An audit conducted by the Finance Ministry – led by minister Peter Kažimír – of the Education Ministry detected repeated unsound handling of public funds to procure, for example, flowers, alcohol and other items.
The Sme daily wrote in its Tuesday, August 6, issue that the audit uncovered several suspicious facts: the case of flowers, publicised last year, involved the purchasing of flowers worth €10,000, which were allegedly meant as a gift for secondary schools to train prospective florists, but the invoices do not specify any details and offer insufficient proof of Education Minister Dušan Čaplovič's claims.
The Finance Ministry said this purchase was a grave violation of the procurement rules. However, it only recommended that Čaplovič avoid such problems in the future. The Education Ministry refused to comment on the findings. The media pointed out that the suspicious purchases were made during a time when Čaplovič argued that there were no public funds for raising teachers’ salaries.
The Finance Ministry originally refused to publish the results of the audit, but then showed them to Vladimír Crmoman of the initiative Government Claim There Is No Money, so Teachers Will Help to Find It. Crmoman was warned by the ministry that if he abused data from the audit report, he would be punished according to the law. He deems this a threat.
The audit also pointed to the trip to London by the head of Čaplovič's office, which was unexpectedly stretched from three to four days, while she flew business class and stayed at a hotel where her accommodation cost more than €800. The suspicious purchase of top-brand cognac was investigated, too, according to Sme.
Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
The Slovak Spectator cannot vouch for the accuracy of the information presented in its Flash News postings.
6. Aug 2013 at 10:00