SAO: The Ministry is unsure about the benefits of billions of crowns spent on family support

Although the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs (MoLSA) has provided almost CZK 9 billion subsidy programs to support families, it has not mapped the benefits beyond the number of families helped. This was found by the Supreme Audit Office (SAO), which focused on two subsidy titles from 2018 to 2020.

The family support system was set up so beneficiaries would use the maximum funds from the Operational Program for Employment (OPZ). However, in some cases, the ministry did not have an overview of how the money helped those in need, the SAO said, adding that the primary focus was on the number of families supported, not the benefits the support brought.

While nearly 160 000 people were supported, it is unclear whether the funds contributed to reducing the number of people at risk of poverty or social exclusion, which were the project’s objectives.

According to the SAO, 179 of the 331 completed family policy projects, which used CZK 495 million, did not achieve the sub-objective of obtaining qualifications for project participants.

An audit of 10 projects with specific beneficiaries, which cost over CZK 216 million and were aimed at improving the situation of people caring for children under 15 and people at risk of social exclusion, showed that the condition of the 2,999 people involved had improved less than the beneficiaries themselves had anticipated. “Again, the long-term effects of the support are only partial or not demonstrable,” the auditors said.

The SAO also accused the ministry of errors in project administration, as it did not follow the Financial Control Act.