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Bulletin-board tender investigation

THE INVESTIGATION into the infamous bulletin board tender has wrapped up. The investigator has prepared a proposal to begin prosecution, Police President Tibor Gašpar said on January 28. Prosecutors will now decide whether to bring the case to court.


THE INVESTIGATION into the infamous bulletin board tender has wrapped up. The investigator has prepared a proposal to begin prosecution, Police President Tibor Gašpar said on January 28. Prosecutors will now decide whether to bring the case to court.


The case focuses on an incident that occurred during the 2006-2010 Robert Fico government. It involved the announcement of a €120 million tender for supplying the then-Construction Ministry with various legal and advertising services co-financed by EU funds.


The call for applicants was placed only on a bulletin board in a corridor at the ministry, then under the remit of the Slovak National Party (SNS). The tender was won by the only bidder in the tender, a consortium of companies including Zamedia and Avocat, both businesses with links to the then-SNS party leader Ján Slota.


The state later had to repay Brussels the money spent on the project.


After the doubts cast on the tender by media reports, auditors from the Public Procurement Office (ÚVO) and the Supreme Audit Office (NKÚ) were sent to the ministry to clarify the details. Both offices had found serious errors made by the ministry in the controversial tender.


Two ministers nominated by the SNS, first Marian Janušek and then his replacement Igor Štefanov, were dismissed from the ministerial post in the wake of revelations about the tender. Both ministers were accused of several crimes, among them the abuse of power by public officials, as were three other people.


The Hospodárske Noviny daily broke the story in its January 28 issue that police are almost finished with the investigation, and there is only one witness left to be heard.

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