The CBA warned Czarnek, the minister did not listen. Where did the irregularities in villa plus come from?
Photo: Marcin Bielecki/PAP
Illegal and dishonest actions of the Minister of Education and Science Przemysław Czarnek – these are the main irregularities that the Supreme Audit Office discovered during the inspection of the villa plus grant program. They resulted primarily from the imprecise rules and criteria of the program, which allowed for discretionary and political control of the competition. The Central Anti-Corruption Bureau warned the Ministry of Education and Science against this already in September last year.
“We are submitting a notification to the prosecutor’s office about the possibility of committing a crime by the Minister of Education and Science, Przemysław Czarnek,” said the MP of the Left, Agnieszka Dziemianowicz-Bąk, after we described the inspection that she carried out at the Ministry of Education and Science. Supreme Chamber of Control. According to its findings, the minister, when organizing the villa plus competition, acted illegally, unreliably and paid subsidies to institutions that should not be allowed to participate in the competition at all, and their applications for co-financing should be automatically rejected.
“Przemysław Czarnek, being the Minister of Education and Science, grossly exceeded his powers, having at his disposal the amount of PLN 6 million of a special-purpose subsidy and transferring it to entities that did not meet the conditions for receiving it. By exceeding his powers, he exposed the State Treasury to serious property damage” – we read in notice to the Left.
CBA and excessive discretion
Most of the irregularities detected by the NIK resulted primarily from the imprecise rules and criteria of the competition, which were previously defined by the minister himself. And even though he was their author, he later withdrew funds in violation of these rules anyway.
Already in September, the CBA warned that this could lead to excessive discretion in distributing money.
“It should be noted that Central Anti-Corruption Bureau in response to the letter of the Minister of Education and Science (…) regarding the supervision of two investment programs, indicated doubts, e.g. concerning the criteria for evaluating applications in the program ‘Development of the infrastructural potential of entities supporting the education and upbringing system’ [willa plus – red.]. In the opinion of the CBA, these criteria did not contain detailed assessment guidelines, which in turn could lead to the formulation of assessments burdened with an excessive dose of discretion.
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