THE FINANCE Ministry has dismissed Marek Vanko, the person leading the department responsible for auditing the European Union’s funds, the Sme daily reported in its May 16 issue. He lost his job after the European Commission threatened Slovakia with losing billions of euros for failing to reveal mishaps in the projects funded from the European coffers.

“As of mid-April former general director, during whose tenure the system of the audit was evaluated positively by the Commission, was appointed to lead the department of audit and control,” the Finance Ministry told Sme.

Dismissal of the head of the audit department may help Slovakia to persuade Brussels not to stop the finances, said Ján Rudolf, expert in the EU funds, as reported by Sme. He however warned that Vanko is rather a political victim.

The EC auditors found serious flaws that Slovak auditors overlooked, according to the 50-page-long audit report obtained by the Slovak Radio and made published on May 12. The flaws include for instance tailoring the conditions of tenders to suit predetermined candidates, selecting a winner who did not fulfil the conditions of the tender, or dividing a purchase into two smaller parts that do not require a tender at all.

The EC is threatening to suspend billions of euros for projects for some time unless the Slovak government improves its control over the flow of money from EU funds, the report reads, as cited by the Slovak Radio.

Source: Sme, TASR

Compiled by Radka Minarechová from press reports

The Slovak Spectator cannot vouch for the accuracy of the information presented in its Flash News postings.