Vilnius, February 9, BNS–The Lithuanian State Auditor has no complaints on the use of compensation for Jewish religious communal property this year, although they found irregularities last year.
The State Auditor’s Office reported finding no violations in the 2016 audit of the use of such funds.
The year prior to that auditors said the foundation dispensing the funds had used some monies from the state allocated under the Lithuanian law on goodwill compensation for pre-Holocaust Jewish real estate had been used in the 2012-2015 period for matters not defined in the law, namely, to pay for administrative expnses of the disbursing foundation. In 2016 the Lithuanian parliament amended the law to allow for the Goodwill Foundation to pay its own administrative costs.
In line with the observations by the Lithuanian State Auditor, the foundation plans to pay back funds used in earlier years for items not defined in the earlier version of the law, and will use income from investments of monies to finance projects.
Under the law on goodwill compensation passed in 2011 to compensate for Jewish religious community real estate, over one decade Lithuania pledged to pay out 37 million euros (or 128 million litas, the currency used at the time the law was adopted) in compensation for property seized by totalitarian regimes.
The initial 869,000 euros transferred to the foundation were paid out to Jews living abroad, reaching 1,500 people, and monthly payments by the Goodwill Foundation also go to Lithuanian residents who rescued Jews during the Holocaust.
Since the law came into effect 15.3 million euros or 40% of total planned compensation has been paid out to the Goodwill Foundation by the Lithuanian state.