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Karins’ special flights have incurred around EUR 545,000 in unjustified expenditure – State Audit Office

Unlawful and uneconomical actions in organizing special flights of former Prime Minister Krisjanis Karins (New Unity) have caused unjustified expenses of about EUR 545,000 for the budgets of Latvia and the Council of the European Union (EU), the State Audit Office discovered in an audit.

The State Audit Office considers that the use of special flights, even in cases where no state of emergency had been declared and where alternatives of regular commercial flights were available within a reasonable time, constituted an unlawful use of state budget funds, which resulted in additional expenditure of at least EUR 221,566 for the state budget. The State Audit Office estimates that the uneconomic behavior has resulted in additional expenditure of at least EUR 323,688 for the Council of the EU.

According to the State Audit Office, the information obtained during the audit shows that then Prime Minister Karins and the Prime Minister’s Office and the State Chancellery under his direct authority were actually involved in the adoption and implementation of decisions on the use of special flights for foreign trips. The Prime Minister’s Office was then headed by the current MP Janis Patmalnieks (New Unity), while the State Chancellery was headed by Janis Citskovskis.

The State Audit Office considers that the responsibility of all those involved for the decisions taken to use special flights should be assessed. At the same time, the State Audit Office points out that the audit methods do not allow to identify the specific persons responsible who took decisions on the use of special flights for the foreign trips of the prime minister and the delegation.

The State Audit Office has made recommendations on how to remedy the situation, and information on irregularities has been passed to the Prosecutor General’s Office and the Procurement Monitoring Office.

In total, the State Audit Office assessed 53 of Karins’ trips, 21 of which were carried out by regular flights, while in 32 cases special flights were used.

As reported, the special air trips made by the delegations led by Karins during his office as the prime minister have attracted criticism from a part of the public.

Karins announced in March that he will be stepping down as foreign minister today.

Source: BNS

(Reproduction of BNS information in mass media and other websites without written consent of BNS is prohibited.)

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