Illustrative photo – On November 25, 2022, the Ethics Commission of the Football Association of the Czech Republic punished the castle chancellor Vratislav Mynář (on the archive picture from October 11, 2022) with a two-year ban for violating the regularity of the competition.
Prague – On Tuesday, the Office of the President of the Republic (KPR) will file a criminal complaint based on an external audit of the Prague Castle Administration (SPH) due to suspicion of property and economic crime. In a press release today, representatives of President Miloš Zeman's office stated that the suspicions relate to violations of regulations on economic competition rules, distortion of data on the state of the economy, violation of obligations in the management of foreign property, theft, embezzlement or fraud. The office mentioned some misconduct for which, according to it, the former director of SPH Ivo Velíšek and the former director of the Lány Castle Department Michaela Javůrková are responsible. According to Chancellor Vratislav Mynár, the number of responsible persons may be higher.
Velíšek did not want to comment on the matter yet. ČTK said that it will wait to see how the relevant authorities react to the criminal complaint. Javůrková expressed herself similarly. “I don't want to comment on it yet and I will wait to see what happens next and how the (relevant) authorities decide,” she told ČTK.
The SAO conducted a comprehensive inspection of the Castle last year from March to September, the final report of which is not yet available to the presidential office. According to the Castle, the partial results of the SAO inspection prompted Chancellor Vratislav Mynář to dismiss Velíšek in October and order an additional external audit, prepared by BDO, and accompanying internal audits.
In the coming months, the Castle will carry out a thorough inventory of internal regulations and the handling of SPH funds, the Castle said. “Further measures can be expected when KPR and SPH receive the final report on the results of the inspection of the Supreme Audit Office (NAO),” the press release states. Mynář told journalists today that he does not have the final report of the KPR presidium, but he does have the resolution of the SAO collegium, which contains some measures that the KPR has already taken. Mynář is ready to publish the resolution in agreement with future Chancellor Jana Vohralíková.
According to the KPR, the suspicions relate to the reconstruction of the Vicarage or the records of alcohol in the warehouse. “After the recall of Velíšek and Javůrková, the alcohol warehouse at the Lány castle was found almost empty and a high shortage was noted,” the press release states. Fictitiously, according to the report, 20 bottles of alcohol per month were to be written off for protocol purposes. According to the castle lawyer Marek Nespala, the damage was almost 110,000 crowns.
The company conducted the audit from December 22 last year to January 27 this year. “The work included an assessment of compliance with legal regulations and an assessment of the setting and functioning of related processes. A total of 15 findings were made, including three findings of high severity and seven findings of moderate severity,” KPR said.
According to her, in the case of repairs and building modifications in Vikářské Street, Velíšek, among other things, in gross violation of the Public Procurement Act, did not cancel the tender procedure when only one bidder applied for the procedure, an economic discrepancy between the technical survey and the reality was found, and a discrepancy in the bid price was also found and expected value of the contract. “As the contracting authority, it established an inappropriate way of submitting bids by e-mail, which created room for favoring one supplier and manipulating information,” the press release said. According to Nespala's lawyer, the contract could have been increased by almost 100 million crowns.
According to the KPR pod Velíšek, the records for the withdrawal and collection of cash in the Castle area were also insufficient, according to Nespala, it was cash from public toilets. “In summary, these are large sums of cash, the records of which were left completely inadequate by the former director of SPH Velíšek, from receipt, collection, to transportation, accounting and storage,” reports KPR. Until his resignation, Velíšek did not take appropriate measures, although he received a strong reprimand in this direction already in 2018, writes KPR.
The director of the Prague Castle Administration, Jan Novák, said that after he took office last year, preparations for an external audit, its results confirm some suspicions. At the same time, according to him, the Castle carries out in-depth inventories and has taken a number of corrective measures in the organizational and personnel areas.