New system for surveillance bought (illegaly) by Polish Central Anticorruption Bureau

September 22, 2018 | Staff

The Polish Central Anticorruption Bureau (CBA) bought a new system for surveillance of electronic devices. This system is the most expensive in the history of Polish services, because it cost over PLN 33 million (€7,65 million). It was financed from the funds from which the state was to assist victims of crime. The Minister of Justice and the Central Anticorruption Bureau have thus broken the law - this is what the Supreme Audit Office assesses.

In the control files carried out by the Supreme Audit Office (NIK), some documents were found that testified about the purchase of the surveillance system. By default, the inspectors checked how the Minister of Justice manages the Justice Fund, which until recently was called the Inpatient Aid Fund and Post-penitentiary Assistance.

The fund is fed by courts imposing financial penalties on perpetrators of crimes. NIK inspectors have highlighted the largest transaction from the fund in 2017. It turned out that it went to the Central Anticorruption Bureau. One invoice that is currently in the control files of the Supreme Audit Office provides evidence of what it was intended for. The document was issued by a Warsaw IT company for over PLN 33 million. The document is entitled 'Purchase of special techniques for detecting and preventing crime'.

Detailed amounts:

• Pre-payment: PLN 13.6 million (€13,156,318)
• Receipt of equipment and program: PLN 11.64 million (€2,701,437)
• Functional tests: PLN 5 million (€1,160,411)
• Training: PLN 3.4 million (€789,079)
Total sum: PLN 33.64 million (€7,807,245)

On the other side of the invoice there are two signatures and stamps: Head of the CBA Ernest Bejda and deputy head of the operating technique department of this formation.

The President of the Supreme Audit Office, Krzysztof Kwiatkowski, announced that there had been a breach of the law.

The documents collected by the Supreme Audit Office reveal that the system was provided by a new IT company based in Warsaw. As the source informs us about the Polish services, this system was not developed, but only polonized, and training was prepared for CBA agents.

Sources report that there is no need for cooperation with operators or the consent of the court to be able to spy on electronic devices in Poland. Until now, the court's consent was needed in Poland so that electronic devices could be spied on. Now the case may look completely different - the Central Anticorruption Bureau has purchased a system that will probably be used without the court's knowledge.