Prague Castle, St. Welcome – illustration photo.
Prague – If there are no suspicions of further irregularities at the Castle, President Petr Pavel will not call for a new background check. In today's interview for Czech Television, Pavel said that every audit means costs, and the next inspection by the Supreme Audit Office (NAO) would take a longer time. The Office of the President of the Republic announced on Tuesday that it has accepted the results of the already completed audit by the SAO. Conclusions are not currently publicly known.
“It makes no sense to commission such an audit if we don't have any serious suspicions,” said Pavel regarding a possible new background check at Prague Castle. According to him, if he initiated an inspection by the SAO, the initiation of the process would take months to six months, and the inspection itself would take another month. “I would find out the possible results at the end of this year or at the beginning of the next,” noted Pavel, who took the oath of office as head of state this afternoon.
Although the Board of the SAO has already approved the control conclusion of the completed review, because the police is also dealing with the matter, it cannot publish it yet. Hradu this week published parts of three resolutions of the board of the audit office, in which the audit office upheld the appeal of the president's office on some points.
The findings of the Prague Castle Administration and the Forestry Administration of Lány relate mainly to violations of regulations on the awarding of public contracts. According to the documents published by the Castle, the inspectors blame the Lánská forest administration, for example, for violating the law against money laundering, when it accepted a higher amount in cash for the possibility of hunting in the Lánská nature reserve than the law allows. Another objection related to the amount of rent for the office buildings and apartments of the forest administration.
According to the Castle, the Supreme Audit Office continues to accuse the presidential office of paying expenses for the legal representation of Miloš Zeman as a private person. There was also a finding objecting to the fact that the insignia of state awards granted in the form of orders are not kept in the accounts.
Prague Castle informed on Monday that, based on the inspection by the SAO, it had commissioned another audit. Due to the discovered irregularities of a property and economic nature, the presidential office filed a criminal complaint. The suspicions relate to the violation of regulations on the rules of economic competition, misrepresentation of data on the state of the economy, breach of duty in the management of someone else's property, theft, embezzlement or fraud. For example, the theft of alcohol or toilet fees.
“I expect that those suspicions will be investigated. And of course I will insist that we see it through. If there are things that need to be addressed law enforcement authorities, they will be handed over,” Zeman's successor Pavel said today.