Slovakia’s Supreme Audit Office (NKÚ) released a report on March 8 about its investigation into the use of money within the so-called bulletin-board tender at the Construction and Regional Development Ministry, expressing doubts on how almost €4 million was used, the TASR newswire reported.
Earlier in the day the Construction and Regional Development Minister, Igor Štefanov from the Slovak National Party (SNS), had said that the NKÚ found that only a total of €32,000 (0.2 percent) of the total amount of €13 million spent before the tender was cancelled was not paid in accordance with the stipulated purpose.
The NKÚ stated, however, that certain scrutinised documents did not contain the results of the legal assistance provided by the winning consortium, but noted that the legal services “were directed towards meeting the goals of the Operational Programmes”, as quoted by TASR. The purpose of the use of the resources was not therefore violated, said the NKÚ.
The inspection “was not able to receive a proper assurance on meeting the purpose of money spent that exceeded €3.14 million”, as those expenditures were based only on declarations by the provider that the services had been delivered. In the case of further costs worth €840,000, “the connection to the material content of the project with respect to the target group was not clearly demonstrated”.
The Construction and Regional Development Ministry in 2007 announced a tender for supplying various legal and advertising services co-financed by EU funds solely on a bulletin board located within the ministry's headquarters. The ministry, which is run by the Slovak National Party (SNS), subsequently signed an agreement with the winning bidder – a consortium that included two companies called Zamedia and Avocat – and paid out part of the money for the services. It came to light later that both Zamedia and Avocat were reportedly close to SNS chairman Ján Slota and that the consortium’s bid was extremely expensive. TASR
Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
The Slovak Spectator cannot vouch for the accuracy of the information presented in its Flash News postings.
9. Mar 2010 at 10:00