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Murky hiring practices at Agriculture Ministry uncovered
2 Oct 2013 Flash News
RELATIVES of the Agriculture Minister and inhabitant’s of his native village Komjatice faced little competition when applying for jobs at the Agriculture Ministry.
The selection process for the posts of six people in managerial positions at the ministry, whom the Sme daily previously reported to be either related to Minister Ľubomír Jahnátek or to have come from his native village, was only announced as an “internal selection procedure” and as such, the positions were published only on the ministry’s intranet, Sme reported.
In all six cases, those who were selected were the only ones to participate in the selection process.
This concerns namely the minister’s nephew Lukáš Peško, his niece Petra Bohunová, Komjative native Marek Gocník, brother-in-law of the local Smer head representative in Komjatice Gabriel Jaššo, and former Komjatice inhabitant Peter Hajnala, who is the head of the ministry’s press department.
These employees held their current posts even before the selection process took place, since technically they were assigned to them temporarily.
The ministry did not respond to the Sme daily’s questions about the selection process from September 16 until October 1.
Sme broke the story in mid-September, reporting that a son and daughter of Jahnátek’s sister, Lukáš Peško and Petra Bohunová, were employed in managerial positions at the ministry Jahnátek oversees.
Sme voiced suspicions of nepotism in connection with Jahnátek after it revealed that several people from his native village of Komjatice, which has a population of just 4,000, hold high positions at the Agriculture Ministry.
Head of the parliamentary committee for incompatibility of functions, Miroslav Beblavý of the Slovak Democratic and Christian Union (SDKÚ), says that Jahnátek should explain whether or not he has found himself in a conflict of interest over the hiring of these relatives and compatriots.
Jahnátek considers Sme’s allegations to be part of a campaign aimed at discrediting him. He told the press on September 30 that this was an attempt by retail chains, angered by his fight against low-quality food, to strike back at him.
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