SAO issued the English version of the EU report. It assesses the drawdown and use of European subsidies, and it also recapitulates the related audits.
Press release – 7. 1. 2019
The Supreme Audit Office issued an English version of its annual report on the financial management of the EU budget funds in the Czech Republic — the so-called “EU Report”. Readers have a unique opportunity to discover how successfully the Czech Republic managed funds from European Union programmes in 2017. The publication contains a wealth of information on the results of SAO audits and other external audit bodies in the current economic and legal environment. It also provides answers to a number of issues linked to the use of European subsidies, such as those found by representatives of the International Monetary Fund or the OECD. The complexity of reporting information can also be welcomed by students of higher education institutions, some using the EU report as a study material.
What was the year 2017 like from the perspective of the supreme audit institution of the Czech Republic? The Czech Republic has carried out the reform objectives and the objectives of economic convergence with the EU in a relatively satisfactory manner, including the recommendations set out by the Council of the European Union, as the European Commission assessed overall developments as “achieving some progress”. The long-term sustainability of public finances requiring adjustments to the pension system and the persistently high administrative burden on businesses remain a challenge.
The Czech Republic remained a net beneficiary of the EU budget funds because the difference between the received and paid amounts of funds amounted to over EUR 2,1 billion. However, the pace of utilisation of funds allocated to the Czech Republic for the 2014-2020 programming period remained slow, and the Czech Republic still belonged to the less successful half of the EU Member States. For the first time, 2018 gives us the task of meeting contractual obligations relating to the drawdown of subsidies and the obligation to achieve so-called milestones, so that we do not lose part of the funds.
In total, the SAO completed 13 audits with a link to EU funds during the reporting period. Public procurement legislation, followed by the rules for setting up and operating the management and control system, has been shown most frequently to be in breach of legality audits. This applies in particular to projects financed under the European Structural and Investment Funds, i.e. projects belonging to operational programmes and to the Rural Development Programme.
The relevance of the SAO’s audit findings is confirmed by simultaneously published outputs of other external audit bodies — the Ministry of Finance of the Czech Republic and the European Court of Auditors.