THE OFFICE for Public Procurement (ÚVO) has imposed a record fine on the Trenčín Region for violation of procurement procedures. The Regional Administration has been ordered to pay almost Sk15 million because of the way it awarded a Sk300 million construction contract to build its new offices directly to Vion, a company based in Zlaté Moravce, the SITA newswire wrote. This is, to date, the biggest fine ÚVO has issued.
"The Trenčín Region negotiated without making it public," said ÚVO spokesperson Helena Fialová. "A check showed that it did not meet the condition for using this kind of procedure. In such cases the law on public procurement sets the fine at 5 percent of the contract value."
The Trenčín Region will appeal against the fine. It claims it was under tight time pressure to find a contractor to finish the building, which was still under construction at the time of purchase. It has said the basements were in a critical condition and that a delay might have caused further damage. However, construction work at the site in fact only resumed nine months after the contract was signed.
This is the second heavy fine imposed on the Trenčín Region. In 2006 it had to pay almost Sk10 million after failing to publicly negotiate a road maintenance contract. The current fine is the third highest ever imposed in Slovakia.
10. Mar 2008 at 0:00 | Compiled by Spectator staff from press reports