The project of extending the Metro Line A could not be scrutinized as the SAO is not allowed to audit all public funds

PRESS RELEASE on Audit No. 14/32 – August 17, 2015

The Supreme Audit Office (SAO) performed an audit aimed at funds, which were utilized from 2009 to 2015 to extend the Metro Line A. Construction works related to four new stations of the Metro Line A, which started their test operations on April 6, 2015, were supposed to cost CZK 22,600 million. When the project was being approved, the planned costs were increased by 20 % to CZK 27,100 million, out of which CZK 7,400 million would be reimbursed from EU funds under the Operational Programme Transport. However, auditors could not scrutinize whether the Prague Public Transit Company, a. s. (Inc.), implemented the public funds in the most efficient and effective manner, as the current legislation does not allow the SAO to scrutinize all public funds. Nevertheless, the project of extending the Metro Line A is among the most expensive infrastructure development projects that have been implemented in the Czech Republic in recent years.

In 2013, the SAO planned to scrutinize the project of extending the Metro Line A in the auditing period from the end of 2014 to early 2015. The auditing operation’s schedule was based on the submitted project documentation, which stated that in the time when the auditing operation would be carried out, the said CZK 7,400 million from the EU funds would have already been reimbursed or at least pre-financed from the State budget resources. Under such conditions, the SAO could scrutinize the management with these funds.

In reality, when the auditing operation was about to be finalised, all costs of preparation and construction works related to the project of extending the Metro Line A had been covered by the Prague Public Transit Co. or from funds provided by the Prague Metropolitan Authority. The Prague Public Transit Co. applied for reimbursement of CZK 3,100 million from EU funds, but the process had not been completed before the auditing operation was closed. Under its current competences, the SAO is only allowed to audit these funds, so the auditors only scrutinized these funds’ utilisation.

The rest of the utilised funds (over CZK 20,000 million) are managed by local authorities and are outside the SAO’s competences. “It is unbelievable that such large amounts of public funds are not subject to an external audit. The SAO intended to audit the funds that the SAO is allowed to audit according to current legislation, but it was not possible because of the changes to the Project’s funding plan. In the light of the developments in the Metro Line A extension project’s funding, it is essential that the SAO’s competences are extended to all public funds”, said President of the SAO Mr. Miloslav Kala.

Communication Department
Supreme Audit Office

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