Minister Glváč yields, disputed gas masks not purchased for now

The Defence Ministry has halted the purchase of €862,000 in gas masks. Based on a contract signed in 2009 which caused much concern, the deal has been set aside for review. The tender organised by the Interior Ministry in 2008 (led by Robert Kaliňák), allegedly included only one bidder capable of fulfilling all conditions, the winner MSA Auer.

The Defence Ministry has halted the purchase of €862,000 in gas masks. Based on a contract signed in 2009 which caused much concern, the deal has been set aside for review. The tender organised by the Interior Ministry in 2008 (led by Robert Kaliňák), allegedly included only one bidder capable of fulfilling all conditions, the winner MSA Auer.

Other bidders were excluded because their masks did not have field-of-vision greater than 90 percent of the natural vision field. After the Sme daily let had the winning masks measured in an independent testing facility, it turned out that they too failed to meet this criterion.

Defence Minister Martin Glváč initially claimed the original contract was in order, and the Supreme Audit Office found problems. However, Sme wrote on Thursday, August 1, that ministry spokeswoman Martina Balleková said officials had voluntarily re-evaluated the contract in order not to give pretence for “cheap political attacks on the Defence Ministry”. Former defence minister Ľubomír Galko (Freedom and Solidarity-SaS) also criticised the contract Wednesday.

Balleková said that ministry will let the contract be scrutinised by experts and refused to give further details on what will happen next. She said that Slovak army has had a good experience with MSA Auer masks and the conditions of the public tender were set based on the army’s requirements.

(Source: Sme)
Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
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