Using State Means Effectively


Azat Artsakh–Nagorno Karabakh Republic (NKR)

On March 22-29 at the NKR Writers Union, Artists Union and Journalists
Union the Audit Inspection Chamber conducted an audit to study the
effectiveness, legality and aim of the use of the means provided to
the mentioned organizations from the state budget. To sum up the
results of the audit in April the chairmen of the mentioned
organizations gathered at the regular meeting of the NA Audit
Inspection Chamber Council. The meeting was conducted by the chairman
of the AIC, NA member Arkady Soghomonian. After the meeting we talked
to A. Soghomonian. According to him, the audit inspection of the
mentioned organizations included the period 2002-2003. In 2002 17
million 47 thousand drams was provided to these public organizations,
and in 2003 14 million 410 thousand drams was provided. According to
the articles on expenses, during the audit inspection ungrounded
expenses were recorded, in certain cases even excessive
expenditure. In 2002 1 million 309 thousand drams was provided from
the state budget to the NKR Writers Union, and in 2003 2 million 77
thousand drams. Thus, in 2002 instead of the 18 thousand drams
provided for business trips 407 thousand drams were spent. The
excessive expenditure of the Writers Union totaled 390 thousand drams,
i.e. in average 34 thousand per month. In 2003 instead of the 28
thousand maintained by the articles about 94 thousand drams was spent
and excessive expenditure totaled 66 thousand drams. In 2002-2003
cases of breaking the law were reported at the NKR Writers Union. The
NKR law “On Minimum Salary” maintains the minimum salary in the
republic 10 thousand drams, whereas this organization paid 9
thousand. The articles of the law “On Accounting” the salary list
provided 31 thousand drams, after the payment of the withholding tax
the worker was paid 10 thousand drams. There were also problems with
the terms of the business trips. According to Arkady Soghomonian, the
official instruction of the Ministry of Finance and Economy maintains
that the business trips to Yerevan cannot last more than 7 days,
whereas at the Writers Union the duration of the business trip was
maintained even 10 days. In 2002 the total number of the business
trips totaled 140 days. According to the chairman of the Audit
Inspection Chamber, the NKR law “On Public Organizations” maintains
that the public organizations may have other sources of income. The
Audit Inspection Chamber is not authorized to conduct audit of the
extra-budgetary allotments. According to him, the audit inspection of
the Writers Union revealed also inefficient expenses of state
financial means. In 2002, instead of the provided 17 thousand drams
for electricity 50 thousand drams was transferred. In 2002 1 million
889 thousand drams was provided to the Artists Union, in 2003 the
budget remained unchanged. For the expenses on business trips 200
thousand drams were provided. In the mentioned year there was an
economical use of financial means on business trips – 168 thousand
drams was spent. According to the member of parliament, of the
mentioned three organizations only the Journalists Union did not break
the law. A. Soghomonian mentioned that the activity of the audit
inspection and checking commissions is on a low level. According to
the NKR law “On Public Organizations” part of the financial means of
the public organizations is acquired from membership fees, whereas in
some organizations the membership fees were not paid, which means that
the organization should be dissolved. The chairman of the Audit
Inspection Chamber proposes the government to work out a draft
decision for strengthening control over financial means of the public
organizations, and the checking commissions of the public
organizations will present a report to the Ministry of Finance and
Economy providing the transparency in the concerned questions. In
answer to the question whether the Audit Inspection Chamber has the
authority to suit an action in the mentioned cases of breaking the
law, Soghomonian mentioned that the sphere of activities of the Audit
Inspection Chamber is limited by the NKR law “On Audit Inspection
Chamber”. According to the acting legislation, the report and the
conclusion are confirmed at the meeting of the Audit Inspection
Chamber council, the findings are delivered to the NKR president, the
government and the NA speaker. The latter decides whether the
materials should be delivered to the public prosecution, or to discuss
at the annual report of the NA at the end of the year. “In my opinion,
the facts maintained in the result of the audit should be seriously
discussed at the consultations of the government as an agenda
point. During the discussion of the concerned question between the
Audit Inspection Chamber and the minister of finance and economy the
minister shared our anxiety and agrees to our suggestions. I am sure
that serious and responsible steps will be taken in this direction,”
said the chairman of the Audit Inspection Chamber.