The Ministry of the Interior projects worth CZK 200 million have not led to the modernization of public administration

PRESS RELEASE ON AUDIT NO 22/06 – 22 January 2024

A total of CZK 200 million spent by the Ministry of the Interior (MoI) since 2009 on three projects to modernize the public administration has not led to its modernization. The MoI failed to complete the planned reform of the public administration, which was supposed to make the activities of individual authorities clearer, simpler and faster. The intended reduction in costs and administrative burden on citizens has not been achieved. Citizens still have to report to the authorities information that is already available to the state. The principle of 'only once', set out by the government in 2018, that it is data, not people, that should be circulated, is still not respected in the Czech Republic. The Supreme Audit Office (SAO) has found this out during an audit of the MoI focused on the spending of funds to ensure the modernisation of public administration.

The SAO's audit focused primarily on the PMA 3 project (process modelling of agendas), on which the MoI spent CZK 121.7 million in 2017-2023. The SAO assessed the benefits of the project for citizens and authorities as minimal and the spending of funds as ineffective. The main objective of the project - to make the activities of the authorities clearer, simpler and faster and to improve the quality of public administration - was not met. The project was also inefficient to the amount of CZK 35 million, because after six years of its duration only 4 out of 56 proposed measures, which were supposed to make it easier for citizens to deal with official matters, were put into practice.

One of these measures, for example, allowed women to choose whether to use their surname in an inflected or uninflected form from 2022. Other measures put into practice were, for example, that the MoI created instructions for citizens, the so-called "guides to life events", which, however, instead of simplifying specific agendas, only describe how a citizen should proceed, for example, in case of loss of documents or death in the family.

The MoI has identified but not solved a number of problems that make it difficult for citizens to deal with their life situations. For example, online payments of administrative fees are still unavailable, although the MoI started preparing the introduction of a central payment gateway in 2018. In some cases, citizens still have to buy paper stamps.

Parents are still obliged to report the birth of their child to the health insurance company, although the registry office enters this data into the information system and therefore into the central register of insured persons. Similarly, in some cases, citizens are obliged to inform the authorities within eight days of the death of a close person - sometimes under the threat of a fine of up to CZK 20,000 - even though the state has this information at its disposal, it just fails to process and share it in time.

The MoI itself also proposed to remove the obligation to indicate permanent residence on the ID card. This would eliminate the obligation for citizens to change the document every time they move and save the state the cost of producing new documents. However, the MoI failed to put this change into practice by 2023. Citizens are therefore still obliged to apply for a replacement ID card whenever they change their permanent residence.

In the PMA 3 project, the MoI created so-called competence models of civil servants. These were to redefine the requirements for their expertise, knowledge and skills. The SAO has found out that the MoI spent money uneconomically on at least 13 of the 15 competency models. The information contained in the models had been publicly available on the website "National Occupational System", which is managed by the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs, before the project started. The SAO assessed the mere takeover of the information as indicating a breach of budgetary discipline of up to CZK 7 million, which is the amount that was allocated for the creation of competence models.

If you would like to know, for example, how many documents were issued, how many marriages were concluded, how many children were born or how much the state contributes to municipalities and regions to finance the performance of state administration in delegated competence, click on the interactive annex here (only Czech):

Communication Department
Supreme Audit Office

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