Galloping representation expenses – Directors with the same appetites as ministers

The well-known European and world metropolies are high on the officials’ agenda. As official trips, the first people in public institutions have spent huge amounts of money on “representation” and presentation of their institution, despite the efforts of the new government for economic spending of citizens’ funds.

Only two out of a total of nine agencies in the country have a rulebook on spending representation funds. Public companies are modest in selecting orders, but not regarding representation expenses.

Although the invoices do not include horse meat, buffalo, game, shivers, octopuses, and various types of specialties, the SCOOP survey showed that there is no lack of grill and alcoholic drinks. Daily lunches reach over 100 Euros, a sum that many in Macedonia earn on a monthly basis.

Agencies without representation rulebooks

 Only two out of a total of nine agencies to which we have submitted a request for free access to public information have a rulebook on the use of funds for representation.

All official lunches at the Agency for Real Estate Cadastre are followed by quality rakija, wine, beer and rich meals in elite restaurants. The director and the deputy do not have official cards, their rulebook is in preparation. While the rulebook was being prepared, in 2017, out of a part of the invoices for restaurant services we received, a total of 22, a total of 399,577 denars were allocated, or nearly 7 thousand Euros for a year.

In the Macedonian Film Agency, former director Mimi Gjorgoska Ilievska and current director Gorjan Tozija most often used their official cards abroad. In addition to the usual expenses, for the visits to Berlin, Strasbourg, Istanbul, Cannes, Nice, Bratislava and Vienna, the former director Gjorgoska Ilievska spent about 407.465 denars or 6,600 Euros for the period from February to July 2017. The incumbent director Tozija, has continued the travel trend and for the beginning of his leadership he visited Toronto, Berlin and Trieste and spent 160,564 denars or about 2,600 Euros. The Agency does not have a rulebook on the use of funds for representation.

In the Agency for Audio and Audiovisual Arts the official card of the director is not used for representation, but on the data from the documents on which the changes in the accounts of the representation are recorded, it can be noted that this agency spent 265,510 denars or approximately 4,300 Euros for last year’s official lunches. On average, their official lunches range from 5,000 to 75,000 denars and are regulated by the representation rulebook.

The Employment Agency has a representation rulebook, according to which, besides the director and the deputy director, the members of the Board of Directors may also use the funds from the representation. (SCAN-RULEBOOK).

As for last year’s costs, former director Vlatko Popovski spent 97,985 denars or about 4,500 Euros for four months. His deputy, Arben Ziberi, following his director’s example of, also did not save on representation expenses. For just 3 months Ziberi spent 68,847 denars, nearly 1,200 Euros. Unlike Popovski and Ziberi, the current director, Biljana Jovanovska, in the beginning of her management with the agency spent only 18,241 denars, or about 300 Euros for 3 months.

In the Agency for Youth and Sport, current director Darko Kaevski follows the trend of his predecessor Marjan Spaseski, with a total of 59,768 denars, i.e. nearly 1,000 Euros spent for representation for 5 months. His predecessor, Marjan Spaseski, spent 69,454 denars, slightly more than 1,000 Euros for the first 8 months of 2017. The representation expenses of Spaseski and Kaevski are not regulated by the rulebook.

The Agency for Quality and Accreditation of Healthcare Institutions does not have a representation rulebook and the director and the deputy director have not used official cards. Regarding the invoices and accounts receivable for representation that the Agency realized for its needs for 2017, a total of 21,912 denars or about 350 Euros were realized, in which there is a restaurant service worth 9,200 denars.

In the Intelligence Agency, the director and general assistant do not possess official payment cards. However, they are regularly supplied for the needs of the Office of the Director of the Agency, Zoran Ivanov. In the procurement menu, for the period January 2017 until January 2018, cashews, almonds, hazelnuts, Bajadera candy, Sherry candy, and whiskey Jack Daniels are most often served. This agency has also not prepared a representation rulebook yet.

The director of the Postal Agency does not have an official card and “the agency is not a holder of information about a Rulebook on the use of representation” says the response to our request. Apart from the received bills, besides 18,480 denars for water supply, there is a catering service of 16,305 denars, New Year’s packs worth 14,400 denars, an invoice worth 20,933 denars from the company for catering, trade and services MARSTEF and one invoice with children’s toys in the amount of 6.201 denars. (scan of the invoices).

Photocopies of statements of the official card of the director and deputy director of the Agency for Electronic Communications, in accordance with the internal organization of document management, fall into the category of internal documents. In addition, the agency does not have a rulebook on using funds for representation.

Submitted invoices and receipts give the impression that directors enjoy lunch with grill and alcoholic drinks on a daily basis. It is necessary to regulate representation expenses in the Agencies. Modesty and examples are essential to show people that the appointed executives perform their primary function rather than squander people’s money.

In public companies lunches over 150 Euros

The situation with representation expenses in public companies is not much different from that in state agencies. Just like the agencies’ directors, officials from public companies visit the same Skopje, as well as other restaurants all around Macedonia. The invoices contain names of well-known restaurants such as Pelister, Enrico, Dojrana, Corner Baba Cana, Gino, Balkanika Rustikana, Big Fish, Bella Vista, Gostinica Dukat, Lira, Furna, Bonimi and many others.

SCOOP requested the representation expenses from some public companies in the period from January 2017 to January 2018. According to the received documents, most of the money was spent in “Communal Hygiene – Skopje”, about two million denars or nearly 42,000 Euros.

This company ordered coffee, cocoa, juices, mineral water and teas most often. Pencils, calendars, notepads, decorative bags, umbrellas, wall clocks, lighters, educational picture books and t-shirts were ordered from “Fine Art Multimedia dooel” and “Nulta Media Advertising”. But the authorities, except for these orders, visited Skopje restaurants, including “Casablanca”, “Pelister”, “Dojrana”, “Ragusa”, “Enrico”, “Bure Etno Bar” and others.

From the public company “Water Supply and Sewerage” – Skopje for a period of one year, approximately 700,000 MKD or around 11,700 Euros were spent on representation. They enjoyed catering services in Gama exclusive, Barbacan, Kaj Gino, La Terrazza, Enrico, Meana B and others. Lunches and hot meals orders are part of the invoices sent by this company.

“City Parking” – Skopje made orders from “Tinex”, and they visited “Vodenica”, “Pelister”, “Sushiko”, “Taverna Eli Dooel”, “Oreov Lad”, “Amigos”, “Konak Chardak Dooel” “Bure Ethno Club”, “La Terrazza”, “Viziana”, “Carpe Diem”, “Gnezdo”, “Casablanca” and others. 598,044 MKD or around 9,700 Euros were spent.

There is also a trip to the Netherlands of B. Jakimovski, for which a little more than 1000 Euros were spent.

 From Macedonian Railways-Transport JSC – Skopje the authorities enjoyed orders in “Makedonska kuka”, “Dojrana”, “Vodenica Mulino”, “Doma”, “Dojrana”, which cost about 380,000 denars or 6,000 Euros in one year.

Lozova rakija, beer, cognac brandy, juices, grill, mixed salads, grilled cheese are part of the orders from accounts for representation from the Public Enterprise for state forests management “Makedonski sumi”. Visits to Dojrana, Corner Baba Cana, Gino and other Skopje restaurants cost about 317,000 denars or nearly 5,000 Euros in a year.

On the bills received from PE “Parks and Greenery” – Skopje, there are non-alcoholic, alcoholic drinks, coffees, stews, fish – carp, wood platters of fried food, grill and other. “Parks and Greenery” have been guests in “Ljuc Kostadinovski”, “Furna”, “Big Fish”, “Calabria” and other restaurants in Skopje. Orders from “Ramstore” and “Granap Dooel” were made, and the total amount spent in a year is just over 170,000 denars or nearly 2,800 Euros.

The company for construction, management and issuance of multipurpose hall “Boris Trajkovski” DOOEL – Skopje spent approximately 105.000 denars or about 1600 Euros for representation. The most frequent visits were in the fish restaurant “Anchor”, “Old Bure”, “Konak Chardak” and “Taverna Eli”.

From the documents sent by JSC “Airports of Macedonia” – Skopje, it can be noticed that coffee and tea orders were frequent, and several times they had visits to “Bushi Resort & Spa”, “La Terrazza” and “Plaza de Toros”. This joint stock company spent about 100,000 denars or about 1,500 Euros for representation in one year.

From PE “Official Gazette of the Republic of Macedonia” – Skopje, the authorities in this case, Luka Krzaloski and Marko Kostovski, have visited Kalabalak, Cafe Bar “Temov”, “Pub Comedy”, “Baba Cana – Skopje” “At Grandma Cana – Kumanovo” and “Furna”, where a total of about 130,000 denars or nearly 1,200 Euros were spent.

PE “Macedonian Broadcasting” – Skopje spent about 60,000 denars or 1,000 Euros, and from the received documents there are receipts for catering services in the restaurants “Olimpia”, “Stage Production”, that is, the restaurant in MKC and others.

The least funds for representation in a period of one year were spent by PE “Makedonija pat” – Skopje, that is about 30,000 denars or 500 Euros. In the received documents there are invoices for coffee, juices, teas, mineral water. Among them there are invoices for several lunches of 400 to 1000 denars.