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One-Fifth of Procurement Money Spent Irregularly in 2022: Serbian Auditors

A report reviewing spending in 2022 by State Audit Institution, the DRI (Drzavna Revizorska Institucija), showed that 18.8 per cent of the public procurements that its audited involved irregularities ins pending, the president of institution, Dusko Pejovic, said on Thursday.

“Every fifth dinar in public procurement that was audited by state auditors in 2022 was spent with some irregularity,” Pejovic said.

The DRI audited public procurements worth 150 billion dinars (around 1.2 billion euros) and found irregularities in the amount of 28.33 billion dinars (241 million euros).

Two-thirds of the value of the problematic procurements relate to the city of Belgrade, the city of Novi Sad and Serbia’s transmission system operator Elektromreza Srbije, EMS.

Despite the problems with financial irregularities, the 2022 report was an improvement on the previous year’s audit, when irregularities were observed in 44 per cent of public procurements.

Last year, the DRI filed a total of 145 reports complaining about 322 officials in public institutions. It filed 109 requests to initiate misdemeanour proceedings, 29 reports about economic offences and seven criminal complaints.

The DRI also submitted 40 reports to various authorities including prosecutor’s offices and two requests for dismissals of directors of public institutions.

According to audit data, in 2020 and 2021, public procurement contracts worth 935 billion dinars (around 8 billion euros) were concluded in Serbia.

Source : BalkanInsight