Most government spending is in good order: audit office

The cabinet has not reached its target of making cuts and savings totalling €2.9bn by 2011, according to the annual audit office report on government spending.

Some €254m in cuts still has to be found this year, the audit office said in an assessment of budget reductions made so far.
These include €401m on development aid, €100m on integration courses for immigrants, €43m on defence equipment and €60m on the natural environment. The government has also pencilled in €790m in savings on civil service salaries.
The shortfall is due to delayed measures and differences in the way figures have been rounded up, the audit office is quoted as saying by news agency ANP.

Individual ministries

Individual ministerial budgets are in relatively good order although the health, welfare and sport ministry needs to take action to improve its allocation of subsidies and grants, the auditor said.
The office found problems with 54% of 4,400 grants made by the ministry. It is the 12th year in a row the audit office has criticised the minstry’s lax approach to subsidies, according to Nos television.
Health minister Edith Schippers has now been given until October 1 to draw up an improvement plan.

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