However, she emphasizes that there have been “major administrative challenges” in the Nordic Council of Ministers.
Prior to the press conference, the ministers responsible for co-operation in the various Nordic governments have expressed concern about the problems.
The problem is, as explained by the Council of Ministers themselves, that an IT system has not been used in the past that was not ready, and in particular that there has been a lack of invoices and contracts to keep track of what the council’s money has gone to.
However, both Paula Lehtomäki and CFO Gerner Oddershede do not believe that there are signs of fraud or deception.
“These are projects that have been launched without a contract, or have been completed with payment without a final report,” Lehtomäki said at the press conference on Wednesday.
– So these are administrative deficiencies and errors. Not about financial ambiguities.
According to Oddershede, a major internal audit has brought order to the various accounts.
– We have changed a lot of money between the 2020 and 2021 accounts. A large part of our challenges has been that we have placed the accounting figures in the wrong period. That has been a big part of what we have fixed, he says.
The National Audit Office in Denmark is still not finished reviewing the accounts for 2020.
At the press conference, questions were asked from DR for a credit card in particular, where an invoice for expenses of DKK 52,000 was missing.
However, the Council of Ministers can see where the money has been sent. According to Gerner Oddershede, there is therefore not much doubt about what the money has gone to.
The largest amount in question has gone to the purchase of a license for an IT program. There are also smaller amounts spent in supermarkets and grocery stores.
As there is no invoice from the purchases, the Nordic Council of Ministers cannot rule out that it has been used for private consumption. But there is nothing that has given reason to believe it, according to the chief financial officer.
Source: The Nordic Page