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New procurement rules debated

THE ECONOMIC and Social Council of Slovakia has expressed its support for a draft amendment to the law on public procurement prepared by Interior Minister Robert Kaliňák. However, representatives of both employees and employers agreed that before the law is discussed in parliament the tripartite will meet with Kaliňák to discuss possible changes, the SITA newswire reported on January 7.

THE ECONOMIC and Social Council of Slovakia has expressed its support for a draft amendment to the law on public procurement prepared by Interior Minister Robert Kaliňák. However, representatives of both employees and employers agreed that before the law is discussed in parliament the tripartite will meet with Kaliňák to discuss possible changes, the SITA newswire reported on January 7.

“The law will unambiguously bring more transparency and much more effective spending of state resources through which other jobs are created,” said Kaliňák, as quoted by SITA, adding that the amended law will ultimately serve to create more jobs.

Also the Association of Towns and Villages of Slovakia (ZMOS) praised the changes, saying that in public procurement it is necessary to protect quality and honest supplies, and to ensure that the newly created jobs will be filled with the unemployed. Head of ZMOS Jozef Dvonč said that the amendment is better and simpler than the current law, SITA wrote.

However, Miroslav Beblavý, an MP for the opposition Slovak Democratic and Christian Union (SDKÚ), criticised the amendment, saying that besides small changes that increase the volume of published information, the proposal still contains measures that will allow the manipulation of public procurement and corruption, SITA wrote on January 8.

“I am glad that the minister withdrew [the suggestion of so-called] strategic orders, but the minister himself has confessed recently that this suggestion was rather a [decoy] which was to provoke and hide other, more important changes,” Beblavý said, as quoted by SITA. “Therefore I rather evaluate it as a tactic to hide other problems in the amendment.”

Meanwhile, the government approved the amendment at its January 9 session. The aim of the changes is to make the spending of public money more effective and to improve competitiveness, with the accent on the public interest, SITA wrote.

If passed in parliament, the amendment will become effective as of July 2013.

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