Riigikogu state budget committee to scrutinize government investments ({{contentCtrl.commentsTotal}})

Reform MP and chair of the Riigikogu's state budget select committee Jürgen Ligi.
Reform MP and chair of the Riigikogu's state budget select committee Jürgen Ligi. Source: Siim Lõvi /ERR

The Riigikogu's state budget control select committee is discussing public sector planning and investments management organization at a public sitting Monday, following a recent National Audit Office (Riigikontroll) report which highlighted several shortfalls in the area.

Committee chair Jurgen Ligi (Reform) said the planning and management of public sector investments is notably weak.

"In deciding about investments, the government doesn't seem to base itself on their return, and doesn't cite this as grounds for making the decisions," Ligi, a former finance minister, said, according to BNS.

"The Ministry of Finance, which is responsible for the field, lacks an overview of the progress of projects and their becoming more expensive; their view is short-term, and no attention is paid to sustainability," he added.

Audit office: Not all state investments mismanaged

The National Audit Office recently looked at how investments are being managed in ministries, institutions subordinated to the ministries, as well as major hospitals, state-invested companies and universities.

Alongside identified shortfalls, the report noted positively that the Ministry of Defense possessed a comprehensive overview of its investments, the state of play of projects and their cost.

Major [state] companies, universities and hospitals also had a good overview of developments in the respective field, the office said.

Investments financed from the state budget totalled around €1 billion in 2019, accounting for 9 percent of total budgetary expenditure. Over half of this consisted of external finance, according to BNS.

Expenditures financed by state-invested companies, foundations and public-law institutions of the state, utilizing own funds and borrowings, should be added to this figure, BNS reports.

Representatives from the Ministry of Finance, state real estate management company Riigi Kinnisvara AS (RKAS) and the National Audit Office itself, have been invited to take part in the public meeting, starting at 1.15 p.m. on Monday.

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Editor: Andrew Whyte

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