Only one quarter of the amount needed for purchases and repairs allocated to the Ministry of Justice, which still could not use up the money

PRESS RELEASE on Audit No. 15/16 – February 1, 2016

The Supreme Audit Office (SAO) performed an audit at the Ministry of Justice and scrutinized how the Ministry developed and repaired buildings, purchased ICT technologies, cars and properties for courts, public prosecutors’ offices, and prisons. The Ministry issued two concepts defining priorities and started four programmes that aimed at more effective and targeted financing and clear timeframes of concrete projects. Due to economic downturn of 2009 and reduced budget funds, the Ministry was not able to cover all the priorities because its investments rather tackled current difficulties, for instance emergency conditions in their buildings. As a result, planned actions were not implemented, were postponed, or limited. Auditors revealed that the Ministry could not use up the allocated funds because of poor planning of their actions.

According to the concepts of the Ministry of Justice for the period 2008–2013, the Ministry needed CZK 22,000 million for its properties’ maintenance. But only CZK 5,000 were approved. The Ministry only obtained less than one quarter of the needed amount and still used up only CZK 3,400 million.

Throughout their duration, the programmes were often extended and conditions were altered because of the slow uptake of allocated funds. For example, a programme that aimed at the development and reconstruction of buildings and purchases of cars and ICT technologies should have been implemented in the period from 2008 to 2013 and its expenditures should have been CKZ 4,900 million. But the Ministry of Justice only utilised CZK 1,200 million and extended the Programme to 2018, explaining that it was not possible to take up all allocated EU funds in time. However, the EU funds made only 11 % of the utilised funds.

The Ministry of Justice poorly planned the implementation of individual programs. For example, a building worth CZK 71 million in the Justice Areal, situated in Prague 10, Na Míčánkách, was purchased by the Ministry in 2009. According to the plan, after a reconstruction of the building, which was planned to begin in 2012, employees of the district court and the public prosecutor’s office should have moved in. However, the planned reconstruction with total expenses in the amount of CZK 270 million did not start before the end of 2015.

Auditors concluded that it was problematic to determine how much the funds used in the audited programmes contributed to the reconstruction of the Ministry of Justice’s property since the evaluation criteria defined by the Ministry could not help to examine this question. For example, the Ministry monitored the number of purchased computers with one programme. After the indicators were altered, they only showed the percentage of courts and public prosecutors’ offices, which obtained at least one new computer. Such indicators do not show how effectively the funds were used. Frequent extensions of programmes make the evaluation process even more complicated – for example, one programme was not completed after 13 years of its implementation.

Communication Department
Supreme Audit Office

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