In six-year period, the tourist industry was supported with CZK 49,000 million, but remained the same or declining

PRESS RELEASE on Audit No. 13/32 – July 28, 2014

The Supreme Audit Office (SAO) performed an audit of funds utilized in travel industry development projects under the National Programme for Support to Travel Industry, the Integrated Operational Programme, and four regional operational programmes.

According to the Ministry of Regional Development, over 4,500 projects were supported in the field of travel industry and the subsidies exceeded CZK 49,000 million in the period from the end of 2007 to mid-2013. A report on the implementation of the National Policy of Travel Industry within the period 2007–2013 was presented to the Government by the Ministry, which showed that the travel industry’s shares in macro-economic indicators were continuously dropping as well as the number of employees in this area and the travel industry’s contribution to public budgets. Similar ideas were contained in the Regulatory Impact Assessment (RIA), which was elaborated during preparations of the new law concerning the support of travel industry development in October 2013.

The National Programme of the Travel Industry Support was intended to make travel activities available to disadvantaged citizens, including families with small kids, young people, students, senior citizens, and the handicapped. The Ministry failed to monitor whether the projects really met the Program’s goals or actually aimed at the target groups. For example, the Ministry provided support to a Segway rental point with CZK 1.2 million and an electrical bicycle rental point with almost CZK 1 million. Quality assessment of subsidy applications was very subjective with this Program.

With the Integrated Operational Programme, auditors randomly selected and scrutinized seven projects. Six of the projects were insufficiently prepared, which ended in untimely terminations of the implementation processes with three projects. For example, the concept of the national information portal on travel industry, which had been counted with in travel industry development conceptions since 1999, was launched as late as in 2012. By February 2014, only 9 % of the allocated funds were utilized. Within the frame of another project worth CZK 95 million, subjects operating in the travel industry should have got certifications of quality. However, only 12 subjects were certified by February 2014 and the project will be finished in the end of 2015. By February 2014, the Ministry of Regional Development had already spent CZK 41 million on the said project.

Communication Department
Supreme Audit Office

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