“The use of public funds must be transparent and cost-effective,” says VTV.
Public finances the National Audit Office (VTV) has audited the Olympic Stadium renovation and refurbishment project and in particular how state aid was granted, used and monitored in the project.
The audit focused on the Ministry of Education and Culture, which awarded the grant, and the Stadion Foundation, which received the grant.
The audit did not reveal any indication that the funded entity did not generally comply with State aid decisions. However, the cost of the project has risen significantly.
The cost estimate presented in the project needs assessment in 2012 was EUR 197 million, in autumn 2020 the cost estimate had risen to more than EUR 330 million.
The control carried out by the State aid authority did not meet the requirements of a diverse and long-lasting project. The task of the steering group appointed to the project was to ensure that the project costs remained under control and the project on schedule.
During the inspection the perception was that the steering group was not able to perform its task properly.
“The use of public funds must be transparent and cost-effective. Therefore, state-funded diverse and long-lasting projects must be adequately supervised, ”VTV’s chief inspector Olli Piiroinen emphasizes in the bulletin of the National Audit Office.
In its guidelines, the state has determined the maximum amount it will participate in the project. On the other hand, no fixed ceiling price has been set for the main contract of the project, but it will change when additional and modification works are approved.
“The payment basis of the contract model chosen for the project is in conflict with the state funding policy. This discrepancy was not highlighted clearly and in a timely manner in the handling of project financing, ”says Piiroinen.
The costs invoiced by the City of Helsinki, which is the developer and financier, for the project have not been transparent in all respects.
“The grantor and recipient of the state grant should make sure that the costs allocated to the project comply with the grant decision and the grant terms,” Piiroinen emphasizes.
Stadium Foundation had to submit a project report to the Ministry of Education and Culture by the end of next June.
According to a new decision made by the Ministry of Education in January, the grant may still be used until the end of 2021 and the project report must be completed by June 2022.