Budapest (MTI) – Laszlo Szabo, the Hungarian foreign ministry’s parliamentary state secretary, briefed the Norwegian ambassador about the findings of the government control office’s investigation into the disbursement of Norway Grants funding in Hungary, the ministry said on Thursday.
Szabo handed over the English-language version of the report Kehi prepared to Tove Skarstein on Wednesday, the ministry said in a statement.
At the meeting the state secretary stressed that Hungary seeks dialogue with the Norwegian side. He handed over a formal invitation by Janos Lazar, the cabinet chief, to Vidar Helgesen, the Norwegian minister in charge of EEA and EU affairs, for talks in Hungary, the ministry said.
Kristof Altus, the foreign ministry’s deputy state secretary, held talks with Jean-Francois Paroz, the Swiss ambassador to Hungary about the same issue on Wednesday and presented him with a copy of the Kehi report, the ministry said.
Kehi said in a statement on Wednesday that it had completed an investigation and revealed irregularities in 61 of 63 projects that had received funding from the Norway Grants.
It said that it would submit a criminal report against Okotars, the NGO responsible for disbursing Norway Grants funding, on suspicion of mismanagement, budget fraud, forgery of private documents and unauthorised financial activity.
Kehi’s investigation also revealed such irregularities as non-refundable expenses submitted, the purchase of products for Okotars’s own use, backdated contracts, reshuffled expenses and deadlines for projects broken. Cases of double booking of expenses were found and invoices from companies that ceased to exist submitted, the office said.
The investigation revealed five cases of alleged budget fraud and eight cases of mismanagement of funds. In addition, there were cases of backdated documents, which raises the suspicion of forgery of private documents, Kehi said.