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Irregularities in the National Center for Research and Development, audit by the Supreme Audit Office. Roman Giertych: PLN 250 million was stolen from all of us

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PLN 250 million was stolen from all of us. We are dealing with corruption on an unimaginable scale, said Roman Giertych, chairman of the PiS settlement team, referring to the conclusions from last year’s NIK audit conducted at the NCBiR presented at the meeting.

On Tuesday, the Sejm held a meeting of the team appointed by the Civic Coalition, during which representatives of the Supreme Audit Office presented the conclusions from the audit carried out by the Chamber last year at the National Center for Research and Development (NCBiR).

Acting director of the Supreme Audit Office’s branch office in Białystok, Janusz Pawelczyk, recalled that the audit was intended to concern the organization of granting funds under the “Fast Track” competition, but its scope was extended.

Senior State Audit Inspector of the Supreme Audit Office, Robert Sieńko, pointed out that the audit revealed a number of violations and irregularities related to the preparation of the “Fast Track” competition itself.

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According to the chief specialist of the state audit of the Supreme Audit Office, Jakub Dąbrowa, in the process choice projects for co-financing violated the principles of transparency, reliability and impartiality.

– At the request of the then director of NCBiR, he was provided with information about the stages of assessment of individual applications. Moreover, in the case of an application with the highest amount of funding, the chairman assessing the application provided the director of NCBiR with information about potential threats that may negatively affect the assessment of the application and its copy,” he explained.

According to Dąbrowa, the then director of NCBiR sent e-mails to experts during the evaluation of applications, in which he suggested a more liberal assessment of one of the elements of the project budget – the remuneration of research staff.

READ ALSO: Jacek Żalek about Adam Bielan’s lies, a column in NCBiR and an organized criminal group

The PiS Settlement Team got acquainted with the findings regarding NCBiRTomasz Gzell/PAP/EPA

Dąbrowa also pointed out that applicants were not notified of changes to the regulations, primarily regarding the extension of the deadline for submitting applications, which led to unequal treatment of all applicants.

Dąbrowa also drew attention to the unclear – as he said – rules for selecting experts to evaluate applications. According to him, “there were no rules for creating the composition of expert panels.”

According to the auditors, there was noticeable influence of politicians on the activities of NCBiR, in particular the political connections of the MEP Adam Bielanywhich – as the NIK state audit inspector Magdalena Krakowska-Wąż said – “had a very large impact on the HR policy at the Center.”

Giertych: 250 million was stolen from all of us

According to Pawelczyk, after the audit, the Supreme Audit Office sent notifications to the prosecutor’s office, but no proceedings have been initiated so far.

– PLN 250 million was stolen from all of us. “It shocks me that the prosecutor’s office, with such information and such mismanagement notified by the Supreme Audit Office, does not initiate proceedings for four months,” he said. Roman Giertychreferring to the auditors’ speeches.

Meeting of the PiS Settlement TeamTomasz Gzell/PAP/EPA

– I announce to all prosecutors responsible that this type of negligence will not remain beyond the attention of parliament – he added.

– These funds were supposed to go to the development of our science and technology, to enrich our scientific thought, but were largely allocated for party and political purposes that had nothing to do with the tasks for which NCBiR was established – he noted.

NIK audit at NCBiR

In October last year Supreme Chamber of Control found numerous irregularities, both in the process of preparing and organizing the recruitment of applications for funding in the “Fast Track – Digital Innovations” competition, as well as at the project selection stage. According to NIK, NCBiR did not comply with the competition regulations and its own internal regulations.

In December 2023, the then newly appointed Minister of Science Dariusz Wieczorek announced in an interview with “Rzeczpospolita” a full audit of the National Center for Research and Development.

Main photo source: Tomasz Gzell/PAP/EPA

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