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Financial Admin off to a wobbly start

THE INFORMATION system at the newly-created Financial Administration of the Slovak Republic, which merged the work of existing tax and customs authorities at the beginning of 2012, is not working as expected, according to the Sme daily.

THE INFORMATION system at the newly-created Financial Administration of the Slovak Republic, which merged the work of existing tax and customs authorities at the beginning of 2012, is not working as expected, according to the Sme daily.

It reported that employees at the administration are not able to properly make reimbursements of VAT to companies, issue confirmations about a company’s solvency, or verify declarations concerning taxes on motor vehicles.

Sme wrote that the malfunctioning system is not only affecting taxpayers and importers who need to pay customs duties, but that employees at the Financial Administration have said they will not accept responsibility for any mistakes or damage, adding that some employees have signed a petition stating that “a state employee is entitled to the conditions necessary for proper performance of public service”.

The information system for the new directorate, known as RDS, was originally developed through a €5.8-million contract with the Novitech firm.

That contract was terminated in January this year by Miroslav Mikulčík, the head of the department responsible for implementing the UNITAS project to unify collection of income tax, payroll levies, and customs fees.

The head of Novitech, Peter Birčák, criticised the action and stated that the information system developed by his company was working without problems.

The Finance Ministry, which has the Financial Administration under its remit, stated that Novitech is only seeking to prolong its original contract, Sme reported.

Sme wrote that Mikulčík initiated a different information system, known as KONS, that was developed by Bank Pro Soft, a company to which he reportedly has links, according to Sme. The daily wrote that some parts of KONS are operating correctly but others are not and are causing problems with the administration’s overall information system.

Mikulčík previously served as the head of the Tax Directorate but was asked to resign his position by Prime Minister Iveta Radičová after he signed a questionable contract to rent office space for a tax office in Košice from Nitra Invest, a firm owned by Ondrej Ščurka who is a regional official of the Slovak Democratic and Christian Movement (SDKÚ) party.

Mikulčík resigned his position on April 20, 2011, but then was hired by Finance Minister Ivan Mikloš in early May as an aide to assist with implementation of UNITAS.

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