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TIS objects to political selection of heads of watchdog authorities

The new heads of watchdog authorities such as the Supreme Audit Office (NKÚ) and the Public Procurement Office (ÚVO) ought to be picked via open selection procedures rather than via political nominations, Transparency International Slovensko (TIS), a political ethics watchdog, said on Tuesday, April 17, as reported by the TASR newswire.

The new heads of watchdog authorities such as the Supreme Audit Office (NKÚ) and the Public Procurement Office (ÚVO) ought to be picked via open selection procedures rather than via political nominations, Transparency International Slovensko (TIS), a political ethics watchdog, said on Tuesday, April 17, as reported by the TASR newswire.

"Unlike Prime Minister Robert Fico, we're convinced that top state officials such as the heads of the Supreme Audit Office (NKÚ) and the Public Procurement Office (ÚVO) should emerge from public selection procedures instead of talks among unidentified associations of employers or behind-the-scenes agreements between political parties," reads the TIS statement.

Smer chairman Robert Fico said on March 30, a few days before being sworn in as prime minister, that his party intended to cede the top posts at the NKÚ and ÚVO to the opposition. He partially went back on that promise later, saying the ÚVO chief would be appointed after consultations with professional organisations.

The ÚVO has been without a director since April 2011, when Smer nominee Roman Šipoš left, the SITA newswire wrote. An expert commission selected the three best candidates last December but the process was not completed due to the early general election held in March, SITA wrote.

Sources: TASR, SITA

Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
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