The level of social services is to be improved by changes planned by MoLSA. Overwhelmingly, the Ministry fails to reach them
Press release to audit No. 18/09 - 18 February 2019
The Supreme Audit Office focused on how the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs (MoLSA) allocated funds into social services between 2015 and 2017 and whether it managed to meet the objectives it had set to itself in social services. Finally, auditors also compared subsidies in four types of residential social services. The audit has shown that the MoLSA is failing to achieve its objectives, which is to a large extent caused by the fact that an amendment of the Social Services Act has not yet been adopted.
In the audited period, the MoLSA failed to fulfil its own long-term vision, objectives, and measures set by the social services sector itself and described in the National Strategy for the Development of Social Services 2016 to 2025. In 2017 at the latest, 17 measures — such as increasing informal carers’ support, legislative definition of the quality of social services, laying down the competence of workers in social services, and others - should have been met. At the time of the scrutiny, the Ministry was unable to reach 14 of them.
One of the main reasons is that the amendment to the Social Services Act, which originally was to come into force in April 2017, has not been adopted yet. The aim of the amendment was to align legislation with the existing practice, stabilise the financing of social services, etc.
In the case of subsidy distribution by the MoLSA, it became clear that the department had not obliged regions to return unused subsidies. In the following year, these became part of their budgets, so the MoLSA could not check to what purposes the beneficiaries actually had used them. In total, over CZK 90 million were involved.
Auditors further analysed subsidies in four selected types of residential services. In the case of subsidies for retirement housing, the distributed funds for one bed in regions ranged in average from CZK 57,000 to CZK 106,000 in 2017; for homes for people with health impairments, this oscillated from CZK 89,000 and CZK 256,000. The subsidies for one bed in sheltered housing sector ranged from CZK 66,000 to CZK 205,000. A number of factors, such as the cost of administering and operating the premises or the different structure of clients, had influenced the amount of funds the MoLSA allocated for one bed.
Also, a persistent problem is the lack of social workers. The Social Workers Act could contribute to dealing with the situation. However, this has not been adopted either.
Between 2015 and 2017, the MoLSA distributed CZK 28 billion from its own budget to various social services. The total amount of subsidies is given by law as well as the amount for each region. In practice, the entire process of the subsidy procedure in the MoLSA has had a minimal impact on how much funds the regions will acquire.
There are about 2,000 active social service providers in the Czech Republic, taking care of approximately 76 thousand clients. With an ageing population, demands for funding of social services will still be higher in the future as well as their quality.
Supreme Audit Office