GB No. 2(13)/94


"Martex," a company from Stargard Szczeciński, got 6 billion zlotys from the Voivodeship Fund for Environmental Protection (WFO¦) in Szczecin, even though in its application it did not specify the sum for which it was applying. Before the NIK audit (the NIK is the Highest Chamber of Supervision), the WFO¦ had time to transfer 4 billion zl. to the company.

According to the "Martex" book-keeper, the value of the refinery for which the subsidy was given amounted to a mere 600 million, which is 15.8% of the money received. Settlements of the accounts between the company and the Environmental Protection Office at the Voivodeship Department were drawn up by the building manager, who at the same time, as an inspector of supervision, was verifying the accord of data represented by him with the real estate. The Environmental Protection Office at the Voivodeship Department has at its disposal funds from the Voivodeship Fund for Environmental Protection, which receives income from charges and fines for environmental pollution. The Fund was meant to be a self-governed institution, independent from the Voivodeship Department and socially controlled. In practice none of these conditions have been realized. In November, the NIK audit revealed that the Fund knew neither the state of its incomes nor the distribution of the funds at its disposal. What is more, in spite of the common acceptance of the orders of payment drawn up by the Environmental Protection Office, the President of the Fund's Board was not informed about the ways money was transferred and accounts settled for unrepayable installments and grants-in-aid applied for by the Office. Not until November 9, after the Environmental Protection Office was audited by the NIK, did the Voivodeship Department inform the Fund's Board about the financial situation of the Fund.

According to the state, since September 30, 1993, the Fund has had at its disposal almost 5 billion zlotys, while its debt to the the National Fund for Environmental Protection amounts to 82.4 billion. Because the Environmental Protection Office did not efficiently execute its dues from the Fund, its revenue is 440 billion złotys in arrears.

The Supervisory Board of the Fund should include representatives of community environmental organizations, chosen after a wide consultation. The "community representative" was intended by the legislators to guarantee the possibility for "ordinary citizens" to control the doings of the Fund. Up till now, however, there has been no consultation. Membership in the Supervisory Board has proved to be quite a lucrative function. Out of 1 billion zlotys of "statutory funds" gained on October 18, 1993, the Fund contrived to spend 335 million zl. -- including 195 million as rewards for the Supervisory Board and the Management of the Fund -- by November 9, 1993. In addition, till then the Fund was successful in employing an office manager.

Those who competed for money from the Fund for Environmental Protection did not have to exert themselves to make their applications to the Environmental Protection Department present the range of their works or their planned or already-borne expenses or the environmental effects of their work. They could count on the generosity of the Department anyway. Also, in making settlements of accounts they did not play at an excessive bureaucracy. Bills and invoices presented by the interested parties were accepted even when there was no documentary evidence for the fact that they had been paid. It was enough to present "hypothetical costs," without supporting them with appropriate calculations or proper documents. At the same time, in spite of the fact that none of the transferrers adhered to the specified way of accounting for the previously awarded sums, the next subsidy was granted.

Another firm, ATOPOL (the Voivodeship Department is a partner of the firm), was to deal with promoting at Pomorze an energetic willow tree imported from Denmark that could act as a natural sewage plant. Even though scientists from Szczecin, including Professor Szlauer from Szczecin University, were repeatedly calling attention to the fact that familiar Polish varieties of willow could successfully fill the role of bio-filters, the ATOPOL firm was subsidized with a sum of 4 billion zlotys for importing and promoting the Danish seedlings. At the time of the NIK audit, the employees of the Environmental Protection Department were not able to say anything about what was going on at the plantations. Only the presence of the NIK employees caused the Department to become interested in the seedlings. During the inspections in Ostromica, ¦wierzno, and Moryń, it became apparent that as a consequence of letting the plantations run to weeds and not cultivating them, there was no possibility to ascertain how far the seedlings had become established. The last installment of the subsidy (1.4 billion zlotys) was deposited into a bank account ATOPOL specially established for this deal, since the one used up to that time had been blocked because the company was in arrears with taxes. The company owes the Revenue Office around 1 billion zlotys, including accrued interest. This will certainly increase the financial problems of ATOPOL, which in 1992 closed with a loss of 90 million zl. Until the NIK audit, the company also did not account for 255 million zl. of a subsidy from the Voivodeship Department.

During the audit of Martex, NIK ascertained that the bank bill given to the company on the request of the Department of Environmental Protection -- 2 billion zl -- in fact belonged to "Ewacar," a company from Stargard Szczeciński registered to the owners of Martex.

The BIOPOL company was to be engaged in utilizing a phospho-gypsum heap in Police and received from the Voivodeship Department a subsidy of 5 billion zl. The company used around 300 million to finance its office. To clear accounts for money from the Fund represented by the company as 1.8 billion zl., there was enclosed an invoice from the Technological Plant "Biotechnologia" in Warsaw. Even though the invoice included neither the date nor the number, and the invoice by itself amounted to a sum of only 1.5 billion zl.(300 million short of the sum awarded by the Department), an employee of the Department for Environmental Protection confirmed this calculation. One fact could be helpful in solving this riddle -- the same employee sat on the Supervisory Board of BIOPOL.

During 1991-93, 11 billion zl. were transferred to support research and development works. This is 2.8% of the money used from the Fund for Environmental Protection. However, the Environmental Protection Department was not familiar with the effects of these works. They did not know how far the works had progressed, whether they were helpful, or whether the money given to support them was used effectively. In several cases employees of the Environmental Protection Department were engaged in works financed by the Fund.

Until September '92 the Department had at its disposal 214 scientific dissertations which had originated from grants of the Fund. Since then the copies of those dissertations have been put away in the library of the Voivodeship Inspectorate for Environmental Protection, where the difficult housing conditions do not make it easy to access them.

In the years 1991-93, 404 billion zlotys of the funds of the Voivodeship Fund for Environmental Protection were spent. The NIK audit showed that 16 billion zlotys of that sum were not used in the proper way.

based on the NIK report
Tomasz Perkowski
ZB 3(56), p 1

Because I do not want this piece to be used in any way by the red-green coalition which is intensively preparing to catch the Voivodeship chair in Szczecin, I feel obliged to give an explanation. In spite of the fact that I have some reservations about certain doings of the present Mr. Voivode, generally I think he has accomplished some good things (for instance, the creation of the project "Szczecin Voivodeship -- the Ecological Voivodeship"). He was not very successful in controlling his subordinates, but in such a bureaucratic monstrosity as the Voivodeship Department that seems to be a very difficult task.

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