Having completed audits, implemented by the State Audit Institution last year in higher education institutions, irregularities were determined in the field of expenses and expenditures, totaling 1.8 billion dinars, said Dr. Duško Pejović, the President and Auditor General of the State Audit Institution. At the Counseling session, held in the Ceremonial Hall of the Rector's Office Building in Belgrade, attended by Deans and Vice Deans of the faculties, directors of higher schools, as well as persons responsible for finances, he said that this amount related to misstatements determined in financial statement audit, amounting to 0.2 billion dinars, while irregularities determined within compliance auditing amounted to 1.6 billion dinars.
Compliance audit, in part of implementation of the Public Procurement Law at audited higher education institutions, revealed that implemented procurements of goods, services and works contrary to law, amounted to 0.5 billion dinars.
According to him, in audit reports relating to higher education institutions, state auditors pointed to unharmonized provisions of Law on Higher Education and provisions of the Budget System Law, in part relating to own revenues of higher education institutions.
Also, provisions of the Law on Higher Education have not been harmonized, pertaining to property of higher education institutions, with Public Property Law. Regulations have not stipulated conditions and procedure for issuing textbooks and other publications within the implementation of higher education activities, nor the rights and obligations of a faculty as an issuer and author, Dr. Pejović highlighted.
He added that state auditors were not assured that the internal control system at higher education institutions was established in the manner that its functioning ensures operations in compliance with regulations, internal enactments and contracts.
Majority of higher education institutions have not established internal audit, Dr. Pejović said.
In 2018, the State Audit Institution has issued 401 recommendations to higher education institutions. Out of that number, 26 recommendations were implemented over the course of audit, while responses to the audit reports recorded that 324 recommendations were implemented, with 51 recommendations are in progress.
Besides Dr. Pejović, the event was attended by the following SAI representatives - Mr. Danimir Vulinović, Supreme State Auditor in Sector 1, Mirjana Gačević, Certified State Auditor and Vesna Topalović, Senior Audit Advisor.
Event was also attended by Dr. Ivanka Popović, Rector of the University of Belgrade and Prof. Dr. Gordana Ilić – Popov, Vice Dean in charge of financial affairs in the University of Belgrade.
Counseling session was organized by the Conference of the Serbian Universities - KONUS and Institute of Economics and Law.