Since 2016, all integrated rescue system units share the info about emergencies electronically, except for the Prague Emergency Medical Service
PRESS RELEASE on Audit No. 16/02 – January 9, 2017
The Supreme Audit Office (SAO) scrutinized preparation, implementation, and operation processes related to the project of developing the national informational system for the Integrated Rescue System (IRS), which was supposed to improve the communication among the basic rescue units, including Fire Rescue Service of the Czech Republic, Police of the Czech Republic, and emergency medical services. The said Project was included into a programme entitled “Unified informational systems for the operational management and modernisation of technologies for emergency calls received by basic units of the Integrated Rescue System”. The total expenses of the Project amounted to CZK 364 million, out of which CZK 288 million were drawn from the EU funds under the Integrated Operational Programme. The national IRS informational system started its operation in January 2016, which was two years behind the schedule.
Auditors concluded that the Project did improve the communication and coordination of the IRS units, but the resulting national informational system failed to meet five out of thirteen partial goals, which had been defined in the Project documentation by the General Directorate of the Fire Rescue Service. The Ministry of the Interior underestimated the preparation of the Project and assumed that basic rescue units would be coordinated and managed by the Ministry within the frame of the Project, but these units are under supervision of regional governments. According to the Project documentation, all IRS units should have only communicated via the implemented telecommunication network of the Ministry. With regard to the EU subsidies, all regional basic rescue units joined the network in the end – with the exception of Prague Emergency Medical Service, whose operators still have to use telephones to channel all information about emergencies to the Police and to the Fire Rescue Service.
The project was guaranteed by the General Directorate of the Fire Rescue Service, which could have already selected a supplier in an open procedure in 2011, but was asked by the Ministry of the Interior to award the contract to the State-owned enterprise Czech Post and its spin-off enterprise ICT. The contract was signed as late as in March 2013, but the Project was supposed to be implemented by the end of 2013. There were not enough employees or ICT technologies in the ICT spin-off enterprise for performing the task, additional tenders had to be organized, which had not been planned, and some contracts were implemented with delays.
Because of the Ministry of the Interior’s requirement that the contract be awarded to the ICT, the Project with planned expenses exceeding CZK 527 million was delayed, which jeopardised the utilisation of allocated EU funds. Therefore, the General Directorate of the Fire Rescue Service decided to withdraw the national system of receiving emergency calls from the Project, which would cost over CZK 150 million. As a result, the Project did utilise all allocated EU funds, but since the crucial component of the Project was suspended, the unified technology for receiving emergency calls was not developed, which was among goals of the Project. Instead, there have been six various informational systems up until now.
Moreover, it is complicated to use the developed geographical informational system for visualization of the emergency situation, which could be accessible for all IRS units and inform about location and movements of rescuing units. It was also impossible to provide a navigation to all IRS vehicles, so the current emergency visualization is incomplete. Till the end of the auditing operation, the General Directorate of the Fire Rescue Service had not been successful to make an agreement with the ICT on the operating the national informational system for the Integrated Rescue System, because of the ICT’s rather high financial demands. The systems’ maintenance is only secured during the guarantee period, which ends by the end of 2017. The ICT has to provide services for further three years, but the deadlines for correcting any future deficiencies was not contractually bounded.
Supreme Audit Office