Projects aimed at computerisation of the public administration: several years of delays;half of the expenditures in violation of budgetary regulations

PRESS RELEASE on Audit No. 15/03 – December 28, 2015

The Supreme Audit Office (SAO) aimed at the Ministry of Interior and the state-owned enterprise Czech Post and scrutinized EU allowances as well as national budget funds utilized from 2008 to 2014 in projects, which aimed at the computerisation of public administration. For example, auditors aimed at the development of the shared services centre and at the maintenance of the operational centres of the integrated rescue services. Auditors also scrutinized the operation of the Ministry’s existing communication infrastructure. Auditors selected and scrutinized four individual projects as well as the related legal and consulting services and concluded that out of the total costs in the amount of CZK 700 million, CZK 390 million were ineligible expenditures. Due to frequent staff changes and management errors, the deadlines were repeatedly postponed with two audited projects.

The communication infrastructure of the public administration system is necessary for provision of on-line services and public administration performances. Its fundamental features include the shared services centre, which enables the interconnection and communication of public administration informational systems. The shared services centre should have been finished by 2010, but it was not completed even before the end of the auditing operation. Since 85 % of the shared services centre development project should have been co-financed from the EU funds, there is a risk that the Czech Republic will not receive the whole amount of allocation because of the delay. Before the auditing operation ended, the costs of the Project had already amounted to CZK 394 million. Another unfinished project, which should also have been co-financed from the EU funds up to 85 % of its costs, aimed at development of a next-generation integrated telecommunication network (ITS NGN) and had cost nearly CZK 152 million by the time the auditing operation was ending. In spite of the found errors, all audited projects contributed to the development of the communication infrastructure of the public administration system.

The Ministry of the Interior also awarded five public contracts to a particular supplier under so called “in-house” exemption without undergoing a bidding procedure and before the auditing operation ended, the Ministry had already paid CZK 390 million for the contracts’ performances. In the opinion of the SAO, these supplies did not fulfil the conditions concerning the in-house exemption.

To decrease the operational costs, the Ministry of the Interior started to transfer the operation, maintenance, and developing of the communication infrastructure together with some employees to the state-owned enterprise Czech Post in 2009. According to the Ministry, the transfers should have ensured cost savings and allow more efficient provision of services. None of the proclaimed expectations had been fulfilled by the end of 2013. In spite its costs decreased by 2 % since 2014, no appropriate payment system was established.

Communication Department
Supreme Audit Office

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