Accounts Chamber Claims an “Anti-Record” of Budget Expenditure

Accounts Chamber Claims an “Anti-Record” of Budget Expenditure
The execution of the federal budget for the first three quarters turned out to be unsatisfactory -- budget expenditure was used by less than two thirds, which is an anti-record for the past ten years.

Auditors of the Accounts Chamber have examined the issue with the fulfillment of expenditure obligations of the main financial document of the country.

With reference to the report of the Chamber, Rosbalt news agency indicates that in the first three quarters of this year only 62.9 percent of the budgeted money has been spent. It turned out to be the lowest figures for the last ten years. The Chamber’s experts have analyzed the data on the implemented expenditure of the treasury, as well as the state-controlled non-budgetary funds.

In order to implement the budget at the end of the year, the budget users will be expected to use 7.3 trillion rubles in the fourth quarter of the year, which are 37.7 percent of the planned expenditures and 1.2 trillion more than initially planned to execute from October through December. The amount of expenditure specified in the budget for the final quarter is 6.1 trillion of rubles or thirty-five percent of the expenditure fund. The experts of the Accounts Chamber consider that the budget managers will not have enough time to close a gap and to execute the expenditure budget. As a consequence there may be an increasing surplus of unutilized budget funds compared to the previous year.

In addition, the auditors have distinguished several groups of large budgetary institutions and state bodies, which have spent less than 40 percent of the funds allocated for their operation in nine months. The absolute record-breaker is the Ministry of Communications, which spent only 16.1 percent of the allocated money. There is also an alarming situation in Federal Agency for Tourism -- it has used only 29.9 percent of the annual budget. Federal Agency for Nationality Affairs has spent 34.9 percent of the budget. Federal Air Transport Agency has managed to implement 37.9 percent of the money, and Roscosmos State Corporation for Space Activities (Roskosmos) has used only 38.8 percent of the annual budget so far. Additionally, the Accounts Chamber claims that Roscosmos under the supervision of Dmitry Rogozin has not executed the plan to boost the coffers -- the revenue is 4 billion rubles less than planned. It has transferred 1.13 billion rubles to the treasury, while the plan was 5.28 billion rubles. Roscosmos is also unable to spend the funds allocated for the development of spaceports -- less than 28 percent of the assigned annual amount was used in the first three quarters.

The most unsuccessfully performing spheres of public expenditure did not change compared to last year. The monies allocated for the work of law-enforcement services and bodies of national security, the housing and utilities sector, the national issues, funding of cultural events and onscreen projects, fitness and sports activities and implementation of national economy programs are spent most slowly.

As in previous years the treasury replenishment is done ahead of spending. The surplus of the first three quarters of the year has reached 2.985 trillion rubles, which is 2.7 percent of the projected Gross Domestic Product for the current year. The projected budget surplus was much smaller -- 1.7 percent of GDP per year, or 1.881 trillion rubles for the first nine months. At the same time, the government issued fewer loans in the domestic market than had planned – 1.661 trillion rubles, which is about seventy-three percent of the projected amount. However, in the period from January to September last year, the total of loans was 1.9 times smaller.

The Accounts Chamber is also concerned about the funds allocated for the implementation of national projects and the comprehensive plan of infrastructure development. Three of the twelve national projects as well as less than forty percent of infrastructural plan have been harnessed with goods and services for national projects purchased by only 14 percent of the allocated funds. In addition, not a single ruble has been spent on six out of seventy-two national projects, the report says.

The Accounts Chamber claims that Valentina Matviyenko, the chair of the Federation Council, had previously confronted the implementation of national projects. According to her, the responsible ministries are performing their functions poorly, while the spending of funds is being carried out at a critically slow pace. The expenditure rate on the environmental national project was limited to 20 percent and on the growth of employment and labor productivity, to 35 percent. Development of digital economy was funded by only 15 percent. If the situation does not change dramatically, the implementation of national projects will be inevitably disrupted, Matvienko said.