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NIK on irregularities in the IPN. Millions of zlotys for renting unused premises

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The Institute of National Remembrance paid almost one million złoty per month for eight months for renting unused premises in the building that was to house the new headquarters of the Central History Stop – according to the Supreme Audit Office’s post-audit statement. The IPN allegedly spent almost 18 million złoty in violation of the law, dishonestly or uneconomically.

Supreme Chamber of Control negatively assessed the implementation of the state budget in 2023 in the part concerning the Institute of National Remembrance. The NIK's post-audit statement shows that the IPN, as the administrator of part of the state budget, spent budget funds in the amount of almost PLN 538.76 million last year in accordance with the material and financial plan, with almost PLN 17.92 million spent in violation of the law, unreliably or uneconomically.

NIK assessed that the IPN had not properly managed public funds for the implementation of projects related to the creation of the new headquarters of the Central History Point (CPH) and allowed for the uneconomical expenditure of funds in the amount of PLN 7.72 million for the rental of premises, together with operating costs and utilities, in the building at ul. Marszałkowska 107 in Warsaw. Over the course of eight months, the IPN paid an average of PLN 965.7 thousand for the rental of unused premises.

Institute of National Remembrance despite concluding a lease agreement for the premises at Marszałkowska in November 2022, by the date of completion of the audit he had not used the premises rented to CPH for the IPN’s current educational, exhibition and publishing activities.

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“During the course of the NIK audit, finishing works on these rooms and installation of multimedia equipment were still in progress” – NIK indicated in its post-audit statement.

370 thousand zlotys for multimedia capsules from Taiwan

The Institute of National Remembrance spent PLN 370,000 on the purchase of multimedia capsules for CPH, which were to be delivered to Poland from Taiwanbut this equipment was not delivered by the contractor until the end of the NIK audit. Moreover, when confirming receipt of the capsules, an untruth was allegedly confirmed.

The auditors found that on March 4, 2023, none of the rooms rented by the IPN for the operation of the new CPH contained multimedia capsules, the delivery of which, together with assembly and connection on site, was confirmed in the acceptance protocol of December 20, 2023.

On behalf of the IPN, the confirmation of receipt was made by the head of the independent section of arrangement projects of the History Stops Office. The director of the History Stops Office testified that due to the large scope of responsibilities for the implementation of the project, he hired an employee who became the manager of this project and was fully responsible for its implementation.

In the post-inspection statement, we read that the manager initially stated that the capsules had been transferred to the service, but this statement turned out to be inconsistent with the facts. After the absence of the capsules was confirmed, the manager “testified that in fact there were no capsules and that no tests had been carried out on them, and that he had received a ready report on the transfer to the service from the contractor, who had prepared it at his request.”

In the explanations provided on behalf of the President of the Institute of National Remembrance, the Director General stated that the capsules were delivered on April 11, 2024 to the port of Gdańsk and are awaiting customs clearance scheduled for April 16. The delay was allegedly due to the armed conflict in the Red Sea.

The false certification was also allegedly made when confirming receipt for the purchase of equipment and furnishings, including furniture for CPH. Over PLN 640,000 was spent on the purchase and installation of equipment, but some of this equipment was not installed. In turn, over PLN 11,000 was paid for remuneration for the implementation of the author's supervision over the implementation of the CPH arrangement. The remuneration was paid despite the fact that the undertaking had not been completed by the end of last year.

Game License, Rose Name Rights

The audit also showed that when spending funds on the IPN’s activities, expenses totalling PLN 4.72 million were incurred in violation of the principles of rational management of public funds.

Most of this amount, 4.34 million zlotys, was spent on the purchase of a 10-year license for the RPG game “Warsaw Rising: City of Heroes”. As we read in the NIK audit statement, this was done “without a reliable market analysis of alternative solutions and a reliable estimate of the value of the license being purchased for the game, which has been operating on the computer games market for four years”.

According to the deputy director of the Office of New Technologies at the Institute of National Remembrance, “the alternative solution would be uneconomical”, but – as indicated by NIK – this view has not been confirmed by a documented analysis.

The institute spent PLN 120,000 on creating a font for the IPN that would be used for effective visual identification, “even though the IPN had a wide range of decorative fonts available in generally available office software”.

Institute of National RemembranceLeszek Szymanski/PAP

In turn, 34.4 thousand zlotys were spent on the purchase of rights for a period of 10 years to give a name to a new variety of maiden rose with the breeding name “ROJmemo”. The rose was given the name Victoria 1920. NIK pointed out that this was done “without conducting any analyses of the effectiveness of such a form of promoting historical events”.

50 thousand zlotys were spent on commissioning board game tutorials, “in a situation where they were available in paper version and as so-called tutorials in online applications, and additionally some of them already had video instructions from previous years”.

The IPN spent almost PLN 150,000 on organizing a sports event as part of the Congress of National Remembrance, and PLN 32,000 on the Republic of History program. These are five eight-minute episodes of the special program. According to NIK, this was done contrary to the assumed goal of reaching the widest possible audience, because the production took place on a television station with low viewership, not exceeding 0.5 percent.

The NIK audit also showed that, contrary to the regulations, individuals were commissioned to provide protection services to the IPN management for PLN 31.2 thousand. The scope of the services included the use or application of direct coercion and firearms, even though, according to the regulations, they were not security guards and did not have a license to perform business in the field of personal and property protection services.

The post-audit statement also shows that due diligence was not exercised in the use and publication of photos on Internet portals managed by the IPN, which – as we read – resulted in two copyright infringements through the illegal publication by the IPN on its services of a photo registered in the FORUM database while omitting the indication of the creator of the published work. This resulted in the conclusion of settlements and payment of money for the use of the photos.

The statement also states that there was inadequate supervision over the use of funds from the special-purpose subsidy granted to the Museum of Cursed Soldiers and Political Prisoners of the Polish People's Republic “for the implementation of an investment project”.

“The expenditure of funds in the amount of PLN 1.41 million was permitted for construction works that were carried out before the architectural and construction authority issued a building permit” – it was written in the post-audit statement.

Due to the identified irregularities, NIK requested to strengthen supervision over the planning and implementation of investments, rational management of public funds and development of control mechanisms and risk identification that would counteract the irregularities revealed during the audits.

Main image source: Leszek Szymanski/PAP



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