The competition for the distribution of more than 1 billion zlotys was conducted incorrectly, the obligations of contractors under the contracts were not fulfilled, there were significant delays in investments – this is how the Supreme Audit Office assessed the construction of broadband Internet in the Lubelskie district.
The agreements concluded by the Chamber in the second half of 2018 provided for the establishment of a network of more than 14,000 km by 2022, which will enable more than 200,000 families and nearly 1,200 schools to access broadband Internet. NIK publication “Macro Subsidies and Micro-Effects of Broadband Internet Construction in Lubelskie County”.
However, the chamber’s inspection showed that “more than two and a half years after the start of the investment, less than 4 percent of the target network was ready, which covered about 4 percent of the planned number of households, and at the end of May 2021, there were also more Slightly 37 percent of educational institutions envisaged the projects.” “In some places, the new grid has doubled the existing grid, and nearly half of the electricity poles available for installation, its owner, ie PGE Dystrybucja plans to modernize or decommission the grid within 10 years” – wrote A statement from the Supreme Audit Office.
NIK reports that Centrum Projektów Polska Cyfrowa (CPPC) has selected “three small companies” to complete such a huge investment in such a short time.
“One of the projects was to be implemented by Hrubieszowska Telewizja Kablowa, while the other 11 projects related to large enterprises, Fibee I and Fibee IV, created during the competition, from any investment before, had a capital of PLN 5,000 and PLN 6000 of this year. Polish, respectively. Despite the fact that these companies did not demonstrate the required economic potential under the terms of competition, out of 19 projects (11 in the Lubelskie Voivodeship), they were awarded in violation of the law of PLN 1,84 billion of non-refundable subsidies “- we read.
“Fibee I and Fibee IV won the competition, although their requirements could be met mainly by large enterprises that had financial resources to make their own contribution to the projects. In the absence of it, it was necessary to make an unconditional loan promise issued by the bank. Provided promises, but experts who have assessed their economic potential, following the explanations of the CPPCC, concluded that they meet the requirements of competition” – a description of the SCC.
“These companies submitted documents showing that their own contribution would be made by a related company from Luxembourg. In the application evaluation stage, the Center assumed that this was in line with competition requirements, but it had not previously informed other companies that they could interpret the regulations in this way. Nor did they verify the regulations. The documents themselves, although they were standard in the case of other companies participating in the competition ”- it is emphasized.
As the Chamber learns, “when concluding the co-financing contracts, in November 2018 of the Operational Program for Digital Poland for the period 2014-2020, the highest possible down payment was made in Fibee I and Fibee IV in the amount of 40% of the – financing (264.6 million PLN).) “. “After more than two years of using these funds, the companies have not settled up to PLN 227 million and, although they did not complete the main stages of building the network on time, thanks to the annexes to contracts signed with CPPC, they did not pay a fine of 17.4 million zlotys. Polish ”- we read.
According to the Supreme Audit Office, irregularities found in the activities of Centrum Projektów Polska Cyfrowa indicate insufficient oversight of this institution, first by the Minister of Digitization, and as of October 2020, due to the liquidation of this ministry, also by the Prime Minister.
No internet in rural areas
As emphasized by the Office of the Supreme Audit, in order to achieve the objectives related to broadband Internet set by the European Commission and included in the Government’s program, it is necessary to support the construction of networks with public money in those unprofitable areas of trade for telecom entrepreneurs – in sparsely populated rural areas and sparse buildings.
“The audit of the Supreme Audit Office showed, however, that by the end of 2021 the activities of the CPPC, the Office of Electronic Communications and the companies that received funding did not provide residents of these areas of Lublin with access to broadband Internet” – emphasized in the Chamber’s statement.
It was added that experts who evaluated applications for co-financing to build broadband Internet at the Lubelskie Voivodeship at the end of 2018 found that the project’s schedules and financial scope were feasible. “They took into account the time required to organize competitions for contractors, as well as the influence of external factors. Meanwhile, more than two and a half years after the start of the investment, which was originally supposed to end in December 2021, the works have not reached even the halfway point, “- reports the Office of Top audit.
“By the end of February 2021, as part of four audited projects, Fibee I had built only 0.2 percent of the planned length of the network, to which 25.4 percent of educational institutions and 1.7 percent of households were connected. On the one hand, 4, among 7 implemented projects, implemented 3% of the planned length of the network, in which 3.5% of educational units and 7.5% of households were connected.At that time, the small local enterprise Hrubieszowska Telewizja Kablowa (HTK) had constructed 39 5% of the network length, 6.5% of households and about 78 % of the envisaged schools have access to it.” Describe the Financial Supervision Bureau.
NIK reported that in May and June 2021, “the CPPC signed supplements to co-financing agreements with all three companies, on the basis of which the project completion periods were extended by Fibee I and Fibee IV from December 2021 to September 16, 2022.., and the HTK project from 30 September 2021 to April 28, 2022.”
“It happened against the requirements of the competition, Its regulation assumed the allocation of a maximum of 36 months for the implementation of projects (from the date of commencement of works). In accordance with this provision, the extended deadline for completing projects in the case of Fibee I and Fibee IV can be set no later than June 19, 2022 and HTK – January 28, 2022″ – reports NIK.
“The completion of the contract annexes, which also changed the deadlines for settlement of advance payments, led to the fact that Fibee I and Fibee IV did not have to pay interest in a fine of 17.4 million PLN. According to the Supreme Audit Office, to the low level of progress of the works, the completion of 11 A project by Fibee I and Fibee IV is at risk, by June 19, 2022, according to the competition rules, and by September 16, 2022, that is, by the date approved in the contract annexes “- we read.
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