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Mikloš says discussion closed over disputed EU funding for project

According to Finance Minister Ivan Mikloš, his department’s decision not to provide a grant from EU funds for the Public Administration Central Portal (ÚPVS) project is a closed matter. At a press conference on Tuesday, May 31, Mikloš also rejected claims by representatives of SWAN – which leads the consortium that won the order – that the solution the company proposes could remove any doubts on overpricing.

According to Finance Minister Ivan Mikloš, his department’s decision not to provide a grant from EU funds for the Public Administration Central Portal (ÚPVS) project is a closed matter. At a press conference on Tuesday, May 31, Mikloš also rejected claims by representatives of SWAN – which leads the consortium that won the order – that the solution the company proposes could remove any doubts on overpricing.

"For me, the arguments for my decision were in no way disproved. I consider this issue closed from my side," said the minister, as quoted by the SITA newswire. The minister also repeated that his decision does not cancel the contract with SWAN, only its financing from EU structural funds. He also rejected the possibility that his decision was based upon incomplete information and ruled out the idea of a committee reviewing his decision, saying the decision he had made was within his exclusive competence.

SWAN said it did not agree with the Finance Ministry's statements on the project. "As a company we are aware of this project's importance and therefore we would like to return the discussion to experts. We have therefore sent an open letter to the prime minister and the finance minister, including an appeal to form an independent expert group, for whose activities we are prepared to bear the costs in full," SWAN director general Miroslav Strečanský told SITA.

According to Strečanský, this solution will dispel any doubts about whether the ÚPVS project is overpriced and whether it is possible to finance it from the Operational Programme Informatisation of Society, and also on whether its cancellation will have positive or negative effects on the informatisation process. If the conclusions of experts confirm the Finance Ministry's analysis, the firm says it will be fully cooperative. However, if the state withdraws from the contract without an analysis, SWAN said it would demand compensation, which it estimated at €18.4 million.

Source: SITA

Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
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