The PiS Settlements Team led by Roman Giertych began to operate. And intensely. The Supreme Audit Office presented a report on the Justice Fund. “Gross conflict of interest and corruption mechanisms.”
– The Supreme Audit Office negatively assessed the activities of the Minister of Justice in ensuring appropriate legal and organizational conditions for the functioning of the Justice Fund, as well as the manner of using public funds at its disposal – a representative of the Supreme Audit Office said on Wednesday.
The main accusation, but not the only one, made by the Supreme Audit Office is the fact that the Justice Fund, in the opinion of the auditors, has lost the “character of a special purpose fund” assumed from the beginning and required in its case. – He doubled the expenses incurred by other state institutions – it was explained.
– Of the PLN 681 million in subsidies granted, only PLN 228 million, i.e. 34%, was allocated to assistance provided directly to crime victims, and PLN 24.2 million, i.e. 4%, to post-penitentiary assistance. The rest was expenditure on crime prevention, said a representative of the Supreme Audit Office.
Specific allegations against Zbigniew Ziobro
During the audit report, accusations were also made against the then Minister of Justice, Zbigniew Ziobro. – The Minister of Justice did not provide all potential beneficiaries with equal and transparent access to public funds, in particular, he unreliably prepared 16 audited competitions for non-governmental organizations, and also made discretionary changes to the recommendations of the competition committees – it was stated.
– The Minister unintentionally and unwisely granted 13 out of 16 subsidies covered by the audit for an amount exceeding PLN 63 million. These subsidies were intended to be used to counteract crime, but in practice they had no connection with this topic – assessed the Supreme Audit Office.
Negative effects of the Justice Fund’s activities
The Supreme Audit Office emphasized that the actions of the Justice Fund could be counterproductive. This resulted in entrusting tasks related to helping crime victims to organizations that did not have adequate preparation.
In this way, the situation of crime victims in the Opole Voivodeship was to deteriorate. Moreover, it allegedly created a “direct threat to the life and health of minor aid beneficiaries from the Silesian Voivodeship.”
– The Minister of Justice financed the current activities of arbitrarily selected Volunteer Fire Department units, health care facilities and the construction of a center for adults in a coma. At the same time, without justification, he resigned from tasks that had a real impact on the situation of crime victims, i.e. building or adapting the so-called friendly interrogation rooms for children or rape victims – transferred.
Objections to the expenditure of over PLN 280 million
The report also included information that could be subject to the activities of the Central Anticorruption Bureau. – Gross conflicts of interest and corruption mechanisms have been identified in individual areas of the fund’s operations, including: family and social connections, obtaining unauthorized income by people managing individual non-governmental organizations in violation of the regulations, outsourcing tasks to commercial entities – said the Supreme Audit Office.
– The Supreme Audit Office also negatively assessed the activities undertaken in the period under review to promote the Justice Fund, because their subject matter went beyond building the fund’s recognition and also served to promote the activities of the Minister of Justice – it was said.
According to the Supreme Audit Office’s report, the total amount of funds that were spent inconsistently with the regulations, unintentionally, uneconomically or unreliably amounted to over PLN 280 million.
NIK announces another audit
The results presented on Wednesday by the Supreme Audit Office come from the first comprehensive audit of the Justice Fund and cover the period from mid-2017 to the end of 2020. For the second quarter of this year. its continuation was announced, which will cover the following years.
– The audit covered the implementation of the tasks of the Minister of Justice and the correct use of the fund’s resources by the beneficiaries in all three areas of its operation – explained the representative of the Supreme Audit Office. The mentioned goals are: providing assistance to crime victims, post-penitentiary assistance and preventing crime.