Court of Auditors’ blistering report: Delayed projects for 10 years... tax money loopholes and pending loans

date 2016/11/28 views 360 comments 0

icon-writer By: Walid. A. /*/ English Version: Med.B.

The Court of Auditors' latest appraisal report points to many serious shortcomings in the management of public money by the government in 2014. In the field of taxation, this institution refers to a drop in ordinary revenues which can be explained in particular "by the amount of remnants to be recovered under the heading" miscellaneous income of the budget "(judicial fines), which amounts to 7,394.519 billion dinars, or more than 65 billion dollars.

The Court of Auditors also notes a decrease in customs revenue, and points to the "very low" rate of recovery of fines for fraud and customs evasion. Customs revenues declined by 8.52 percent from 404.331 billion dinars (more than 4 billion US dollars) in 2013 to 369.879 billion dinars (more than 3 billion US dollars) in 2014. It also puts the finger on the very low rate of recovery of fines registered for fraud and customs evasion which has been set at 2.52%.


Low repayment of loans to businesses

The report reveals that in 2014, the State granted 1.106 billion dinars to the companies against 6.107 billion in 2013, 98.786 billion in 2012 and 36.743 billion in 2011. "These figures show the importance of loans granted to economic enterprises in particular In 2012, "the report notes," in contrast, repayments are less appreciable reaching 4,429 billion dinars in 2014, and 3,791 billion dinars in 2013".  They represent only 1.4% of the cumulative assets to be recovered by 31 December 2014 and set at 316.6 billion dinars, the report said.

In terms of budgetary expenditure, the Court of Auditors refers to "readjustments" of appropriations "not taking into account the real needs" and gives several examples, including that of the Ministry of Water Resources. "An attachment amounting to 7,206 million dinars, intended for the expenditure of personnel and social charges for the central administration of the Ministry of Water Resources, while the related chapters have released at the end of 2014 a financial balance of 235 million dinars".


Financial Transfers carried out by Telex

The Court of Auditors also reports that the legal provisions on transfers have not been complied with. "As in previous years, certain transfers are made to the ministries on a telex basis, such as the transfer on 4 November 2014 of 135,000,000 dinars for the services of the Prime Minister” notes the report, recalling that it is “a procedure which does not comply with the provisions of Article 32 of Law 84-17 on Finance Laws".

A revised appropriation of 372.285 million dinars for the Ministry of Public Service Reform, with the Prime Minister’ office, has not been canceled, the Court of Auditors said, even after the abolition of this department via the reshuffle of the government during the year 2014, in accordance with the provisions of article 22 of Law 84-17 previously cited ".

The report of the Court of Auditors for 2014 further reveals an astronomical amount of unrecovered cumulative taxes, while the state is now grappling with the scathing fall in oil prices.

"On 31 December 2014, the rights defined in taxes and duties amounted to a total of 11,393,347 billion dinars (more than 110 billion dollars) of which 10,115.148 billion dinars represent the remnants to be recovered from previous years and 1,278,199 billion dinars for the year 2014, " the report said.

According to the same source, the revenues achieved  by the tax administration did not exceed 1,264.648 billion dinars or only 11% of the total amount and 88,9% therefore represent the remnants to be retrieved by the tax Office.

As a conclusion, the Court of Auditors recommends, inter alia, "improving the performance" of tax services and "putting in place mechanisms to mitigate informal activities". It advocates "greater control" in the working out of budgets and in the managing  of public expenditures "so as to respond with a real and sustainable budget, through the establishment of consolidated information systems with tools for steering the performance of public services ".

The Court of Auditors also recommends "to ensure a good follow-up of the repayments of the loans granted, helping to reduce the remains not yet regularized". For this institution, the implementation of the modernization program for accounting and financial services remains "an absolute necessity" due to the "complexity" of centralization operations and the determination of results by the Central Treasury Accounting Agency.

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