The Court of Audits in Turkey has run the procedural oversight on the ministerial budget at the Ministry of Environment & Urbanization. According to the report, the ministry has rented and assigned official vehicles for former ministers through the current budget. Rental of official vehicles from private companies has caused a 1.4 Billion Turkish Lira deficit in the last two years in Turkey.
The Court of Audits has published the auditing reports for the period of 2019, presenting it to the Parliamentary Speaker’s Office on September 22.
A line of expenses on the audit report from the Ministry of Environment & Urbanization has revealed a massive waste of public funds under the governing AKP rule through official vehicles. Despite the government announcing a Savings Plan Action in 2018, the audit report reveals that wasteful vehicle renting continues in full speed. The Ministry of Environment & Urbanization’s Support Services Directorate has assigned luxury official vehicles for former AKP ministers through the ministerial budget.
NAMES NOT ANNOUNCED
The audit report did not mention the names of former ministers that were assigned official vehicles after rental services were purchased through private car rental companies. The report also revealed that the fuel bills for these vehicles were also covered by the ministry. Auditors did not note down the names in the reports. The Court of Audies, has noted however that it is illegal to assign official vehicles for former ministers that are no longer holding an official position at the ministry and this application must be ended immediately.
The Ministry of Environment & Urbanization under leadership of current minister Murat Kurum, had been established in 2011. Previously Erdoğan Bayraktar, İdris Güllüce, Fatma Güldemet-Sarı and Mehmet Özhaseki have assumed the ministerial seat in the institution since 2011.
The audit report also revealed irregularities and violations in the ministerial expenses books as well as in the tendering processes held by the ministry. Furthermore, the audit report also takes a note of increased court expenses due to the lost trials during the time of “legalizing illegally constructed buildings”.
386 MILLION TL IN 8 MONTHS, 1.4 BILLION TL IN TWO YEARS
The rental services for official vehicles through private companies for public officials makes up a great part of the national budget in Turkey. According to the Ministry of Treasury & Finance data, in the first eight months of 2020 public budget used for renting official vehicles from private companies has made up 386 million TL.
Due to economic hardships, in September 2018 the government had announced a series of Savings Plan Action steps advising public officials to revert to savings strategies, not using official vehicles. However since the day the plan has been announced in 23 months time the public budget allocated to renting official vehicles from private companies made up 1.435.000.000 TL.
PRESIDENTIAL LOVE FOR OFFICIAL VEHICLES
Previously, in 2018 following the June 24 Presidential Elections, the first Presidential Cabinet had been formed and one of the first steps taken by the new regime’s first government was to announce a Savings Plan Action in the face of a cuffency crisis that was growing. While the 2019-2021 Investment Program was initiated, it was announced that savings through the cutting back on official vehicles would also be sustained, however since the action plan was first announced the presidential vehicle fleet continued growing.