THE YEAR IN POLITICS

Scandals

Scandals pertaining to the health care sector did not end with the dubious deal surrounding the dubious purchase of CT device. The Sme daily and Transparency International Slovensko (TIS) reviewed contracts of four large state hospitals in Trenčín, Banská Bystrica, Trnava and Poprad and found that they will pay external caterers nearly €81 million including VAT over the course of 10 years. After Sme ran the story, these overpriced catering contracts signed with mutually intertwined companies saw the heads of the state-owned hospitals forced out, along with the Health Ministry’s service office head Martin Senčák.

Thousands of people protested against corruption.Thousands of people protested against corruption.(Source: SME)

Scandals pertaining to the health care sector did not end with the dubious deal surrounding the dubious purchase of CT device. The Sme daily and Transparency International Slovensko (TIS) reviewed contracts of four large state hospitals in Trenčín, Banská Bystrica, Trnava and Poprad and found that they will pay external caterers nearly €81 million including VAT over the course of 10 years. After Sme ran the story, these overpriced catering contracts signed with mutually intertwined companies saw the heads of the state-owned hospitals forced out, along with the Health Ministry’s service office head Martin Senčák.

Ladislav Rosocha, the head of a hospital in Košice, was also asked to step down in December because of an order for an external cleaning service by the hospital’s emergency department for €28,000 per month without announcing a public competition.

In another dubious deal, numerous municipalities around Slovakia have made use of external project management services of a single company under questionable circumstances. Transparency watchdogs have labelled this a potentially major case of cronyism in drawing EU funds and called on the European Commission to look into the matter. On August 25 Sme broke the story on the company Star EU, which has been extraordinarily successful in public procurements, winning 70 out of 70 bids that it applied for.

Citing Defence Ministry’s document, Sme made an allegation on November 28, that the ministry officials signed a contract with Czech firearms manufacturer Česká Zbrojovka Uherský Brod (ČZUB) using a direct order without informing the public. Document signed by the Defence Ministry on September 19 says that the ministry agreed to buy 688 Bren assault rifles and the same number of CZ 75 pistols along with accessories in a deal totalling €3.25 million.

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