Portugal’s RRP not going as planned says public spending watchdog

 In News, Portugal RRP, Portugal2020

Portugal’s public spending watchdog, the Tribunal de Contas, has flagged up fragilities in its report on Portugal’s execution of the €16Bn Recovery and Resilience Plan and that its application and timings have been “significantly below estimates” presented to the European Union.

“The execution of the RRP expenditure budget for 2022 was €970 million, with the accumulated amount at €1.042Bn (consolidated expenditure), which is significantly less that the estimates presented to the European Union (€5.428Bn)” states the Report on the General Account of the State 2022.
In the document that was delivered on Tuesday morning to the President of the Portuguese Parliament, the organisation also noted “insufficiencies in the accounting records and different practices between beneficiary organisations of the central administration and social security in the way receipts were accounted for, and the use of RRP funds”, so that the amounts did not reflect the total sums” of money involved.
In the area of European funds, the Tribunal de Contas has again issued an alert that was already made in previous reports to speed up the execution rate of the funds applications so as to “avoid the loss of funds (funding not used by certain deadlines has to be returned to the European Union) and for these funds to contribute effectively to counteracting the economic and financial crisis derived from the Covid-19 pandemic and aggravated by the effects of the war in Ukraine”.
This includes financial instruments from the RRP and PT2020.
The report recalls that this year the RRP was reprogrammed and rescheduled, without which “there would have been a high risk that Portugal would have failed in the targets for the third and forth cheques”.
Even so, “not all of Portugal’s intentions were accepted” so that there continue to be risks on issues such as decentralisation.
“Decentralisation is the other area relevant to managing public finances” states the Tribunal de Contas.
“The account did not include detailed information on the budgetary dimension of decentralisation despite being a cornerstone public policy”, flags the organisation, making it “difficult to analyse”.