Implementation of calls and implementation of measures
Based on audits in previous years, the SAO SR identified a risk in drawing on European resources. In 2018, it also performed an audit focused on certain programmes and projects. The audited entities were: the Ministry of Education, Science, Research and Sport of the Slovak Republic (OP Human Resources - Priority Axis Education); the Ministry of Economy of the Slovak Republic and the Slovak Innovation and Energy Agency (OP Research and Innovation); the Ministry of the Interior of the Slovak Republic (OP Effective Public Administration) and Agricultural Payments Agency (Rural Development Programme of the Slovak Republic in 2014 - 2020). The implementation of the measures from the audits performed in 2016 was assessed in the Agricultural Paying Agency - (Rural Development Program of the Slovak Republic 2014 - 2020).
Based on the results of audits, SAO SR points out that even in the fifth year of implementation of the European Structural and Investment Funds operational programmes, the responsible authorities have not learned from the past and the drawing of funds continues being accompanied by shortcomings, which the Office repeatedly pointed out in previous programming periods.
Weaknesses were again identified within the processes of administrative verification, in the process of professional evaluation, and the risk of a possible biased way of drawing and allocating applications for a non-repayable financial contribution was also identified. The SAO SR also found significant qualitative differences in the level of verbal evaluation by evaluators, inconsistencies in verbal and point evaluation, as well as a reduced quality of evaluation in evaluators' outputs.
These deficiencies were to be detected by the internal control system of the audited entities, therefore the SAO SR recommended to intensify the implementation of audits with a focus on the approval process of applications for a non-repayable financial contribution. As part of the compliance audit with the measures taken by the Agricultural Paying Agency to eliminate the deficiencies identified by the previous audit, the SAO SR evaluated 20 measures as fulfilled, five remain in compliance and three measures were not complied with by the audited entity.
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