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Constitutional Court. NIK audit. WP: Julia Przyłębska auditioned

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The Supreme Audit Office found irregularities during the analysis of the implementation of the budget of the Constitutional Tribunal for 2022, reported Wirtualna Polska, adding that it was about “unreliable settlement of two contracts”. In March this year, the president of the Constitutional Tribunal, Julia Przyłębska, was to be interrogated as a witness.

As a result of the analysis of the implementation of the Constitutional Tribunal’s budget for the past year, Supreme Chamber of Control found irregularities in two contracts concluded in February (PLN 70,000) and March (PLN 36,900), Wirtualna Polska journalist Patryk Michalski reported. “The auditors pointed out, among others, unreliable settlements, insufficient documentation and lack of expectations in return for remuneration” – we read.

The first of the contracts was concluded by the Constitutional Tribunal with an unnamed professor of legal sciences z Ukraine. “It is known that from March to September he was paid PLN 70,000, PLN 10,000 per month,” writes WP. His task was to be, inter alia, “advising, including the preparation of notes, expert opinions, analyzes at the request of the President of the Constitutional Tribunal” regarding “law and judiciary, including the constitutional one, of countries outside the European Union, in particular Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, Moldova, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan of Armenia and Georgia.

The NIK analysis discussed by the HR indicated that only two documents were presented to the auditors. “These concerned the proposal to organize a conference ‘Constitutional rights and freedoms of man and citizen in conditions of armed conflicts’, transforming the Ukrainian journal ‘Socjologia Praw’ into a Polish-Ukrainian publishing house and initiating the meeting by the Constitutional Tribunal, Ministry of Justice or the Supreme Court on guaranteeing Ukrainian refugees the right of access to the judiciary and a fair administration of justice and the protection of the rights of Polish citizens.

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“NIK emphasizes that the events did not come to fruition” – the portal reported.

Interrogation of Julia Przyłębska at the Supreme Audit Office

The NIK analysis shows that on March 8, 2023, the president of the Constitutional Tribunal was questioned as a witness Julia Przyłębska. “The President of the Constitutional Tribunal showed files of several hundred pages, which were a translation of the Ukrainian version of the book, which – according to the testimony – were to be delivered to the President successively, from the beginning of the contract and only in paper version. These documents did not contain the date of receipt or were not registered” – the controllers wrote, quoted by WP.

The President of the Constitutional Tribunal was also to be asked about “why she certified, among others, the receipt of documentation from the contractor seven times, although during the period of validity of the contracts in question, i.e. from March 1 to September 30, 2022, she provided the documents to the Constitutional Tribunal only on March 31 and 6 April 2022”.

Przyłębska explained that “Professor […] as part of the contract of mandate, he prepared numerous written materials that can be defined as documents. They did not constitute a separate publication or opinion and therefore were not attached to the documentation, but constituted internal circulation materials.

The judge also added that the scientist proposed publishing the book in Ukrainian and “after discussing its content, we decided that it would be a valuable publication of the Constitutional Tribunal”. “The inspectors emphasize that the book has not been completed by the end of the inspection, and the contracts concluded between 2022 and 2022 have expired,” writes WP.

“A contract of due diligence, not result”

The second contract that the auditors drew attention to was concluded with the natural person in charge sole proprietorship under the name of Awinata in Warsaw”. Representatives of the NIK – as reported by the portal – noted that “the tasks to be performed by the contractor were not specified in it, and the payment of remuneration was not made dependent on the expected effects of the commissioned projects”. This remuneration amounted to PLN 6,150 per month, in total PLN 36 PLN 900.

“According to the reports, the principal was to deal with conceptual, substantive and script work for a board exhibition presenting the democratic and constitutional political traditions of Ukraine,” we read.

The Supreme Audit Office noted that “until the inspection by the Supreme Audit Office, the exhibition had not been completed and no studies had been published, on which, according to monthly reports, the contractor was working”.

When asked why the fee was paid for the service, despite the fact that the Constitutional Tribunal does not have documentation proving its performance, the director of the Tribunal’s office replied that “a contract of mandate was concluded, which is a contract of due diligence, not a result”.

“The letters did not contain signatures, dates and were not registered”

The NIK documents contain the explanations of the head of the office of the President of the Constitutional Tribunal. He explained that “the exhibition was not organized due to the accumulation of other events organized by the Tribunal, i.e. lectures and the annual General Assembly of Judges of the Constitutional Tribunal”.

“To confirm the effects of the work, the head of the office of Julia Przyłębska handed over eight documents to the NIK auditors” – writes WP and adds that “it turned out that the mentioned letters did not contain signatures, dates and were not registered”. The head of Przyłębska’s office explained that “it was important to develop a concept and remember about the progress of work, not to document it.”

“These documents are stored with me. If I stopped performing my duties, one of the employees would find these notes. Until the NIK audit, I had not informed anyone about the existence of the notes, but the employees would have guessed that something like this had been created,” he explained, quoted through the portal.

However, the NIK auditors stated that “inspection of the computer of the head of the office of the President of the Constitutional Tribunal showed that in fact the files containing the documents submitted to the NIK auditor on March 17, 2023, were created on March 14, 2023”. The head of the cabinet argued in response that “previously he had internal fiches, notes. I no longer have these documents.”

The Constitutional Court translates

The HR asked questions about the case to the Court. “We kindly inform you that both the first and the second contract you are asking about have been completed. (…) At the same time, we would like to inform you that the order for the exhibition has been completed and the date of its presentation is currently being set, which will be combined with the conference. that the conclusion of the NIK’s post-audit statement is positive.

“The Supreme Audit Office emphasized in the analysis of the implementation of the Constitutional Tribunal’s budget for 2022 that ‘despite the irregularities found, it should be assessed that the supervision and control over the implementation of the budget were generally effective'” – adds the HR.

Main photo source: Maciej Wasilewski / Agencja Wyborcza.pl

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