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Press Release
16/03/2021   National Audit Office: Changes are expected in high-profile sports

When implementing changes in the management of high-performance sport, effective measures must be taken to educate a reserve of high-performance athletes, plan infrastructure development in a targeted manner, improve the funding of sports federations and link settlement with set objectives and results, as demonstrated by the audit “Management of High-performance Sport” carried out by the National Audit Office of Lithuania (NAOL).

The sports system in Lithuania covers two areas: physical activity and high-performance sport, which focuses on achievements in top-level international competitions, enhance the country’s international prestige, people’ citizenship and interest in sports activities. Funding of the State budget for sports has almost doubled over the six years (2015–2020) and in 2020 amounted to more than EUR 51 million. The funding of high-performance sport programmes of the federations from State budget funds has not changed significantly and amounted to EUR 7 million.

“At the moment, it is planned to create a sports data management system, upon assessment of the current situation, to develop the sports infrastructure network, to specify the financing model of sports projects, to evaluate the performance of federations and to draw up a plan for the education of young sportsmen. Changes are foreseen in the Government Programme, draft amendment of the Law on Sport and other documents. Having evaluated the foreseen changes, we do not provide new recommendations and the public audit was completed by the preliminary study,” says Eivida Šlamė, Principle Auditor of the Public Welfare Audit Department of the NAOL.

The proper development of sports facilities is an important factor in ensuring high-performance sport activity. In 2019, there were about 6 thousand sports facilities in the country. Preliminary research results show that the Ministry of Education, Science and Sport needs to carry out research and analyses on the need for these facilities according to sports, regions or opportunities to organise international events and to define the directions of infrastructure development at the national level.

Sports policy makers should pay more attention to a sports monitoring system that allows evidence-based decisions to improve the management of high-performance sport.

For high achievements in sports, it is important to define clear objectives of the federations financed from the State budget, to assess their results of performance, to assess their compliance with the set requirements and to carry out control over the use of funds. The introduction of good governance principles in federations would contribute to increasing their responsibility and transparency to the public.

Preliminary study results show that without effective measures to train a viable reserve of athletes, an increase in the number of athletes who can represent the country in high-performance sport events may not be ensured. Municipalities make a significant contribution to financing sports education centres and other measures to involve children in sports activities, however, the Ministry of Education, Science and Sport and federations could carry out more activities aimed at educating young athletes. 

After the implementation of the planned changes, the management of high-performance sport will be focused on data-based solutions, targeted funding, appropriate conditions for education, training and participation in competitions. We will analyse current changes by assessing whether they are dealing with high-performance sport management problems identified during the year to be audited.

 

Responsible for the information Communication Division
Last updated on 29 March 2021

National Audit Office of Lithuania

Pamėnkalnio St 27, LT-01113 Vilnius, Phone: +370 608 92 636, Email: nao@vkontrole.lt.