Defence Minister Jaroslav Baška stated on June 23 that his ministry does not have enough funds to pay €60 million, the sum due to BAE Systems for a tender won in 2005 for a mobile communication system called MOKYS for the Slovak Army. The Defence Ministry signed an option for prolongation of the contract shortly before parliamentary elections held on June 12, the SITA newswire wrote.
Minister Baška explained that the portion allocated for MOKYS for this year is not enough and even though the ministry released some funds for MOKYS it will be necessary to increase this allocation next year and for the next two years as well, he said.
“We will see what the next government will do with it. We planned it for two, three years. I wish the new minister to have more finances,” said the outgoing defence minister after the cabinet session on June 23. By signing the option, the ministry continues the framework
contract signed by the cabinet of Mikuláš Dzurinda in December 2005.
The minister explained that the contract was to expire last December. “We were also exposed to pressures from various sides to sign this serial contract,” explained Baška. Last December, he decided he would not do it since a huge sum is at stake.
“So we took time when we used the option from the contract from 2005,” said the minister.
Last December, the Slovak press informed that the ministry had signed a new contract for €117 million with BAE Systems that had not yet delivered what it was supposed to. BAE Systems had reportedly supplied seven vehicles for €40 million by that time.
According to an expert commission, tests showed that these vehicles cannot be deployed and thus they are parked in Ružomberok. In spite of this fact, BAE Systems is preparing for serial production; a step that has already been agreed upon with the ministry. Law enforcement authorities checked the 2005 MOKYS tender but no irregularities were confirmed.
Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
The Slovak Spectator cannot vouch for the accuracy of the information presented in its Flash News postings.
24. Jun 2010 at 14:00