Sme: Public tenders might be limited and less transparent

After six months of debates with experts, the ruling Smer party and its chairman, Prime Minister Robert Fico, changed the rules for public tenders in March. Now, the rules are being changed again, but more secretly, the Sme daily reported on June 21.

After six months of debates with experts, the ruling Smer party and its chairman, Prime Minister Robert Fico, changed the rules for public tenders in March. Now, the rules are being changed again, but more secretly, the Sme daily reported on June 21.

If approved, the new rules would allow the widely criticised Administration of State Material Reserves agency to spend €21 million without having to hold a tender, Sme reported. The government is proposing an exemption from the rules for public tenders for the state agency, which gained notoriety during the tenure of former prime minister Iveta Radičová for selling platinum parts illegally at well below their market price.

MPs were supposed to approve the latest changes on June 20, but Smer postponed the vote. Even the Interior Ministry, led by Smer’s Robert Kaliňák, expressed surprise about such a proposal after the recent extensive change to the law on procurement, according to Sme.

In a separate plan, Smer MP Vladimír Faič proposed to add one more post to the Public Procurement Office (ÚVO) – that of vice-chair, which would go to a Smer nominee. He has said he wants to change the rules in favour of Smer through an amendment to the law on organisation of local state administration that has no connection to the public procurement process. If the amendment is passed in parliament and signed by the president, Smer will be able to appoint its nominee by the beginning of July.

Source: Sme

Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
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