Members of the Civic Coalition went on Friday with parliamentary control to the Ministry of Education and Science. As Katarzyna Lubnauer reported before entering the building, they wanted to check “how the post-inspection conclusions” of the Supreme Audit Office regarding the villa plus program were implemented. She said that earlier the MPs had received a “quite funny” letter from Włodzimierz Bernacki, the deputy head of the Ministry of National and National Education. She added that they “didn’t like” the “tone of the email” from Deputy Minister Marzena Machałek.
Supreme Chamber of Control stated that the Minister of Education and Science illegally awarded PLN 6 million in the villa plus program to “three entities that did not meet the criterion for receiving a subsidy”, one of which was “in the amount of PLN 4.5 million outside the application procedure”. It is about the Freedom and Democracy Foundation founded by the minister Michał Dworczyk.
According to the Supreme Audit Office, the head of the Ministry of National and National Education in grant competitions distributed money “unreliably” to organizations not entitled to participate in the competitions, foundations without experience, despite the conflict of interest and negative assessments of the experts he appointed.
The case, as part of the next installment of the “Villa plus” series, was described in June by Justyna Suchecka and Piotr Szostak in tvn24.pl.
READ MORE: NIK: Czarnek illegally awarded PLN 6 million
Lubnauer: we want to check how the ministry implements the NIK’s post-inspection remarks
On Friday, members of the Civic Coalition Katarzyna Lubnauer and Krystyna Szumilas (former Minister of Education) went to the Ministry of Education and Science with control. The deputies left the ministry after 1 p.m.
– We wanted to check the position of the Supreme Audit Office, which spoke about illegal activities and irregularities, how the ministry implements post-inspection remarks – Lubnauer informed at a press conference in front of the ministry building before the deputies entered the building.
– There was a problem with, for example, the Freedom and Democracy Foundation, which, let us remind you, first got permission to buy one building, then it turned out that it changed it to a completely different building. As NIK wrote, it was without any mode – she said. – There was a question of money for two institutions that should not have been included in the program at all, because they were not NGOs – she added. She pointed out that it was about the Institute of Heritage of National Thought. Roman Dmowski and Ignacy Jan Paderewski and the Regional Museum in Kutno. – There it was directly stated that these two institutions should return the funds they received, several million zlotys, due to the fact that they did not meet the basic condition that was included in the competition – noted the MP.
Lubnauer: we want to claim public money
She informed that she and Szumilas wanted to come to this inspection “preliminarily on July 19, i.e. on Wednesday”. She added that the MPs had received a letter from the Deputy Minister of Education and Science, Włodzimierz Bernacki. – It is quite funny because it contains a record that the ministry also did not receive any post-inspection recommendations in connection with the program with this name. We talked about the program, we mentioned both the popular name villa plus, and we also wrote about what competitions it was about – said Lubnauer. She added that the MPs wrote a similar letter, “explaining exactly what documents we wanted”.
– In today’s letter, which we have already received from Mrs. (Marzena) Machałek, deputy minister, there is a text that is worth remembering: “New programs require the creation of procedures and reorganization of organizational units in the ministry, which, when implementing so many, such large programs, creates the likelihood of difficulties in their implementation. This is especially visible due to the fact that such programs have not been implemented before. not implemented – said Lubnauer.
– And our control concerns how these post-control conclusions were implemented, but also the fact that the ministry writes that the ministry immediately asked for the return of funds that were wrongly directed to individual institutions, but did not write whether it received this return at all – she continued. “So we want to claim public money,” she said.
– We also do not like the tone of this e-mail, because Mrs. Machałek is trying to suggest that we should not be interested in it at all, because we pass information, for example through the media, to other people in a broad public debate. So I wanted to tell Mrs. Machałek that it is the role of the authorities to be transparent. So that everyone in society could know what and how public funds are spent. And the role of the opposition is to control whether it is spent legally, lawfully and in accordance with the public interest – said the KO MP.
Shumilas: We are dealing with a bizarre situation
Szumilas assessed that “we are dealing with a bizarre situation.” – The ministry writes that it will not provide us with the documents, because we inform the public about what is happening in the ministry, about irregularities. The minister hides behind the protection of personal data. Meanwhile, we are asking for anonymized data, for documents that are not subject to protection and professional secrecy. We do not demand documents from the minister that reveal any personal data that show specific people and their specific actions – she said.
At the beginning of the year, tvn24.pl journalists described how money from the fund of the Minister of Education and Science, Przemysław Czarnek, went to organizations close to PiS. Multi-million subsidies were allocated for the purchase of new premises. At the same time, many educational organizations and educational institutions did not receive a single zloty from the ministry’s budget. Every second organization awarded by Czarnek first received a negative assessment of the submitted application.
Main photo source: TVN24