The ESMO project is an example of waste and a serious failure of internal control

Bratislava, 26 May 2023 - The electronic monitoring of prisoners, at a cost of more than 50 million euros, has been used on average 10 percent of the time over six years. Fundamental errors accompanied the project from the initial setting of measurable parameters, through the practical implementation phase to sustainability. A day of monitoring an accused or convicted person cost the state more than EUR 150. If Slovakia had followed the example of Belgium and Spain, the costs of monitoring would have been several times lower. These countries use monitoring as a complex service for a monthly fee instead of spending public money on the purchase, development and operation of the entire system. In 2022, the daily cost of monitoring one person in the Belgian region of Flanders was less than 5€.

The auditors of the Supreme Audit Office (SAO SR) state that Slovakia has not achieved savings in public finances and that the planned alternative sentences of house arrest for two thousand people monitored in parallel per year have been used minimally over six years. Today, it is possible to speak of a waste of public and European resources and a serious failure of the internal control mechanisms of the Ministry of Justice. The audit also noted shortcomings in the public procurement process as well as in compliance with budgetary rules. The National Authority for External Audit refers findings of breaches of financial discipline to the Government Audit Office and refers suspected breaches of obligations in the management of foreign property to the law enforcement authorities.

The full text of the press release about this issuin Slovak language is available here. Use the Google icon in the top bar for automatic translation.