The four coalition parties agreed that there are certain questions regarding contracts awarded to Hayek Consulting company, which was co-owned by Economy Ministry State Secretary Martin Chren (SaS) and Transport Ministry State Secretary Ivan Švejna (Most-Híd) but they do not agree on what action should be taken at this time, Prime Minister Iveta Radičová and SaS chairman Richard Sulík said at a press conference on Friday, September 24, the SITA newswire reported.
The two therefore agreed that via parliament they will ask Slovakia’s Supreme Audit Office (NKÚ) to carry out an inspection into the effectiveness of the money spent by state institutions in contracts with Hayek Consulting.
“If NKÚ doesn't declare these contracts transparent, based on my evaluation of the protocol released by NKU the state secretaries will resign,” Radičová told the TASR newswire. The NKÚ, which is headed by an opposition nominee Ján Jasovský, will check the actions of the state secretaries, SITA newswire wrote.
The prime minister said that she had no other choice since Economy Minister Juraj Miškov has refused to propose the recall of his state secretary, Chren. If Radičová had sacked Chren, it would have meant the dissolution of the government. Most-Híd has also refused to recall its nominee, Švejna.
“My coalition partners have a different opinion for this process. And I had to decide,” said Radičová. “If somebody wants to interpret it as my weakness, they are free to do so.”
Hayek Consulting won contracts from the Economy Ministry's National Agency for Medium and Small Enterprises and the Finance Ministry when it was led by former minister Ján Počiatek. There are allegations that the tenders were pre-arranged as all participating companies were on good mutual terms.
Radičová also announced the beginning of investigation of the national agency for business development. According to her, assets may have been misused there since 2006 which she said may have continued also after new nominees of the current government. The head of the F.A. Hayek Foundation, Ján Oravec, has been in its management for some time. That agency also awarded orders to the firm of Chren and Švejna. Economy Minister Miškov is to recall all representatives of the agency in a week.
Source: TASR, 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.
27. Sep 2010 at 14:00