The Ministry of the Environment provided CZK 19,000 million for waste management measures without evaluating whether the goals were met

PRESS RELEASE on Audit No. 16/23 – May 15, 2017

The Supreme Audit Office (SAO) performed an audit at the Ministry of Environment and at the State Environmental Fund and scrutinized EU funds used for measures related to waste management within the period 2012–2016. Auditors focused on the provision, drawing, and the use of the funds and verified how the Ministry supervised and evaluated the achievements. Allotments were provided in order to help meet the objectives set up in the Waste Management Plans of the Czech Republic, which included reducing waste production, minimising the adverse effects of waste generation, and maximum utilisation of waste as a replacement for primary resources. Auditors selected and scrutinized 16 projects from Operational Programme Environment 2007–2013 with total eligible expenditures exceeding CZK 400 million.

Under the Operational Programme Environment 2007–2013, the Ministry of the Environment provided nearly CZK 19,000 million for more than 4,000 projects, which for instance aimed at construction and modernisation of systems for the separation and collection of waste, composting plants, biogas plants, as well as projects for reclaiming old landfills. Even four years after the end of the programming period, the Ministry failed to evaluate whether the projects helped to achieve the goals set in the Waste Management Plan. The Ministry wants to carry out the evaluation of the benefits by the end of 2018 explaining that only implemented projects should be evaluated, but the SAO has verified that all projects were finished by the end of 2015.

As for the individual projects’ impact, the SAO concluded that the evaluation of benefits would be difficult to conduct because the monitoring indicators had been inappropriately pre-set and included criteria like “urban waste amounts” and “number of aided projects”, which gave little information about actual improvements to the waste management. The SAO already criticised the unsuitable configuration of programme indicators during the previous audit in 2011.1 Based on findings of that audit, the Government ordered the Ministry to implement corrective measures, which the Ministry failed to fulfil before the end of the current audit.

Auditors also criticised delays in drawing of EU funds that are allotted to the new programming period. At the time of the audit, the Ministry of the Environment had only transferred only about 1.5 % of the funds (CZK 141 million) allocated to projects aiming at waste management in the new programming period, which is already halfway through the implementation process.

Communication Department
Supreme Audit Office

1] SAO Audit No. 10/14 – Funds earmarked for measures regarding the waste disposal.

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