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Scientologist at securities depository allegedly favoured firms with Scientology ties
14 May 2014 Flash News
SUSPICIOUS public tenders involving bidders who know each other and are associated with the Church of Scientology is how the Sme daily described the operation of Smer’s nominee Martin Wiedermann, who heads the state Central Depository of Securities.
During the presidential campaign when Prime Minister Robert Fico attacked his opponent, Andrej Kiska, with allegations of ties to Scientology, Wiedermann admitted that he himself is a supporter of the sect, according to Sme.
Wiedermann’s links to Scientology emerged after Fico built his campaign on the claim that scientologists represent a security risk for the state.
Sme reported on May 14 that firms with close ties to the sect have been successful when bidding in the Depository’s tenders. Two such firms, Business Success Slovakia and Kolateral, won two tenders.
Business Success Slovakia was selected to provide educational training for the Depository’s employees, worth €4,000, from January 2014, while Kolateral provided consultancy for auditing HR, systems and processes worth €19,900 from March.
The Central Depository of Securities selected the companies through a method of market research: instead of an open call for bids, the state agency selected three companies who were asked to submit bids, and then selected the winner from among them. All the other firms that were addressed in the market research are either mutually intertwined with or have links to Scientologists.
“When addressing the given companies we did not investigate what links they had with whom, but we rather looked at their results and the scope of the requested services they provide,” Wiedermann told Sme, adding that they did not violate any laws and, thus, he sees no reason to leave his post.
The National Property Fund (FNM), which controls the Central Depository of Securities through the Bratislava Stock Exchange, refrained from commenting on the public procurements organised by the Depository, as did the Bratislava Stock Exchange.
Compiled by Michaela Terenzani from press reports.
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