Sunday, 22. september 2019

Frequently asked questions

When was the OGRPA established?
The OGRPA was effectively established on the date set by Act No. 201/2002, the Act on the Office of the Government Representation in Property Affairs, i.e. on July 1st, 2002. It is an organizational body of the state - an independent accounting unit. It falls under the budgetary chapter of the Ministry of Finance of the Czech Republic. 
What are the main activities of the OGRPA?
The main tasks of the OGRPA are:
1.      To represent the state and municipalities in court proceedings, arbitration committees, administrative proceedings, etc.
2.      To trace, to acquire state property, to transfer any unneeded state property and to manage and protect the property needed for its own use and for use by the state.
3.      To manage other state-property-related agendas entrusted to the OGRPA by various acts and government resolutions.
What are the territorial competences of the OGRPA?
The OGRPA executes its rights and obligations on the basis of skilled and professional activities of employees of the OGRPA working throughout the entire territory of the Czech Republic. According to the respective legislation, the rights and obligations of the OGRPA are executed by its 8 regional offices. The headquarters of the OGRPA is in the capital city of Prague, together with the Regional office for Prague. The remaining 7 regional offices are based in other cities – the seats of the regional courts. The regional offices of the OGRPA are further sub-divided into 44 district offices, thus covering the entire territory of the Czech Republic.
What legal services does the OGRPA provide?
The OGRPA acts for other government bodies in court hearings and similar proceedings regarding proprietary rights of the state, financial claims, business transactions, and complaints lodged with the Constitutional Court. The OGRPA acts at Czech courts, at court hearings abroad, and at international court hearings. The OGRPA brings suits and acts in court hearings regarding ownership, validity of contracts on property transfers, unjust enrichment at the expense of the state, etc. It acts on its own initiative or on the initiative of the Ministry of Finance or the Supreme Audit Office. The OGRPA acts for other government bodies in property-related cases on the basis of a contract, acting as a secondary participant in civil court hearings where property of a state organization is involved and where a legal interest of the state exists, or acting as a participant in civil court hearings regarding the validity of contracts on property transfers between non-state organizations where a justified property interest of the state exists. It also acts for municipalities in court hearings, etc.
What is the portfolio of the OGRPA?
The OGRPA has in its portfolio more than one thousand state-owned real estate items of the total value in the order of billions of Czech crowns. More than 90 % of the real estate is land plots. The OGRPA also has in its portfolio state-owned movables, securities and shares of companies and of housing cooperatives. The portfolio of the OGRPA has a special floating character with thousands of inflows and outflows of immovable property items each year as a result of the OGRPA activities in acquisition and transfers/sales of the property. 
Where can information on public sale of property be found?
The OGRPA manages any property unneeded for its activities in accordance with Act No. 219/2000, and its Implementing Regulation No. 62/2001. In brief, the OGRPA preferentially offers any unneeded property to other organizational bodies of the state, and if they are not interested, the property is considered to be unnecessary to the state and is then offered for transfer to non-state entities. Such property is in most cases offered in a public tender (if there are no serious reasons for a different legal procedure to be used). The public tenders are published on the website of the OGRPA - see (Nabídka majetku).
Are there any special restrictions or requirements as to foreign bidders for state property?
No, there are no restrictions or special requirements as to foreigners participating in a public tender for the sale of state property. Foreign bidders have to meet the same criteria as Czech nationals.
How does the OGRPA proceed in the administration of non-state property?
Effective as of January 1st, 2004, courts may in accordance with Act No. 279/2003 authorize the OGRPA to administer any property seized during criminal proceedings. In practice, this means that the OGRPA takes care of property seized on the basis of a court ruling, a public prosecution order, or a court order. The property is confiscated by the state in cases when the accused is found guilty; otherwise the OGRPA has to return the seized property to the person in question. For the OGRPA, this means not only storing the secured movable property, but also maintaining any real estate.
What does the term escheat mean?
This term refers to property of deceased persons without any legal or testamentary heirs. Court commissioners investigate whether or not there are any legal or testamentary heirs alive. If no heirs are found, the state is asked to intervene. If the property is forfeit to the state, the OGRPA offers the property to other state bodies and if it is not needed by the state, the OGRPA puts it up for sale.