For the sitting, the Committee members adopted the following agenda: 1. 2019 Audit Report on the City of Sombor and other audit subjects from the City of Sombor; 2. Reports of the Subcommittee for the Consideration of Reports on Audits Conducted by the State Audit Institution on DRI sector reports - Sector 1 and Sector 2, and 3. review of the recommendations for changes to applicable laws based on information obtained during the audit process in Sector 1 and Sector 2 by the State Audit Institution.
Before the beginning of the session, the members of the Committee were welcomed by the deputy mayor of Sombor Ljiljana Tica who stressed how pleased she was that Sombor was hosting a National Assembly working body for the first time. She pointed out that this is the best example of cooperation between the National Assembly and local self-government units, which indicates that the representatives of Sombor have worked well and encourages as well as obliges them to keep improving their work. She mentioned that DRI had audited businesses in Sombor in 2012, 2016 and 2018 the feedback for which was that the consolidated reports were prepared in accordance with legal and other regulations. She also pointed out that she sees this visit of the Committee on Finance, State Budget and Control of Public Spending to Sombor as a partner's extended hand and an example of good cooperation with the republic's authorities.
The Committee members were then presented with the 2019 Audit Report on the City of Sombor and other audit subjects from the City of Sombor by the President of the Council of the State Audit Institution (DRI) and the State Auditor-General Dr Dusko Pejovic. He noted that in the DRI had audited 22 local self-government units (LGUs) as well as completed 1 audit of AP Vojvodina in 2019, and was able to present these reports to said LGUs’ councillors for the first time. He presented the Audit Report on the Consolidated Financial Reports of the Annual Financial Statement of the City of Sombor 2018 Budget in detail with the DRI recommendations for the elimination of observed irregularities, which were completely eliminated, as shown in the Response Report. DRI had issued a total of nine recommendations to Sombor, five of the first priority, one second priority recommendation and three third priority recommendations. The recommendations primarily related to the inventory of assets and liabilities, liabilities, budget classifications, costs and expenditures, and financial management and control. After the Response Report, the DRI issued an Audit Report, which confirms that all the recommendations have been accepted and implemented.
After the presentation of the report, Dr Pejovic also presented the reports of audits carried out in the "Energana" Public Utility Company 2020 and 2021, Water Management Company "Zapadni Balkan" d.o.o. for 2021, Agricultural Professional Service "Sombor" d.o.o., Sombor for 2021, "Dr Djordje Lazic" Medical Centre, Sombor for 2020 and 2021, "Dr Radivoj Simonovic" General Hospital, Sombor, referring to the implementation of measures and corrections according to the 2017 Report, as well as in the Sombor Secindary School Students Dormitory, which included public procurement procedure regularity and efficiency.
During a break in the Committee sitting, the Subcommittee for the Consideration of Reports on Audits Conducted by the State Audit Institution held its first sitting, chaired by the Subcommittee Chairperson Dr Aleksandra Tomic, and attended by Subcommittee members MA Svetlana Milijic and Rozalia Okresz. The Subcommittee discussed the State Audit Institution sectoral reports - Sector for 2021 and Sector for 2021.
The 2021 report on the work of Sector 1 was presented by Supreme State Auditor Danimir Vulinovic who said that the audits in 2021 include: financial statements audits - 21 subjects, regularity audits - 21 subjects, financial statement on regularity audits (combined audit) - one subject and expediency audits - 4 topics and 12 audits. The State Audit Institution issued a total of 405 recommendations - 97 in the audit of financial statements, 243 in the regularity audits, 22 in the combined audit and 43 recommendations in the audit of expediency.
The 2021 report on the work of Sector 2 was presented by Supreme State Auditor Stojanka Milovanovic, the Supreme State Auditor, who said that 95 audits were carried out - 40 financial statement audits, 40 regularity audits, four expediency audits and 11 audits of responsive reports, which along with 108 post-audit reports make a total of 203 audit products. 1,115 recommendations were issued - 557 recommendations in the financial statement audits, 483 recommendations in the regularity audits and 75 recommendations in the expediency audits. The DRI filed 73 charges against 109 responsible persons: 63 for the initiation of misdemeanour proceedings, five economic offenses and five criminal charges, as well as filed information to the competent prosecutor's offices (seven in all) and 2 to the Anti-Corruption Agency.
Following a discussion, the Subcommittee adopted the reports accepting the sectoral reports of the State Audit Institution - Sector 1 and Sector 2 for 2021 and submitted them to the Committee on Finance, State Budget and Control of Public Spending for consideration and ruling.
Having received said reports, in the continuation of the sitting, the Committee on Finance, State Budget and Control of Public Spending accepted the Reports of the Subcommittee for the Consideration of Reports on Audits Conducted by the State Audit Institution on DRI sector reports - Sector 1 and Sector 2.
The Committee members will continue the sitting on Wednesday, 28 December 2022, and consider the third item on the agenda: review of the recommendations for changes to applicable laws based on information obtained during the audit process in Sector 1 and Sector 2 by the State Audit Institution.
In addition to DRI members and the Deputy Mayor of Sombor, the sitting was attended by representatives of the city administration, public and utility companies from Sombor, that is, direct and indirect beneficiaries of the city budget, whose operations were subject to the audits, as well as representatives of UNDP.
The sitting was chaired by Committee Chairman Veroljub Arsic and attended by the following Committee members and deputy members: Ana Beloica, Miroslav Kondic, MA Svetlana Milijic, Dr Aleksandra Tomic, Tijana Davidovac, Prof. Dr Vladimir Obradovic, Dr Nenad Mitrovic, Vojislav Vujic and Rozalia Okresz, as well as Goran Milic, MP from Sombor, who is not a member of the Committee.
On the second day of the sitting, 28 December 2022, the Committee members reviewed the recommendations for changes to applicable laws based on information obtained during the audit process in Sector 1 and Sector 2 by the State Audit Institution.
The recommendations were presented the President of the Council of the State Audit Institution (DRI) and the State Auditor-General Dr Dusko Pejovic who said that the recommendations relating to Sector 1 contained DRI recommendations for changes to regulations in 2021, as well as recommendations for the period up to 2021 which have not been implemented. The total number of DRI recommendations for changes to laws, ordinances, rulebooks and other acts and their alignment in 2021 was 13, while the number of DRI recommendations not implemented by then was 19. The recommendations for Sector 2 also related to what was observed in 2021, as well as recommendations not duly implemented by 2021. For 2021, the State Audit Institution issued five recommendations for changes to or alignment of acts and regulations, and 17 for the period up to 2021. Dr Pejovic said that all the recommendations have been forwarded to the National Assembly and Government, as well as the competent ministries and bodies.
The continuation of the sitting was attended, in addition to members of the State Audit Institution, by assistant ministers of finance Darko Komnenic and Zvezdan Popovic.
The sitting was chaired by Committee Chairman Veroljub Arsic and attended by the following Committee members and deputy members: Miroslav Kondic, MA Svetlana Milijic, Vojislav Vujic and Rozalia Okresz.
The Committee sitting outside of the National Assembly seat was held under the auspices of project “Strengthening Parliamentary Democracy and Inclusive Political Dialogue”, conducted by UNDP with the support of Switzerland.