The Minister of Construction and Regional Development, Igor Štefanov, will again face an attempt to dismiss him in parliament over the so-called bulletin-board tender, said Christian-Democratic Movement, KDH, chairman Ján Figeľ on October 19, following a meeting with representatives of the major opposition party SDKÚ (Slovak Democratic and Christian Union), the TASR newswire wrote.
The same tender prodded the opposition into attempting an identical move in May 2009, shortly after Štefanov was appointed minister.
“Štefanov was responsible for the tender before he became minister. A negative evaluation of this procurement has been expressed by the Supreme Audit Office (NKÚ) and subsequently by Brussels as well. This damages the country's credibility,” Figeľ told TASR.
The ministry announced a tender for supplying various services co-financed by EU funds solely on a bulletin board located within the ministry's headquarters. It subsequently signed an agreement with the winning bidder - a consortium that included two companies - and paid part of the money for the services. It is reported that both companies are close to SNS chairman Ján Slota and that the consortium's bid was extremely expensive.
After inspections of the NKÚ and the Public Procurements Office (ÚVO), former minister Marián Janušek was ousted. He was replaced by Štefanov, who reached agreement with the consortium to cancel the agreement. The EU announced on October 6 that it would not cover the €11 million in payments that had already been made by the state. Štefanov will not comment on this new initiative, the Construction Ministry’s spokesperson, Linda Vaškovičová, told TASR on October 19. TASR
Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
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20. Oct 2009 at 10:00