Prague - The Czech Environment Ministry is checking 21 problematic contracts worth 173.3 million crowns and a current tender for the purchase of IT worth 37 million crowns, Environment Minister Richard Brabec (ANO) and his deputies told journalists today.
The ministry is also checking finished tenders for security services and an economic information system, Brabec said.
A comprehensive audit is being carried out at the ministry which has found 21 "potentially problematic contracts," he added.
The ministry has halted a tender for publicity items and it wants to reduce external consultancy services.
Brabec said he would only to hire external aides after his own staff proved unable to tackle the problems.
Deputy Environment Minister Jan Landa said the ministry was checking whether the amount and configuration of the IT were necessary.
It is also dealing with finished tenders for security services whose provision is to cost 300 million during four years, Landa said.
The ministry is also checking a tender for an economic information system worth 100 million crowns. A contract for 50 million has already been concluded, but the remaining sum is being reconsidered, Landa said.
Deputy Environment Minister Jan Kriz said the environment operational programme and drawing of money from it were not in a good condition.
There is the threat that this year, the Czech Republic will lose 13 billion crowns and next year another five billion.
It is supposed to draw 61 billion crowns by the end of 2015.
"During six years, only 54 billion crowns were drawn," Kriz said.
"During two years, we must draw a great deal of the money that has to flow through the State Environmental Fund (SFZP)," he added.
Last year, the office lost six billion crowns. The ministry wants to check "dormant projects," Kriz said.
A new operational programme from the EU might provide the Czech Republic with another 69 billion between this year and 2020, he added.
The SFZP wants to speed up the process of dealing with the applications. Instead of six months, it should only take three, new SFZP head Petr Valdman said.
The SFZP will temporarily hire 42 employees who will be paid from the money from the cancelled tenders, to be 60 million crowns.
Money can also be requested from the New Green Light to Saving programme as of April 1.
This time the subsidies will go to single family homes. In all, the sum is to reach 1.9 billion crowns.
Deputy Environment Minister Berenika Pestova said a smooth drawing of EU money would be facilitated by a law on environmental impact assessment (EIA) and a new waste law.
The EIA law is to take effect next January and if it is not passed, the Czech Republic might face serious difficulties, Brabec said.
The ministry also wants to focus on four Czech national parks, Deputy Environment Minister Vladimir Dolejsky said.
It is drafting a plan for the care of the Sumava National Park and a decree on zoning, Dolejsky said.
Brabec said within 39 days of taking office he had replaced all the five deputy ministers and some directors of department.