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Senate rejects govt’s bill on public finances control

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Prague, Aug 16 (CTK) – The Czech Senate on Wednesday turned down a bill on public finances’ management and control, which the government submitted to simplify and harmonise audits in public administration, but the senators said it would only bring more bureaucracy instead of a more effective control.

The Chamber of Deputies will deal with the bill again and it may override the Senate’s veto.

Senator Petr Vicha (government Social Democrats, CSSD) said the bill, if implemented, would not limit dual controls of the same things made by different state bodies, which the upper house wanted it to do.

“This bill does not remove any single duplicity,” Vicha said.

Other senators, too, criticised the threat of paperwork swelling and said there is not enough qualified staff to accomplish the supposed new extensive audits.

The bill applies to ministries and other state offices that are in charge of individual chapters of the state budget. It also applies to state funds, towns and town districts, regions, health insurers, region- and town-subsidised organisations and schools operated by ministries.

The passage of the bill is a condition for a planned extension of powers of the Supreme Audit Office (NKU) that would empower it to check practically all public finances.

Wednesday’s rejection of the bill by the Senate makes it improbable for the two houses of parliament to approve the extension of NKU powers before the October 20-21 general election.

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