Instruments aimed at the employment support for handicapped citizens should be reassessed
Press Release – November 30, 2010
From January to August 2010, auditors from the Supreme Audit Office (SAO) were performing auditing operation No. 10/03, which scrutinized the state budget funds earmarked for support and integration of handicapped citizens and the implementation of National Plan of Support within the period 2006–2009.
Among the audited bodies were Úřad vlády České republiky, Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs, labour offices in Prague, Brno, Blansko, Havlíčkův Brod, Hradec Králové, Jablonec nad Nisou, Jihlava, Liberec, and Pardubice. Audiotors focused on the employment support for employers with over 50 % handicapped staff and fulfilment of the duty of employers with over 25 employees to hire 4 % handicapped employees.
“The SAO found that, in respect of statutory instruments for the support and integration of handicapped citizens, the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs had not set any specific, measurable objectives to be reached in the area of employment of handicapped persons. For example, neither it had available data on the actual number of employed handicapped persons, nor it even monitored the extent to which individual employer groups participated in the employment of such handicapped persons. With data missing, it is impossible to perform evaluations and set the objectives so that all employers are motivated“, said president of the SAO František Dohnal.
In the Czech Republic, there are approximately 1 million handicapped persons. The Ministry’s budget heading expenditure in respect of supporting employment of handicapped persons grew, and in 2009 was almost CZK 2,581 million, while the economic inactivity level of handicapped persons aged 15–59 rose from 64.8 % in 2006 to 66.8 % in 2009. There were no legal regulations for employers’ co-participation in contributions towards support of the handicapped persons employment. In several cases the contribution covered up to 100 % of the labour costs reported by the employer.
“The data available to the SAO from the Ministry and the labour offices implied that the contribution had been misused by some employers. Auditors found that labour offices had performed only few audits in some cases. There is a continual risk of misusing the contribution. The labour offices cannot influence the contribution’s repayments“, said Dohnal.
In case the employers do not employ the mandatory number of employees themselves, they can purchase products from companies, in which more than 50 % of employees are handicapped. All audited bodies (11 organisational units of the state) mostly chose to employ the handicapped and only at minimum rate purchased products from companies that employed handicapped persons.
“The existing system of employment support to handicapped persons needs specific and measurable goals to be set. It is essential to analyze and reassess instruments for providing the employment to handicapped citizens. The employers should be motivated to employ the handicapped, conditions should prevent the contributions to be misused, and the experience gained by labour offices should be utilized. We should also monitor the data required for the management and evaluation of the employment support system“, concluded Dohnal.
The auditing operation was included into 2010 Audit Plan of the SAO under No. 10/03. Eliška Kadaňová, Member of the SAO Board, controlled the operation and prepared the audit conclusion. Auditors from 14 supreme audit institutions participated in the coordinated audit. The report on the results of the parallel audit is about to be published in spring 2011.
Mgr. Bc. Radka Burketová
Supreme Audit Office