The state will probably not have to pay the so-called social enterprises any more money, said Labour, Social Affairs and the Family Ministry State Secretary Lucia Nicholsonová (SaS) on August 3, although she did not explain how the ministry would bring this about.
“We’ll cast doubt on the whole process of concluding contracts with social enterprises,” said Nicholsonová at a press conference. According to her, during the previous government the ministry signed contracts with four of the eight pilot social enterprises to halt their financing, even though it could simply have backed out of the contracts. “We have quite a decent analysis worked out on this. In at least two cases, such an agreement didn’t have to be concluded,” said Nicholsonová. The new state secretary pointed to the former ministry’s management when asked why the agreements were signed. According to her, the employees who prepared the contracts were given order to do so “from above”.
Viera Tomanová (Smer), the former labour minister, reacting by accusing Nicholsonová of lying, the TASR newswire reported. “Mrs Nicholsonová should weigh her words, because I’ll turn to the law-enforcement authorities in light of the fact that she’s telling untruths,” Tomanová said.
Social enterprises were created under the previous government as part of a state-subsidised make-work scheme. They were attacked by critics for establishing state-subsidised competitors for existing businesses, and for the opaque mechanism through which they were funded. An EU audit report published earlier this year identified serious problems with several social company contracts.
For more information on this story, please see EC auditors detect flaws.
Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
The Slovak Spectator cannot vouch for the accuracy of the information presented in its Flash News postings.
4. Aug 2010 at 14:00