Chief State Auditor, Ivan Klesic, on Thursday submitted a report on his work in 2021 on Thursday to Parliament. Responding to a question from an MP from the ruling Croatian democratic Union (HDZ), he said that according to estimates €120 billion is lost to corruption in the entire EU every year.
“The cost of corruption in the EU is €120 billion while the EU budget amounts to €170 billion,” Klecic said in response to MP Ivan Kirin’s remark that “the perception in Croatia is that fraud and corruption do not happen anywhere but in Croatia,” state agency Hina reported, without clarifying what was Klesic’s source for the claim.
“Klesic warned about the need to systematically regulate salaries at all levels,” Hina said.
“The established salary system does not enable the application of the ‘equal work, equal pay’ principle,” he said, adding that “based on the audits performed, salaries in the government and public sector were regulated with more than 300 laws and other regulations.”
“This,” he said, “has resulted in a wage system that contains more exceptions to the rules than actual rules.”
“Applying different base levels and numerous bonuses has resulted in a system in which there are many cases in which the total salary depends less on the coefficient for the specific job, and more on different formulas for calculating baselines and benefits,” said Klesic, referring to the behemoth government and administration sector, which employs a complicated system of coefficients to calculate every employee’s salary.
As an example, Klesic cited gross salaries of heads of government agencies and institutions, which can total more than 83,000 kuna (€11,000), which is double the gross salary that the speaker of Parliament, the prime minister, or the president, get.
MP Boris Lalovac (Social Democrat Party) agreed that this was wrong, “wondering why anyone would want to be a minister or work at the State Audit Office if a job at the central bank HNB carried a salary of 72,000 kuna (€9,500),” state agency Hina cited Lalovac as saying, without clarifying which job description he was referring to.
Klesic said that out of 299 audits planned in 2021, about 85 percent were completed. The remaining 45 were started and would be finished this year.
“All reports were sent to the Parliament and the office of the attorney-general and published on the website of the State Audit Office, except for audit reports on the management of strategic reserves for 2019 and 2020, which are classified,” he said.
“MPs commended the work of the State Audit Office and Klesic called for adopting a law on the salaries of the State Audit Office personnel to ensure adequate pay for them and create conditions for their promotion,” Hina reported.
“It is difficult to attract professional and experienced workers willing to do complex work for the current pay at the State Audit Office,” Klesic said.