The education ministry did not fully comply with the provisions of laws on the granting and management of funds to school boards, according to the audit office’s latest report on the ministry, published on Wednesday.

The audit was on a series of transactions made through the ministry in 2020, selected with the aim of formulating opinion on the financial statements of the Republic.

Firstly, the audit showed that the ministry had been granting subsidies to legal entities and school boards without observing the defined procedural framework on such grants.

The audit office recommended that the ministry implement the provisions and finance ministry circular published 8/2/2012 on the management of grants given to organisations that have a reserve, including bank balances.

The second finding outlined in the report was that the education ministry was not taking the appropriate actions to ensure that school boards were implementing an efficient and effective internal control system in accordance with the relevant legislation.

To remedy this, it was recommended that the ministry make the necessary changes to comply with the provisions of the law regarding the implementation of effective internal control systems within school boards.

It was also observed that several contractors hired by the ministry for construction projects were owed sums of money, with outstanding debts dating back years.

“Due to the accumulation of a large number of such balances and the passage of a long period of time since the completion of the projects, it is difficult to examine whether these should be returned to the contractors or transferred to state revenues,” the audit office said.

It was recommended that the ministry take the appropriate actions to settle the outstanding amounts.

The audit also found weaknesses and omissions in the monitoring of revenues and late payment of fees for state institutes.

“We indicated the need to implement a satisfactory control system for the amounts to be collected, which come from the ministry’s various services,” the report said.

The audit office’s general recommendation was the implementation of an effective and reliable internal control system, ensuring compliance with these provisions.