MOSCOW, May 16. /TASS/. The amount of misused federal budget funds almost doubled in 2017 compared to 2016, to 1.8 trillion rubles from 966 billion rubles, the Russian Audit Chamber said in its annual report on Wednesday.
"The overall value of detected violations and irregularities, related to allocation and use of Russian budget system funds, stood at 1.8 trillion rubles (6,455 violations)," the report reads.
The chamber ensured the return of 19.1 billion rubles to Russian budgets of all levels and to the Union State budget last year, up 10.3 billion rubles since 2016.
Last year, the Audit Chamber conducted 319 checks, the report reads.
An audit into the Russian Defense Ministry’s operations in 2017 has exposed violations worth more than 544 billion rubles in 2017.
"While carrying out the external state audit (control) in 2017, violations have been detected, including the inefficient use of federal and other funds worth a total of 544,5 billion rubles," the report reads.
Among those violations is "submitting a deliberately untrue financial report to the Audit Chamber for the above-mentioned period," the Audit Chamber said.
A total of 71.2 million rubles have been returned to the federal budget as a result of the audit.
A total of 151 financial violations worth a total of 785.5 billion rubles were detected in the work of Russian space agency Roscosmos last year.
"The overall volume of audited funds stood at 1.741 trillion rubles. A total of 151 violations were detected, worth a total of 785,468.4 billion rubles," the report reads.
"The control over federal budget expenditures for the research and use of space revealed problems and violations, related mostly to activities of the liquidation commission of the Federal space agency and state corporation Roscosmos," the document reads.
In late 2015, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a decree to abolish the Federal Space Agency Roscosmos and instead create a state-run space corporation. The required liquidation procedures began on January 1, 2016. According to media reports, the process was to be completed until late April, 2017.
According to the report, the audit revealed numerous violations during the liquidation procedure of the federal space agency, worth a total of 627.4 billion rubles.
Eight criminal cases into misuse of state funds during the construction of the Vostochny space center were launched upon the Russian Audit Chamber’s findings last year.
"As a result of the Russian Audit chamber’s request and checks carried out by prosecutors, a total of 85 legal entities and individuals were brought to administrative responsibility <…> and eight criminal cases were launched," the document reads.
The Vostochny space launch center has been under construction in the Amur Region since 2010. The first space launch took place in April 2016. The facility’s second unit is expected to be built in 2018. The original contractor - the federal agency for special construction (Spetsstroi) - has been abolished following numerous complaints from the clients and authorities over failures to meet the deadlines and poor financial discipline of the agency’s subcontractors.