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Published Audit report of the Annual financial statement of the Ministry of education, science, culture and sports for 2021

Podgorica, 22nd September – The State audit institution has carried out financial audit and regularity audit of the operations of the Ministry of education, science, culture and sports for 2021.

Based on the performed audit, determined factual state and opinion of the audited entity, the competent Auditing Board led by PhD Branislav Radulović (head of the Auditing Board) and Mr. Nikola N Kovačević (member of the Auditing Board) has expressed adverse opinion on the Annual financial statement of the Ministry of education, science, culture and sports for 2021 and adverse opinion on compliance of the operations with the regulations.

By carrying out financial audit of the Annual financial statement of the Ministry of education, science, culture and sports for 2021, the competent Auditing Board has gained reasonable assurance that the Financial statement of the Ministry gives true and objective overview of the expressed revenues and expenditures in line with the accepted financial reporting framework for public sector. The financial audit has identified irregularities determined in the financial statement which have material and pervasive effect on the financial statement.

The Ministry of education, science, culture and sports has prepared the financial statement which included the expressed revenues and expenditures of the Ministry and revenues and expenditures of the public institutions, which is not in line with the Rulebook on the manner of preparing and submitting the financial statement of the budget, state funds and local self-government units. The Ministry of education, science, culture and sports has recorded the expenditures in the amount of 7.629.540,25€ related to allocation of the funds on the accounts of the public institutions which is not in line with the Rulebook on unified classification of the accounts for the budgets of Montenegro and the municipalities.

It is recommended that the Ministry of education and Ministry of culture and media review the manner of financing public institutions in cooperation with the Ministry of finance to ensure that the expenditures are recorded in line with the Rulebook on unified classification of the accounts for the budgets of Montenegro and the municipalities and that financial statements are prepared in line with the acts as the accepted reporting framework.

The regularity audit of the operations of the Ministry of education, science, culture and sports has identified non-compliances in its operations with the Law on the budget for 2021, Law on labor, Law on state property, Law on management and internal controls in the public sector, Instruction on the State treasury and sublegal acts regulating the public procurement and use of official vehicles.

In 2021, the Ministry of education, science, culture and sports reimbursed expenses not in accordance with Art. 23 of the Law on the budget for 2021, which allocated budget funds for individual spending units and expenditures according to economic classification.

In order to eliminate the identified irregularities, 22 recommendations have been given to the Ministry of education, Ministry of culture and media, Ministry of sports and youth and Ministry of science and technological development.

The competent Auditing Board has determined the following: audited entities should prepare and submit to the SAI the Plan of the activities for implementation of the recommendations till 21st October 2022 which includes measures, responsible persons and deadlines; audited entities should, in accordance with Article 15 of the Law on the SAI till 21st March 2023 report the SAI on actions taken upon the audit recommendations; the final audit report should be submitted to the Ministry of finance, Parliamentary committee on education, science, culture and sport and Supreme State Prosecutor Office.

The Final Audit report of the Annual financial statement of the Ministry of education, science, culture and sports for 2021 is available at the official website of the State audit institution.