Finding information about who is receiving subsidies for a field behind one’s house is not easy as it requires time and visits to several websites. To make the system easier, more than 50 programmers met during the first weekend of April at the #allforjan Hackaton event.
Divided into several teams, they created several tools that are expected to simplify the tasks of journalists who will continue in the work of murdered investigative journalist Ján Kuciak and improve the public control over who, for what and how much is being received, the Sme daily reported.
The idea to organise the Hackathon came from the Faculty of Informatics and Information Technologies of the Slovak University of Technology (STU), which joined forces with the Aktuality.sk website, the Sme daily and the GapData Institute organistion.
What will be possible?
Under the current system, it is not enough to look at the cadastral map to obtain more information on subsidies. This only shows who owns the specific field. The subsidies do not go only to the owners, but also farmers who rent the land or manage it without having an agreement with the owner.
Another problem is that the system of agricultural subsidies is using its own names for localities that differ from the ordinary names of the cadastral territories, Sme wrote.
Thanks to the new system, it will be easier not only to receive information about the individuals, but also companies that receive the money, the size of the plot and how the agricultural fields have changed throughout the years, including which companies obtained more plots and at whose expense.
Some teams even used analysis based on which it can be revealed whether some companies receive extremely high subsidies despite, for example, their number of employees. It has happened in the past that a company received subsidies for several plots it was expected to manage but had no employees at all.
“It is also possible to compare the total income of companies with agricultural subsidies received in a respective year,” said Tomáš Konečný of the KoBraRe team, as quoted by Sme. “We found that some companies had no income other than agricultural subsidies.”
The programmers created not only tables and search tools, but also graphic elements like graphs and maps that depict aerial photos, plots from the cadastre register and agricultural lands with information about people drawing subsidies.
“We’ll certainly meet with some teams again,” Vladimír Machalík, spokesperson for the Agriculture Ministry, told Sme.
9. Apr 2018 at 12:37 | Compiled by Spectator staff