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sreda, 19 januarja, 2022

The Court of Audit does not want to check the controversial business practices of the former STA director Bojan Veselinović, and they do not want to audit the period at FURS when it was headed by the former director general, now employed at the Court of Audit

By: C.R.

The Communications Office of the Government of the Republic of Slovenia (UKOM) has addressed an initiative to the Court of Audit to conduct an audit of STA’s operations with the aim of issuing an opinion on STA’s compliance with EU regulations. Namely, UKOM found, among other things, that STA did not ensure the implementation of the provisions of Articles 4, 6 and 20 of the Slovenian Press Agency Act (ZSTAgen) in accordance with EU regulations. STA also did not follow the rules of the Slovenian Accounting Standard in the separate accounting recording of economic public services, market activities, profit or loss as well as assets and liabilities.

The Court of Audit rejected the initiative and stated in its response that the Court of Audit performs audits on the basis of the work programme for the exercise of audit competence determined by the President of the Court of Audit for each calendar year.

The Financial Administration of the Republic of Slovenia (FURS) addressed an initiative to the Court of Audit to extend the audit period from the day of the establishment of the FURS, i.e., from August 1st, 2014, to December 31st, 2021. As a reason, it states that this would be a comprehensive and objective review and presentation of the operations of FURS. The audit proposed by the Court of Audit for 2020 and 2021 apparently deliberately left out the period when FURS was headed by a former director general, now employed at the Court of Audit, where she is supposed to be an adviser to the President of the Court. The fact is that in the period not covered by the audit, i.e., from August 1st, 2014, to December 31st, 2019, the biggest errors occurred in the procedures of financial control and financial investigations, which have been confirmed as illegal by judgments of the Supreme Court of the Republic of Slovenia or the Court of Justice of the European Communities and by decisions of the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Slovenia.

It can be seen from media reports that the President of the Court of Audit of the Republic of Slovenia, Tomaž Vesel, is speaking at various political meetings, at which he criticises the work of the current government. This means that both selective and incomplete audits by the Court of Audit pose a risk of violating the principle of objectivity, which may mean that the findings will be adjusted to the current political situation or activities of the President of the Court of Audit. This is also shown by the manner of communication of the Court of Audit, as the FURS did not receive any answers from the Court of Audit in its letter of December 24th, 2021, but the Court of Audit provided answers to the newspaper Finance.

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