Strict application of rules and regulations could many times be harmful to public interest, President Nicos Anastasiades said on Monday, a shot at the auditor-general whose annual report he received.
Anastasiades, whose administration has clashed repeatedly with Odysseas Michaelides over his insistence on applying the law to the letter, said his recommendations were always taken into serious consideration.
“What we seek is to respond as much as possible, always taking the public interest into consideration; to abide by the provisions of the laws and as I said in the past … insistence on full implementation, as long as basic procedures are followed, can many times cause harm,” Anastasiades said.
“The most important thing is for the basic principles to be followed (and) we are in constant contact towards this, to avoid crises or situations that are not desired.”
Anastasiades also took a shot at parliament and its apparent delay in adopting a series of bills aimed at fighting corruption.
“If we all mean that it must be stamped out, there must be procedures to ensure transparency, but also the way of determining facts that involve the element of corruption.”
The two men also discussed overspending in the health sector, which Michaelides has recently criticised.
Speaking after the meeting, Michaelides said they also talked about other matters considered important by the audit service, including health expenditure, which had to be rationalised.
The auditor said the money paid by taxpayers must be allocated in the best possible way to have good quality service without wastage.
Of the annual report, Michaelides said it was the document in which the service recorded the work done the previous year.
“This document records the special reports that were published and our effort each year is to improve – and I believe we are in the right direction — as regards the audit service’s productivity and the quality of reports it issues.”