The SAO scrutinized regional projects, which drew CZK 950 million: one fifth of the expenses were ineligible
Press Release – August 6, 2012
The Supreme Audit Office (SAO) aimed at implementation of Regional Operational Programme (ROP) NUTS II South-West and ROP NUTS II Moravia-Silesia during the period 2007–2011. The audit scrutinized 28 supported projects worth CZK 950.2 million in total and revealed that CZK 187.7 million out of the disbursements were ineligible. The SAO revealed similar shortcomings at both ROPs. The audit revealed violations of the Public Procurement Act, which led to ineligible drawing, the main cause of shortcomings being insufficient supervision of the projects.
The SAO audited beneficiaries as well as the regional councils, which have to select projects and monitor the implementation and payment processes. As for the monitoring, the audit revealed serious shortcomings. For example, Regional Council of the South-West Cohesion Region enabled two managers, who were responsible for the project evaluation, to consult one another about their work. Naturally, their evaluation reports contained identical comments. In this way, the Regional Council violated the “four eyes” inspection principle, which in fact broke both national and EU regulations.
Owing to the insufficient supervision performed by regional councils, some beneficiaries were authorized to get disbursements in spite the expenses were not eligible. For example, projects aimed at pavement reparations, car park developments, and constructions of in-line skating paths in Český Těšín were paid out of the ROP NUTS II Moravia-Silesia. During the auditing operation, it was revealed that not all the planned constructions had been finished. Nevertheless, the whole payment was approved, including CZK 345,600 of ineligible expenses. On top of that, the budgetary principles were violated. Another violation of rules was found in Boršov nad Vltavou. In spite of the fact that the municipality violated the conditions when a construction was finished one and half a month later than originally planned, Regional Council of the South-West Cohesion Region approved the disbursements in the amount of CZK 30.5 million.
The audit revealed considerable differences in costs of technical works. For example, application preparation processes and project management costs made less than 1 % with some projects, and over 5 % with others.
For further details about the audit operations No. 11/19 and No. 11/20 (in Czech only), see the following links:
- http://www.nku.cz/assets/media/informace-11-19.pdf (pdf 184 kB),
- http://www.nku.cz/assets/media/informace-11-20.pdf (pdf 203 kB).
Supreme Audit Office