RECENT media reports have suggested that the newly elected ombudsman, Pavel Kandráč, has a conflict of interests because of his involvement in a private company.
Kandráč co-owns the Vortex Holding company with his son, but denies this is in conflict with his public function. Until recently he was a member of the Movement for a Democratic Slovakia (HZDS).
The ombudsman said to the daily Pravda that "this company is not functional, it never did and never will carry out any business activities.
"Because my son is abroad, we couldn't delete the company from the business register. And I don't think that the fact that my name is in the business register is in conflict with law," Kandráč said.
Kandráč is also dean of the Law Faculty at Banská Bystrica's Matej Bel University. His faculty requires student applicants to submit certificates proving that they passed English proficiency tests at the private Akadémia vzdelávania (AV). AV charges Sk2,000 per test.
His faculty has required the certificates for over two years now despite laws that say that universities are not allowed to ask students to pass paid tests to be accepted. Universities are only allowed to ask for secondary school transcripts.
Kandráč argued that his school was raising future "employees of international organisations which mostly use the English language".
He denied links to the AV, and said his school simply did not have enough staff to prepare high quality English entrance exams.
1. Apr 2002 at 0:00 | Martina Pisárová