A fund administering hundreds of millions of euros generated from passport sales has still not published its audited accounts for 2021.

The National Development and Social Fund was set up in 2015 with the aim of using a percentage of the funds generated from selling passports to rich foreigners for public interest projects and initiatives. Its regulations bind it to publish audited accounts annually and to also report on its activities to the finance minister.

A spokesperson for the fund said recently that its annual report and audited financial statements “are in the final stages of review” and will be published once this process has been concluded.

The annual report and audited financial statements “are in the final stages of review” and will be published once this process has been concluded- Fund spokesperson

The fund has attributed the delay in publication due to a change in auditor, as the fund’s internal policy dictates that it changes auditor every five years.

According to the last available financial statements, dating back to 2020, the National Development and Social Fund received €27.8 million in revenue from the passports programme, taking the total amount of proceeds since its inception to just under €600 million.

The passport scheme’s future has been put in doubt recently, as the European Commission challenges its legality before the EU Court of Justice. The government has insisted it has the right to run the scheme but will let the court decide.

Brussels has mounted the legal challenge on the basis that granting EU citizenship in return for a pre-determined payment or investments without any genuine link to the member state concerned is incompatible with EU principles.

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