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Office expenses. Patryk Wachowiec about the controversial purchases of MPs

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We have a huge problem with transparency – Patryk Wachowiec, a legal analyst of the Civil Development Forum (FOR), said in an interview with TVN24, referring to the controversial expenses of MPs for parliamentary offices. He pointed out that the regulations governing this issue are outdated and the officials responsible for enforcing them are associated with PiS. – How strong are these control stimuli supposed to be when it’s all a bit closed-loop? he wondered.

– Of course, MPs have to report all parliamentary expenses quite regularly. This is 19,000 per month and this is the amount for employees, for security, for equipment and also for office supplies. However, all this is to be related to the functioning of the parliamentary office and the work of the deputy in the field – said the lawyer.

“We have a huge problem with transparency”

He pointed out that “there were purchases of paintings as part of charity auctions.” – One of the deputies said that he hung a painting in the deputies’ office – he said. The lawyer explained that “at the end of the term, all this goes to the property of the Chancellery of the Sejm, i.e. to the property of all citizens.”

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We have a huge problem with transparency. MPs report it to the Chancellery of the Sejm and that’s okay, but the Chancellery of the Sejm are officials appointed by the current authorities. Immediately after coming to power by Law and Justice the long-time head of the Chancellery of the Sejm was replaced with a person who was one of the PiS Warsaw councilors – he recalled.

– How strong should these control stimuli be in order to pay attention to the MP, go, check whether these funds are well spent, when all this is somewhat in a closed system? he wondered.

Read more: “If I knew that, I’d probably prefer to use a phone booth.” What was bought for parliamentary offices

Outdated regulations

He added that the spending of funds on deputies’ offices is regulated by the act on the performance of the mandate of deputy and senator.

– A deputy has the right to run his office or even several field offices. The Marshal of the Sejm lists in the ordinance which assets may be purchased by a deputy, and for what amount he may carry out repairs. A person who is a deputy for the first time can equip this office a little better than a deputy who is already sitting in the Sejm for another term – he explained.

However, he pointed out that the regulations governing the spending of public funds on MPs’ offices are over 20 years old. – 2001 is the ordinance of the Marshal of the Sejm, it was updated in 2003 in a small fragment. This is prehistory, not only politically, but also as to what assets MPs can buy, he said.

– Today we have smartphones, smartwatches. I don’t think the MP needs it to run the MP’s office. We see photos, trips. Is this the work of an MP’s office? I don’t think so. It’s more like seeking voter support, the lawyer said.

Main photo source: Shutterstock

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