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ROAD BOSSES FIRED AFTER LETTER TO PM REVEALS ALL

SSC rocked by corruption claim

TWO departmental bosses were fired last week after a whistle-blowing colleague sent a letter to the Prime Minister alleging corrupt and manipulative practices at the headquarters of the state funded Slovak road administration (SSC).
SSC employee Agnes Vargová also claimed in her six-and-a-half page letter "terror, corruption, bribery and fear" ruled at SSC head quarters and that the head of the road property administration department had threatened to "physically liquidate" her.
Juraj Ochtinský, former head of the road property administration department, and Jozef Vaľo, former head of the controls and legal department with the SSC, were ousted from their jobs last week by SSC head Dušan Matonok.


Agnes Vargová's letter alleges that "bribery and fear" rule at the Slovak road administration.
photo: Ján Svrček

TWO departmental bosses were fired last week after a whistle-blowing colleague sent a letter to the Prime Minister alleging corrupt and manipulative practices at the headquarters of the state funded Slovak road administration (SSC).

SSC employee Agnes Vargová also claimed in her six-and-a-half page letter "terror, corruption, bribery and fear" ruled at SSC head quarters and that the head of the road property administration department had threatened to "physically liquidate" her.

Juraj Ochtinský, former head of the road property administration department, and Jozef Vaľo, former head of the controls and legal department with the SSC, were ousted from their jobs last week by SSC head Dušan Matonok.

Vargová sent the letter to Prime Minister Mikuláš Dzurinda and to daily Pravda on January 8, 2002. Her letter has also prompted a investigation by the Transport ministry into the activities of the SSC.

The ministry's spokeswoman, Mária Miková, said that the ministry hoped to complete the investigation by the end of this week.

In her letter, Vargová alleged that Ochtinský and Vaľo manipulated various SSC tenders for construction works, the supply of large scale project materials and flood damage clean-ups.

"I submit this confession, which witnesses to the practices that happen in the Slovak road administration at the general headquarters where terror, corruption, bribery and fear rule," she wrote.

Vargová has worked at the SSC general headquarters since February 2001. She claims to have witnessed Ochtinský's and Vaľo's "dirty practices" on numerous occasions.

She said tenders were manipulated so that particular companies would win and she also claimed that Cestné Stavby Košice, allegedly paid a Sk500,000 ($10,600) bribe to Ochtinský to be chosen as the winner or a Vinné crossroad construction tender. Company head, Jozef Luca denied the allegations.

She also claimed Ochtinský had ordered some regional SSC heads to choose his favourite firm for to supply road salt and she alleged that Ochtinský had threatened to "physically liquidate" her if she talked publicly about what she knew.

All allegations are being investigated.

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