Slovak Construction and Regional Development Minister Igor Štefanov (SNS nominee) closed an agreement on May 18 to end the contract with the consortium of companies including Zamedia, Consulting&Management, European Consultants Organisation, and Avocat, the ministry spokesperson Dagmar Vanečková told the TASR newswire.
Thus, the ministry ended its cooperation with this consortium that won a contract on the basis of a controversial bulletin-board tender worth €119.5 million for technical services connected with the use of EU funds, over which the former Marian Janušek (SNS) was asked to resign. At its extraordinary session on April 23 the government committed the new minister, Igor Štefanov, to cancel the agreement without any financial consequences for Slovakia.
“Due to the Construction Ministry's request, all members of the consortium signed an agreement on ending the contract on providing the services, thus accepting the government's resolution from April 23, 2009. The consortium of the above-mentioned companies ceased providing the construction ministry with their services on April 23 without applying any sanctions against Slovakia,” said Vanečková, as quoted by TASR. The wording of the agreement will be published on the webpage of the Construction Ministry.
The ministry has been criticised by the opposition and media for the tender and nobody has personally been held responsible after Janušek's resignation over the tender in which the Public Procurement Office (ÚVO) and the Supreme Audit Office (NKÚ) said the law was violated. Currently, the tender competition is also being investigated by the European Commission.
The opposition parties are claiming that the former minister was replaced in office by a person (the current minister Igor Štefanov) who was co-responsible for the controversial tender. That is why representatives of the three opposition parties delivered the necessary signatures on May 15 to convene an extraordinary session to the Parliament to attempt to dismiss Štefanov for the second time since April 15. Parliamentary Chairman Pavol Paška has seven days in which to convene the session. TASR
Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
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19. May 2009 at 10:00