RIGA - The state research program on Covid-19, which was launched by the Education and Science Ministry last May and allocated EUR 5 million, is behind schedule, moreover, it is not clear whether results of the program will be applicable in real life, the State Audit Office said on Tuesday.
In total, 15 applications were received for the project: five in health care, seven in engineering solutions, and three in resilience to epidemics and pandemics and post-crisis development opportunities. Of these, ten project applications were supported, and contracts were signed with the applicants for a total amount of EUR 4,962,398.
The deadline for implementation of nine of these projects has been extended. As a result, the Audit Office could not assess implementation of the projects and whether they would reach their objectives.
The Audit Office has concluded that planning of the research program has not been coordinated well enough.
"Given that the relevant ministries were not involved in defining the aims, objectives and deliverables of the research program, there is a risk that the results of the projects will not be used for development of new policies and mitigation of Covid-19 in the relevant sectors," said the Audit Office. Only one of the ten projects has been implemented on schedule.