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Spots, leaflets, commercials, interviews. PiS promotion with public money

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The Supreme Audit Office has found irregularities in spending on promotional and advertising activities in Mateusz Morawiecki's government, exceeding PLN 40 million – reports Wirtualna Polska. As it reports, some of these funds were used by PiS politicians to run campaigns, including spots or to buy advertising space in districts.

Wirtualna Polska writes that public accusations against Law and Justice about misuse of public money for promotion – including the election campaign before elections parliamentary resolutions of October 15 last year – “were confirmed in many cases by the Supreme Audit Office”. According to the auditors NIK More than 40 million zlotys were spent inappropriately or uneconomically.

As reported by WP, they found irregularities in expenditure on promotional and advertising activities in the Prime Minister's Office and in eight ministries: justice, family and social policy, development and technology, infrastructure, agriculture and rural development, health, finance and state assets.

Nearly PLN 20 million to promote the increase in the 800 plus benefit

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According to NIK, inappropriate and uneconomical expenditure concerns, among others, information and promotional activities regarding the increase in the child benefit 500+ for 800 plus from the beginning of 2024. As Wirtualna Polska writes, even before the increase in the benefit was approved, the Ministry of Family, Labor and Social Policy spent PLN 12,486,600, and the Prime Minister's office – PLN 6,710,400.

Doubts about the Ministry of Family, Labor and Social Policy, then headed by Marlena Maląg, are also said to concern the information and educational campaign “Government Close to Seniors”.

NIK, as reported by WP, indicates that PLN 156,500 was allocated for “the purchase of billboard advertising space in selected counties in three voivodeships where the then management of the ministry was planning to be active in their constituencies during the campaign”.

Spot with Ziobro, campaigns on housing and highways

On the other hand Ministry of Justicewrites the portal, spent over PLN 2.5 million on the video – including the one with the then minister Zbigniew Ziobro – promoting tougher penalties, which in fact had the characteristics of an election ad.

NIK also accused the Ministry of Development and Technology of spending money in an inappropriate and uneconomical manner, allocating PLN 5,269,700 for the implementation of a campaign promoting the “First Apartment Programme” without analysing the need to carry out this campaign.

According to WP, the auditors also have reservations about the spending of PLN 1,695,000 on the “Free Motorways” promotional campaign by the Ministry of Infrastructure. NIK points out, among other things, that “the campaign was launched a month after the introduction of free motorway travel.”

Campaign of the Prime Minister's Office and the Ministry of Finance for over PLN 7.2 million

NIK also found that the information campaign “Zwroty” (Returns) by the Chancellery of the Prime Minister and the Ministry of Finance was unjustified. It cost over PLN 7.2 million. According to NIK, spending funds on its implementation was inappropriate and uneconomical.

As WP writes, this includes the 2023 campaign, in which “the PiS government boasted on billboards that thanks to its decision, a record amount of money remained in Poles' pockets.” “Politicians completely ignored the fact during the campaign that the refunds of taxes overpaid in the first half of the year were the result of repairing the system after the mistakes of the Polish Deal authored by PiS,” the portal adds.

Reservations regarding departmental expenditure

According to WP, NIK found in the case of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development a lack of analysis of actual needs, implementation of campaigns without prior verification of pricing conditions with other contractors and selection of radio stations with low listenership, which resulted in incurring inappropriate and uneconomical expenses in the amount of PLN 2,064,200, as well as expenses in the amount of PLN 1,578,700 as a result of unreliable actions.

As regards the Ministry of State Assets, NIK auditors pointed to “unreliable performance of tasks related to conducting information campaigns, which resulted in the expenditure of public funds in the amount of PLN 1,582,200”.

According to the NIK report, referred to by WP, the Ministry of Health spent funds in the amount of PLN 1,099,400 in an inappropriate and uneconomical manner on the implementation of the social campaigns “Free Medicines” and “For the Health of Poles”. The auditors point to the order to broadcast spots on television stations and radio stations “with low viewership or listenership”.

NIK also has reservations about the amount of PLN 760 thousand spent by the Ministry of National Defense on the production and broadcast of 40 episodes of the television program “Become a soldier of the Republic of Poland”. The auditors indicated that “the agreement was concluded before the completion of the previous contract, and thus before the contractor presented reports enabling the assessment of the effectiveness and efficiency of the activities”.

READ ALSO: Millions of złoty for government campaigns. To promote 800 plus, Polish Deal, taxes…

ZUS campaigns

As WP writes, NIK also has reservations about the promotional expenses of the Social Insurance Institution and the Government Agency for Strategic Reserves.

IN Social Insurance Institution the auditors considered the spending of a total of PLN 1.6 million to be inappropriate and uneconomical. This includes the production of spots and educational and information materials, as well as the purchase of airtime on television and radio regarding 800 plus. According to NIK, the act does not give ZUS the right to conduct such a campaign.

The objections also concern PLN 377,500 for preparing and sending a promotional leaflet to over 8.5 million pensioners who were covered by the indexation and payment on the 13th and 14th month. pensions.

In turn, at the Government Agency for Strategic Reserves, writes WP, NIK auditors questioned the expenditure of PLN 111,100 for the purchase of advertising gadgets “unrelated to the objectives and tasks of the agency”.

Irregularities among voivodes

According to WP, NIK also found irregularities in the expenditure on promotional and advertising activities of three voivodes for a total amount of PLN 229.1 thousand. This concerns the former voivode of West Pomerania Zbigniew Bogucki, the former voivode of Warmia-Masuria Artur Chojecki and the former voivode of Opole Sławomir Kłosowski, who ran in the parliamentary elections from the lists PIS.

As the website writes, NIK reveals that “the Opole Voivodeship Office bought interviews with the voivode in the local press, in which he praised himself and the PiS government.”

The auditors also indicate, among other things, that in the Warmia-Masuria Voivodeship Office in Olsztyn “films and infographics were made regarding social campaigns for which PLN 90,000 was paid and posted on the private profile of the then voivode during his candidacy for the Sejm of the Republic of Poland, instead of on the office's website or on the Facebook profile of the office, which was an unreliable action”.

As Wirtualna Polska writes, the case of irregularities in Artur Chojecki's campaign ended with a notification to the prosecutor's office.

Main image source: Tytus Żmijewski/PAP

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