The Finance Ministry wants to amend regulations to allow a large number of state officials to go home in their government vehicle.
It says that the current restriction — that was imposed in 2016 is a bid to cut costs — creates practical difficulties because of officials’ obligations outside regular working hours.
Phileleftheros reports that officials have complained that they have had to use their private vehicle for official business – for example to represent the government at memorial services, funerals and other events held on Sundays and on public holidays.
As regulations stand now, officials must go to their place of work where their government limo is parked and then return it once they have carried out their duties.
This is difficult for officials who live outside Nicosia and do not want to use their private cars, the paper added.
Hence the Finance Ministry is proposing that the following officials be allowed to go home in their state limo: the chairman of the Public Service Commission, the chairman of the Education Commission, the permanent secretaries of ministries and deputy ministries, the directors of the House of Representatives and the EU programmes department, the chief registrar, the accountant general, the director of the office of the President of the Republic, the presidential commissioner and the cabinet secretary.
Should the ministry’s proposal be adopted, the use of the state car by these officials will no longer be subject to checks by the auditor general whose office will not be in a position to know whether the state car is being used for personal needs, .
The law on state cars was adopted on January 1, 2016 as part of efforts to contain the cost of the use of government vehicles by officials who were entitled to use them round the clock with the state covering fuel and running costs.
The ministry is also asking to include deputy ministers in the list of officials entitled to use a state limo on a 24 hour basis.
The proposals are due to be discussed by the House Finance Committee.