Conditions for grant aid provided to public universities allowed double-exceeding of the budgets
Press Release – October 22, 2012
The Supreme Audit Office (SAO) scrutinized two programmes under the administration of the Ministry of Education, which aimed at the material and technical bases of public universities. Auditors focused on the administration of the programmes by the Ministry and scrutinized 14 selected projects included into the programmes.
The SAO concluded that the Ministry had failed to set proper conditions for the grant aid with both the programmes. For example, the Ministry did not demand from the aid recipients to perform evaluations of investment effectiveness. As a consequence, the Ministry had no opportunity to assess retrospectively, whether the provided support had been efficiently spent. The Ministry could not give evidence of assessing the investment projects. Aid was provided to Charles University for a purchase of two buildings in the Opletalova Street in Prague, which cost CZK 372.5 million. When the auditing operation was about to be finished, these buildings had been vacant for one and half a year.
The Ministry mostly failed to oblige participants of the investment operations to use the procured properties for the purpose defined in the project documentations. There was no restriction imposed on transferring the procured property and the aid recipients were not bound over to operate the procured properties for certain periods.
The SAO focused on 14 investment operations, which were worth CZK 4,400 million in total. In case of five audited operations, insufficiencies were revealed. For example, the aid recipients committed errors when preparing the projects as well as in public procurement procedures. Due to errors committed during the entry procedures, the construction of a new hall of Faculty of Science (Envelopa) at Palacký University in Olomouc took three years longer than originally planned, which doubled the budget to CZK 1,000 million. The University violated the law when ordered additional works without tender in spite the works’ total value exceeded the limit specified by the law (20 % of the original value of the contract). Originally budgeted amounts were also exceeded by the VSB – Technical University of Ostrava: Expenditures of the construction of the Centre for advanced innovative technologies pavilion exceeded the planned budget by 24.7 % and expenditures of the auditorium pavilion of the Faculty of Civil Engineering exceeded the budget by 46.5 %.
For further details about the auditing operation No. 11/37 (in Czech only), see the following link: http://www.nku.cz/assets/media/informace-11-37.pdf (pdf 229 kB).
Supreme Audit Office