PUBLIC Procurements Office (ÚVO) will inspect The National Highway Company’s (NDS) tender for verifying payments with so-called fuel cards for road tolls on the initiative of NDS and Transport, Construction and Regional Development Minister Ján Počiatek, NDS General Director Milan Gajdoš announced on November 28.
“Based on the request of minister [Počiatek] I submit the motion for conducting an inspection of this tender,” Gajdoš said, as quoted by the TASR newswire.
The opposition, particularly Christian Democratic Movement (KDH) criticises the tender saying that a company with unclear ownership called Paywell, which won the tender has secured incomes amounting to tens of millions of euros by collecting 6.15 percent of each payment.
“This is several times as much as collected by banks for payments with credit cards,” said KDH vice-chair Pavol Zajac at a press conference on November 24, as quoted by TASR, adding that Paywell presented the bid in the tender only one day after it was founded.
Zajac further said that Paywell is owned by Cromwell company with a final owner, the Evock Limited company, which resides in Nicosia in Cyprus, but the opposition KDH politicians connect it with the J&T financial group; Evock Limited resides at similar addresses as some companies from the Slovak group’s portfolio, according to the SITA newswire.
Opposition MPs of parliament’s Committee on Economic Affairs failed to conduct MPs’ investigation of the NDS therefore they approached Počiatek proposing the investigation.
The Transport Minister responded that he does not have a problem discussing the issue even though he does not see any violation of the law in the whole tender.
“We do not have a problem to discuss this issue, but it has to be in the form of factual arguments,” Počiatek said, as quoted by TASR.
NDS defends the tender, claiming that KDH is comparing things that cannot be compared.
“Despite the classic service of credit cards [use] charging the construction of a complex autonomous system of authorisation terminals, centre for fees and software equipment is a necessary condition to provide this service,” said NDS spokesperson Michal Fúrik, as quoted by SITA.
In its response Cromwell representatives said that the company has been active in the Slovak market for several years and it is not a shell company; it employs more than 550 people and has reached an annual turnover of almost €50 million.
Source: TASR, SITA
Compiled by Roman Cuprik from press reports
The Slovak Spectator cannot vouch for the accuracy of the information presented in its Flash News postings.
1. Dec 2014 at 14:00