Sunday, 17 December 2017

Application highlights Czech subsidies' distribution, recipients

ČTK |
5 October 2017

Prague, Oct 4 (CTK) - A new web application, Dotacni parazit (Subsidy Parasite), has been launched by the Centrum of Excellence for Good Governance (CEGG) Czech NGO to offer information about subsidies' recipients and their distribution by public institutions, CEGG head Lukas Wagenknecht has told journalists.

"I am glad that we have succeeded in making subsidy data accessible to the broad public. This may boost control of the state budget expenditures, together with the [already operating] public database of public procurement and the register of contracts," Wagenknecht said.

The application displays subsidy data from the CEDR III and DotInfo state subsidy information systems, from the overview of EU funds in 2007-2013 and 2014-2020 of the Regional Development Ministry's portal and from the overview of provided incentives registered by the CzechInvest agency. It also shows information about whether a subsidy recipient has sent a financial gift to some political party, he said.

Wagenknecht said the state does not approach the provision of subsidies systematically, especially of national subsidy programmes. Their distribution varies in different years.

Wagenknecht said the CEGG's analysis reveals that large businesses or holdings with a single ultimate owner, who is controlling them directly or indirectly, are being systematically supported from public budgets.

He also points to multiple information systems that were simultaneously established, often based on the same law, such as the two similar information systems on subsidies under the responsibility of the Finance Ministry.

"Aside from their administration being costly, the information systems do not communicate with each other. The state lacks an overview of whom it supports by subsidies and how much," Wagenknecht said.

The application is still missing data from the subsidy database of the Czech Rural Development Programme, a detailed overview of subsidy recipients in science and research and data on the majority of regional subsidies. Wagenknecht said they were pursuing their incorporation.

Wagenknecht is a former deputy to former finance minister Andrej Babis (ANO) who dismissed him in 2015.

Wagenknecht later received the Prize for Courage of the Anticorruption Endowment. He was pointing out the dubious circumstances surrounding a metro construction, a tender for the monitoring of EU funds and the contracts with a lawyer's office of Radmila Kleslova, ANO's former deputy chairwoman.

Copyright 2015 by the Czech News Agency (ČTK). All rights reserved.
Copying, dissemination or other publication of this article or parts thereof without the prior written consent of ČTK is expressly forbidden. The Prague Daily Monitor is not responsible for its content.