The Security Services Archive fails to disclose historical documents from the non-freedom period and the communist totalitarian regime
PRESS RELEASE on Audit No. 15/39 – April 25, 2016
The Supreme Audit Office (SAO) scrutinized the Institute for the Study of Totalitarian Regimes (Institute) and the Archive of Security Forces (Archive) and their management from 2012 to 2014. Auditors scrutinized how these institutions carried out their main tasks, particularly the digitalization of archive documents. In spite of nine years since their establishment, both institutions have failed to disclose the said documents due to problems in the digitalization process. The digitalization process consists of the documents’ conversion into electronic form and is an important step towards the required disclosing. But it was not until the SAO finished the auditing operation that the Internet-based public access to selected archive documents was developed.
Documents selected for the digitalization were transferred between both institutions, which mutually defined their obligations related to the digitalization process in an implementing agreement. According to the agreement, the Archive stored the documents while the Institute was responsible for the documents’ conversion into electronic form. Auditors revealed that some obligations were not fulfilled as the implementation agreement did not define them in an unambiguous manner. For example, documents were not compared with their originals after the digitalization. In the period from 2012 to 2014, several specialized inspections took place in the Institute and in the Archive, which resulted in some serious outcomes. However, no essential corrective measures were taken during the audited period.
In 2012 and 2013, both institutions underwent staff developments, namely their managements, which were followed by additional expenses in the amount of CZK 5 million, including CZK 727,000 of redundancy payments. Employees who failed to qualify for redundancy payments as stipulated in the labour code, did receive compensations under the collective agreement, which exceeded CZK 835,000 in total. Eight former employees of the Archive received these compensations. Some former employees complained before courts, for which the Institute and the Archive have spent CZK 3.6 million so far. The sum is not total as several cases have been pending.
Auditors also scrutinized the institutions’ accountings as well as awarded public contracts and did not find any serious errors.
Supreme Audit Office