The National Institute of Mental Health was created thanks to hundreds of millions of crowns from European subsidies. There is a question mark over its next funding.
Press release to Audit No. 17/14 – 5. 3. 2018
The Supreme Audit Office focused on the management of the National Institute of Mental Health between 2014 and 2016. The auditors examined, how the Institute handled its property and also how it kept the accounting, they also dealt with the functionality of the internal control system and with the financing of the Institute as well. The management of assets was verified on the property worth of CZK 530 million. The audit revealed accounting shortcomings which were caused also due to the lack of an effective internal control system in the Institute. At the same time, it is necessary for the Ministry of Health to deal with the financing of the Institute as soon as possible, especially after 2020, when the Institute will be deprived of a substantial part of its income.
The National Institute of Mental Health was established in 2015 by transformation of the Psychiatric Centre of Prague. Since that year, the establishment has been relocated to a newly built area of Klecany. The Institute was created mainly with the help of European subsidies from the operational programme Research and Development for Innovation. The construction of the centre in Klecany cost approximately CZK 700 million, i.e. the cost of the building and of its equipment. The start of operation of the Institute came to approximately CZK 200 million. Operational costs are covered mainly from national sources now. In 2016, the total cost of the Institute amounted to approximately CZK 220 million.
So far, more than a quarter of the Institute’s operation has been funded by the National Sustainability Programme under the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports. In 2016, the Institute received CZK 60 million from this Programme, future funding is yet to follow. However, in 2020 the Programme will expire and the Institute will be deprived of the only major guaranteed source of income. It does not receive any regular contributions from its founder, i.e. the Ministry of Health. In 2016, it received a one-time CZK 25 million benefit from the department. If the situation is not resolved, the Institute will be dependent only on non-guaranteed grant receipts.
The Ministry of Health stated that the financing of the Institute after 2020 goes beyond the current budgetary outlook. The SAO recommends that the Ministry of Health clarifies as soon as possible how the financing of the Institute, whose construction and launch amounted to approximately CZK 900 million, will be solved after 2020.
Auditors also found that the National Institute of Mental Health did not have proper and complete accounting between 2014 and 2016. Some of the accounting errors were related to the construction of the new building in Klecany. The revealed errors also stem from the fact that the Institute did not have a functioning internal control system. The SAO audited the purchase of 23 items of medical and other equipment and, in none of the cases a proper financial control had been carried out before the purchase. The internal audit of the National Institute of Mental Health was provided by an external contractor. The reports on performed audits, however, do not correspond to how an internal audit output should look like. According to the SAO, the Institute should focus on internal control, revise relevant regulations, and set rules where they are absent.
Supreme Audit Office