Anti-shell law introduced an exception for tenders related to the EU

The recently approved amendment to the law on public procurement, which is to ban shell companies from attending public competitions, contains an exception which will allow small purchases related to Slovakia’s EU presidency, which will take place in the second half of 2016, without public competition. The provision was authored by Smer MP Maroš Kondrót.

The recently approved amendment to the law on public procurement, which is to ban shell companies from attending public competitions, contains an exception which will allow small purchases related to Slovakia’s EU presidency, which will take place in the second half of 2016, without public competition. The provision was authored by Smer MP Maroš Kondrót.

Peter Kunder from Fair-Play Alliance pointed to this change on his blog at the Project N website. He said that this will pertain to the purchase of goods and services worth less than €134,000 which are not usually available, such as some tailored goods, consulting services or preparation of projects.

Information about such purchases will not be present in the public procurement journal but only in the central register of contracts.

“The ridiculous result of ‘anti-shell’ legislation is even the fact that shell firms, which will not be able to bid on public procurement due to the amendment, will be able to conveniently sign with state contracts ‘related to preparation and functioning of the presidency’ since those will not be public procurements anymore,” Kunder wrote in blog. “The fact that it will happen behind the backs of the public is just a bonus.”

The Foreign Affairs Ministry refuses the claim that the change will weaken the fight against shell companies. The adopted exception is related to just some services connected with Slovakia’s EU presidency. Regular procurement is excessively slowed by participants who, for example, file groundless complaints, according to the ministry.

“It [the claim] is proved by experience from procurement of language education which was delayed six months,” said the press department of Foreign Affairs Ministry, as quoted by the Sme daily.

Source: Project N, Sme

Compiled by Roman Cuprik from press reports
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