The joint audit between Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania for Rail Baltica commences
Rail Baltica Joint Venture has hosted a meeting with representatives of the national audit institutions to commence the functional audit.
The National Audit Office of Estonia, the State Audit Office of Latvia and the National Audit Office of Lithuania will together carry out the audit on the Rail Baltica project.
The complex audit exercise will cover RB Rail AS but also implementing bodies and beneficiary institutions of the project in the Baltic states.
The objective of the joint audit is to assess the management of internal control systems and public procurement of the project; evaluating whether the procurement and contracting models of the project are efficient enough to enable effective and economic delivery.
The use of state funds will also be included in the focus of the joint audit.
The audit will run from 2014 until the end of 2018 with the report published in December 2019 at the latest.
Ignas Degutis, RB Rail AS acting CEO, said: “As the Rail Baltica project enters the design phase, the scope of procurement activity is increasing. It is essential to ensure that all necessary procedures and rules are in place in all countries and all institutions involved in the project delivery. The scope of the audit is focused on important aspects of the project delivery, therefore we look forward to auditors’ feedback that can continue improving our performance.”
RB Rail AS procurement, legal and operational teams presented the auditors with the contracting scheme, inter-governmental agreements, project governances structure and procurement systems. In addition, the financial team outlined the RB Rail AS financing model.
The Rail Baltica project is continuously assessed by both national and European Union institutions. Regarding the EU funding, which is channelled through INEA, the joint venture and national beneficiaries are subject to internal controls and a review of independent auditors. RB Rail AS, together with project beneficiaries, have submitted an interim financial report to INEA and all costs incurred for the period from 2015 to 2016 have been approved. In addition, for one of the projects, INEA has performed a spot audit for costs reported by RB Rail AS and Ministry of Transport of the Republic of Latvia.