Slovak Education Ministry fined by regulator

The Public Procurement Office (ÚVO) has confirmed it is fining the Education Ministry. The ministry, led by Slovak National Party (SNS) nominee Ján Mikolaj, will have to pay more than €140,000 as a penalty for signing contracts in June and July 2008 for printing and supplying textbooks without proceeding in line with the law on public procurement, ÚVO spokesperson Helena Fialová informed the SITA newswire on June 8.

The Public Procurement Office (ÚVO) has confirmed it is fining the Education Ministry. The ministry, led by Slovak National Party (SNS) nominee Ján Mikolaj, will have to pay more than €140,000 as a penalty for signing contracts in June and July 2008 for printing and supplying textbooks without proceeding in line with the law on public procurement, ÚVO spokesperson Helena Fialová informed the SITA newswire on June 8.

The Education Ministry has said it does not accept the decision and will ask a court to examine it. An earlier appeal by the Education Ministry led the second-instance authority, the ÚVO chairman, to overturn its objections and confirm the first-instance decision by ÚVO. It fined the ministry for applying an exemption to the law on public procurement despite the exemption not applying to the purchase of textbooks. Education Minister Mikolaj argued that it was only a re-print of an existing textbook and not a new title. In June, 2008, the Education Ministry started negotiations with the publishing houses SPN-Mladé Letá and AITC, s.r.o. about additional printing and re-release of selected textbooks that had been printed and released in previous years.

Source: SITA

Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
The Slovak Spectator cannot vouch for the accuracy of the information presented in its Flash News postings.

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