The account of the Montenegrin electric distribution system should have at least 103 million euros, which according to the Law on Energy, are allocated exclusively for investments, and not for any other expenses. The current management of CEDIS this year and last year did not spend that money for investments, but for other purposes, Pobjeda reports.
The existing situation
According to our newsroom, the current administration of CEDIS, consisting of director Vladimir Čađenović and board president Rajko Radošević, in April last year, when she came to head this company, found 50 million euros in the account intended exclusively for investments. The main part of the money given by citizens through the payment of electricity bills, where half of the amount refers to distribution services and half to consumed electricity, refers to CEDIS investments in the network, so that citizens have a better supply of electricity. In the previous year, 2021, citizens allocated over 43 million euros for CEDIS investments through their electricity bills, and the company’s management spent only less than 20 million euros, so that 23 million euros of citizens’ money remained in the CEDIS account. In the current year, RAE allocated 48 million euros to CEDIS for investments, and the management of this power company spent only 6 million euros in the first half of the year. At that rate, at least 30 million euros of citizens’ money will remain this year, which were intended for the investments of this company. CEDIS, as a state-owned company, is managed by Democrats and DF cadres, headed by director Vladimir Čađenović and president of the board of directors.
Rajko Radošević, is financed by citizens in such a way that by paying their electricity bills, they set aside money to finance CEDIS. The Regulatory Agency for Energy and Utilities approves the amount determined for investments, which is an integral part of the approved cost of CEDIS. The method of controlling the spending of money is defined by the Law on Energy.
As of Tuesday, CEDIS did not respond to Pobjeda’s questions about how much money they currently have in their account exclusively for investments, and whether CEDIS, last year and this year, used these funds that were intended for investments for other purposes and if is for which. This week, REGAGEN did not respond to our editor’s questions about whether this regulator controlled the spending of money that CEDIS was supposed to invest in the electricity distribution system this year and last year. They did not answer what the controls (surveillance) of REGAGEN showed, nor how often the Agency controlled the way money was spent in CEDIS. Investment is the only way for CEDIS to survive. In the event that this money is not invested in investments, the value of CEDIS falls and the company is brought to the brink of bankruptcy, because the basis for calculating the tariff is actually the value of the company itself.
– In order for the citizens to know, the costs for losses in the network, which the current management of CEDIS only talks about, have increased by a maximum of 20 million euros per year. So it is not possible for all the money of over 100 million euros to be spent for those purposes – says the Pobjeda source.
An important fact, which points to potential fraud, is that the management of CEDIS did not prepare the final account within the deadline provided by law, as well as that no external audit was done in the company.
Article 48 of the Law on Energy regulates the supervision of the work of energy entities. REGAGEN has the obligation to monitor and analyze the work and operations of energy entities in relation to the actual costs and revenues of entities that perform activities for which the Agency determines or approves methodologies, prices or fees, and to monitor the implementation of investment plans of transmission and distribution system operators. By law, the Agency controls the regularity of work and business or the abuse of the position of energy entities on the market, as well as the control of correctness and accuracy in financial operations in relation to the statement of business costs that can affect the formation of prices for the use of transmission or distribution systems or storage systems.
CEDIS and EPCG avoid paying VAT
Pobjeda unofficially learns about the potential embezzlement of a large part of the money, which is non-payment of VAT. According to our newsroom, CEDIS and EPCG do not issue monthly invoices to each other for their services and thus avoid multi-million tax payments, which directly damages the state for the amount of VAT, local media reports.