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Cyprus

Audit service defends looking into all government spending

Cyprus Military Blast
The Vassilikos power station after the explosion at Mari in July 2011

The audit service said on Tuesday its job was to monitor all government spending, hitting back at a Greek Cypriot website that questioned its authority over defence ministry and national guard mismanagement.

In an article published on Offsite, Auditor General Odysseas Michaelides was criticised as a “despot” who shouldn’t have been looking into the defence ministry and national guard.

The article even stated that findings and illegalities discovered by the audit service in its report last week are not “serious sins”.

It criticised the findings further saying that some of the findings such as using white-out on official documents or writing them in pencil is not a serious crime.

The article also criticised the fact the audit service had found a number of national guard camps that were storing weapons in the wrong manner.

But the service said its job under the constitution is to examine all spending of the government, including the defence ministry and the national guard.

The service defended its findings on the weapons being mislabelled and inappropriately stored that had been ignored in the past when such instances had been pointed out.

The result had been the devastating explosion in Mari in 2011 that killed 13 people.

“It is perhaps significant that in the tragic case of the explosion in Mari, both the criminal court and the supreme court pointed out that in its audit the audit service had highlighted the dangerous conditions of the containers a few months before they exploded,” the service said.

“And both courts were surprised that our points were ignored and questioned: ‘What is the point of control mechanisms if they are not actually taken into account?’”

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