The Court of Appeal in Warsaw ruled in two judgments that Caritas of the Diocese of Płock is to return over PLN 11 million in funding from the years 2006-2007 to the State Fund for Rehabilitation of Disabled Persons (PFRON) and interest on this amount. In the case of one of the Caritas judgments of the Diocese of Płock, she filed for a cassation appeal. In the second case, the cassation appeal is considered.
The court ordered Caritas of the Diocese of Płock to pay PFRON the following amounts: PLN 9,186,158 and PLN 2,298,117, respectively, and the awarded main amount is equal to the amount provided by the Fund and should be increased by interest calculated from March 2013.
OKO.press was the first to inform about the case. The portal reported that PFRON demanded the return of PLN 16.2 million, because this amount was transferred to Caritas in Płock within two years, as part of four professional activation programs for people with disabilities.
Journalists, using the statutory interest calculator, calculated that the interest in the case is approximately PLN 7.9 million. “In total, Caritas of the Diocese of Płock is to return PLN 19.2 million to the state fund.” – summed up.
Curia: a cassation appeal was lodged in the first case
The Diocesan Curia of Płock, when asked about the case, said that it was about the sentences of April and September (this year – ed.), But the Court of Appeal did not take into account the expert opinion drawn up on the order of the court of first instance, who stated that PFRON of the sum, contrary to the purpose of the contracts, the local Caritas spent almost PLN 2 million.
“We would like to inform you that on April 30, 2021 and September 21, 2021, after 12 years of trials, the Court of Appeal in Warsaw issued judgments ending the proceedings in both cases, caused by the lawsuits of the State Fund for Rehabilitation of Disabled Persons (PFRON)” – the Curia informed in the message.
It was explained that the judgments were issued “in relation to the projects implemented by Caritas in the Diocese of Płock in the years 2006-2007, financed from the PFRON funds, the correctness of which was questioned by PFRON”. It was added that the financing agreements were signed and implemented by the previous Caritas leadership of the Diocese of Płock, even before the present bishop Piotr Libera took over the Diocese of Płock.
“We would like to emphasize that the Court of Appeal did not take into account the expert opinion prepared at the request of the court of first instance, which stated that out of the total sum granted by PFRON, only PLN 1,986,250 was spent by Caritas contrary to the purpose of the contracts,” wrote the Diocesan Curia of Płock.
In the information, it was noted that Caritas of the Płock Diocese asked the Supreme Court to cassation the unjust – in its opinion – judgment of 30 April, the execution of which, by the decision of September 7, was suspended until the complaint was examined.
“With regard to the decisions of September 21, the decision on a possible cassation appeal will be made after receiving a written justification of the judgment from the Court of Appeal,” announced the Curia.
Irregularities in Billing
The case is related to irregularities in Caritas of the Płock Diocese, about which PFRON, but also the Diocesan Curia of Płock informed in 2010. The Curia, stating then that the results of the audit in Płock Caritas had been submitted to the Regional Prosecutor’s Office in Płock, admitted that they had shown that some projects were poorly conducted and that there were irregularities in their settlement.
Płocka Caritas explained then that the internal audit showed irregularities in the settlement of funds received under the European Social Fund, but part of the money was spent as intended, and therefore they should not be reimbursed.
In connection with the case, it was reported that it concerned four projects which, thanks to PFRON support, were implemented in 2006-2008 by Caritas in Płock, inter alia, in the field of professional and social rehabilitation of disabled people and their employment. This involved, among other things, organizing incomplete training and advice or showing that they were carried out when they did not actually take place.
In the information from 2010, Caritas from Płock explained that the results of the internal audit showed that the project managers did not fulfill their obligations by the end of June 2008. It was described that “there is a significant suspicion of abuse of trust”, inter alia, in relation to the Diocesan Curia of Płock by the management of the local Caritas during the implementation of projects, and therefore these employees were dismissed from their functions.
In turn, PFRON informed in 2010 that Caritas in Płock did not implement any of the four projects for which it received funding, which was the direct cause of the termination of contracts, and there was no response twice a call for a refund of over PLN 14.6 million, therefore The fund decided to refer the case to recovery and at the same time filed a lawsuit demanding the return of all funds.
Main photo source: Mateusz Grochocki / EastNews