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Fair-Play Alliance highlights opaque university contract

A contract for cleaning services worth more than €1 million signed by the Slovak University of Technology (STU) in Bratislava has won the “Save for the State!” competition run by the political ethics watch dog Fair-Play Alliance, the SITA newswire reported on April 9.

A contract for cleaning services worth more than €1 million signed by the Slovak University of Technology (STU) in Bratislava has won the “Save for the State!” competition run by the political ethics watch dog Fair-Play Alliance, the SITA newswire reported on April 9.

“The interesting [thing] about this agreement is that it has a value over €1 million, but we do not know whether it is advantageous or disadvantageous since it lacks basic details like what will be cleaned and for what price,” said Pavol Lacko of Fair-Play Alliance, as quoted by SITA, adding that the law stipulates that an agreement can only become valid if it is published.

If the contract agreement is not published, it would mean that the school has violated the law since the cleaning in question has already started, Lacko explained.

He added that the winner of the Fair-Play Alliance competition, who reported the contract and received a prize of €300, wished to remain anonymous.

Zuzana Wienk, the head of Fair-Play Alliance, said that another interesting thing about the contract was the mention of a mobile application which should serve to check on the cleaning services provided. She noted that while the agreement lacks several fundamental elements, the proposed mobile app is specified, SITA reported.

Shortly after the contract was publicised, the STU published all addenda to it, specifying what it was for, SITA wrote.

The organisers of the competition, announced in February, received up to 50 tips about dubious or disadvantageous contracts. Even though the submitters did not reveal any illegality, “[the contracting authorities] managed to find creative ways to avoid the rules,” Wienk added.

Second place went to an agreement to clean cars in the village of Oslany paid via European Union structural funds, followed by a contract by the J. A. Reiman Faculty Hospital and Polyclinic in Prešov, originally signed in 2006 for two years, but still being used this year, SITA wrote.

Source: SITA

Compiled by Radka Minarechová from press reports
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