the best manner. The aim of the cooperation of the national audit offices is to monitor the progress of the project with an impartial eye, bring together comprehensive information about the project and bring out the risks so as to enhance the quality of the decisions related to the Rail Baltic project in Tallinn, Riga, and Vilnius alike,” Karis said.
The signing of the memorandum was followed by a meeting of the auditors-general on the topic of Rail Baltic that was attended also by the auditors-general of Finland and Poland, who expressed the wish to become involved in the process of auditing Rail Baltic.