Education Ministry unlawfully spends $35m

Education Ministry unlawfully spends $35m
Ministry of Education and Science of the Russian Federation

The Accounting Chamber has blown a whistle on the Ministry to the Prosecutor General's Office.

The Accounting Chamber did not agree with the 2016 budgetary reporting of the Ministry of Education and Science, asking Prosecutor General's Office, Federal Antimonopoly Service and Ministry of Finance to have their own checks, according to RBC.

The statement reads that the ministry spent 2.2 billion rubles ($38m) on modernization of subordinate and autonomous institutions, earmarking 240 million rubles ($4m) to Kabardino-Balkarian Pskov State University to buy an abandoned construction site and some land. The purchase had not been approved by the government.

There is a conflict of interests on five state contracts of the Ministry for a total of 50 million rubles ($865.500). For example, legal department ex-manager Marina Lukashevich also headed Center for Science Development that won the tenders. 8 million rubles ($138.480) was paid to Bardin’s Central Scientific Research Institute of Ferrous Metallurgy and Mendeleev’s Russian Chemical and Technological University for uncompleted work. Moscow Aviation Institute got almost 4 million rubles ($69.240) to pay a salary to a non-existent employee last year. The ministry's report referred to the person as Commissioner for the Rights of Students in Russia, while there is no such post in the ministry's staffing table or the Institute’s statute. Artem Khromov indicated in the document as the employee said he had not received any money from the Institute.

The Accounting Chamber also had questions about the system of money distribution to the subjects of the Federation. The History of the Fatherland Foundation has not received 100 million rubles ($1.7m) it was supposed to receive. Less than a third of 384 million rubles ($6.6m) for student grants was actually given out. More than 1.5 billion rubles ($26m) allocated for physical culture development in Russian villages was distributed incorrectly. There also were some violations in allocation of 800 million rubles ($13.8m) to regional institutions of secondary vocational education.

Apart from that, the Ministry did not include one land lot and 39 patents in the report.

In March 2017, the Prosecutor General's Office exposed embezzlement of budget funds in the Ministry of Education and Science committed over the period of 2014-2016. About 127 million rubles were illegally spent by the former head of science and technology department Sergei Salikhov, who resigned in December 2016 together with three of his deputies.

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