SAO: The authorities proceeded inconsistently when registering secured property

SAO: The authorities proceeded inconsistently when registering secured property


Headquarters of the Supreme Audit Office (NAO) in Prague – Holešovice.

Prague – The authorities proceeded inconsistently when registering secured and mortgaged property and valued and maintained it differently. This follows from an audit by the Supreme Audit Office (NAO), which inspected property management in seven offices between 2015 and 2020. In some cases, according to the auditors, the secured property was not valued at all or unrealistically by its trustees, and the property, which quickly loses its market value, was not sold or was sold with a delay. In doing so, they reduced the income of a special account of the Ministry of Justice, which is intended to satisfy the property claims of persons injured by a crime, the SAO said. He estimates that 320 million crowns were spent on managing this property in the audited period.

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The SAO inspected seven offices: the Ministry of the Interior (MV), the Ministry of Justice (MSp), the General Financial Directorate (GFŘ), the General Directorate of Customs (GŘC), the Office for State Representation in Property Matters (ÚZSVM), the Regional Court in Ostrava and the Regional Police Directorate South Moravian Region (KŘP JMK). In response, the ÚZSVM stated that the inspection confirmed that the ÚZSVM's property records are kept in a clear and transparent manner, as it provides a comprehensive overview of secured property, including the way it is handled. ČTK is investigating the reaction of other authorities.

The SAO verified the procedures of the authorities on a control sample consisting of motor vehicles and electrical equipment, for example computers, mobile phones or printers. It is a property rapidly losing its market value over time, and therefore, according to the auditors, it is desirable to sell it as quickly as possible. The inspectors found that, for example, the ÚZSVM did not propose to sell 57 percent of passenger cars from the control sample of 180 seized cars. The average time of their storage was 522 days. “And he didn't even offer 93 percent of the control sample of 110 seized electrical devices for sale,” the SAO said.

According to ÚZSVM spokesperson Michaela Tesařová, the office sold electrical equipment if it had the consent of law enforcement authorities. “The ÚZSVM set the specific time limits for when it is necessary to propose to the law enforcement authorities the sale of the secured property before the start of the SAO's control action. The ÚZSVM completely removed the minor deficiencies that the SAO pointed out and took appropriate measures to prevent them from recurring in the future. ” said a ČTK spokeswoman today.

According to the inspectors, the JMK KŘP did not sell two confiscated cars worth CZK 880,000 to the state, and in eight out of ten cases of impounded cars, the GŘC received from MV CENZA (Centre of Secured Assets) a proposal to sell them until a year and a half since MV CENZA took them into administration.

Furthermore, the inspectors found that, for example, the ÚZSVM did not maintain fully two-thirds of the control sample of 180 impounded cars and the GŘC did not maintain all impounded vehicles. “Their value thus demonstrably decreased for no reason as a result of the non-performed maintenance, which had a negative impact on the amount of money obtained from the sale of this property,” said the SAO.

ÚZSVM provided maintenance with its own employees. “Not only was there no damage, but there were savings in state budget expenses. At the same time, we emphasize that there is no case so far where the state would pay for damage to insured property due to insufficient administration by the ÚZSVM,” responded the spokeswoman.

< p>Errors in the records and different valuation of the property according to the controllers caused the fact that it was not possible to determine the total value of the managed property. According to the estimates of the SAO, in the audited period, the minimum value of secured property was CZK 3.5 billion and forfeited and seized property was CZK 2.92 billion. The SAO estimates that CZK 320 million was spent on the management of secured, forfeited or confiscated property registered by audited persons in the audited period.