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Deputy PM’s office gets new powers

About 20 employees have refused to work for the new office.

Deputy PM for Investments and Informatisation Peter Pellegrini(Source: TASR)

More effective drawing of EU funds, stricter evaluation of IT projects and the professional management of large investments are the main goals of the Office of Deputy PM for Investments and Informatisation Peter Pellegrini which was set up officially as of June 1.

Three areas that had previously been divided among other bodies have thus been transferred to the remit of Pellegrini. These include the informatisation section which was overseen by the Finance Ministry and the section of the European structural and investment funds governance which came under the Central Coordination Body belonging to the Government’s Office. Meanwhile, an investment governance section has been newly created, the TASR newswire reported.

The previous arrangements were incapable of ensuring enough dynamism vis-à-vis current rapid developments in IT technologies and new trends, Pellegrini said.

Read also: Read also:Deputy PM for investments gains greater powers

“Slovakia wasn’t able to compete with other models abroad, such as those in Great Britain and Estonia,” Pellegrini added, as quoted by TASR. “I feel a great deal of responsibility for the functioning of this new office, and I believe that we’ll ensure that people will see real, positive changes.”

The new office plans to communicate closely with the non-profit sector and various initiatives that were rather critical of the previous arrangement.

“We need to boost transparency, optimise projects that are being carried out and effectively enforce the necessary legislative changes,” said Pellegrini, as quoted by TASR.

The office will have some 200 employees, most transferring from the aforementioned departments. This will not however include about 20 crucial people who were previously working for the informatisation department of the Finance Ministry, the Denník N daily reported.

The public-private RTVS has reported that head of the informatics department Pavel Bojňanský, who led the informatisation during the first and second governments of Robert Fico (2006-2010 and 2012-2016) will leave his post. He led the department at the time when the first wave of EU funds allocated for informatisation projects ended in a fiasco, Denník N wrote.

Together with Bojňanský two dozen interns decided to resign. Most of them served in management roles or had leading posts in the department.

It seems that not all people have identified with Pellegrini’s vision.

“There was a meeting at the Finance Ministry between the employees of the informatisation department and Deputy PM Peter Pellegrini, where the vision and plans for the new office were introduced,” Pellegrini’s press department told Denník N. “Most employees have identified with the new vision but some of them decided not to continue as they did not agree with the proposed way of managing the informatisation and e-government.”

Bojňanský said that he officially leaves his post due to work, family and health reasons, according to RTVS.

The experts of the Slovensko.Digital initiative have not commented on Bojňanský’s departure.

“We believe that the selection of new management and the architecture and programme office will be transparent and will focus on specific measures,” Ján Hargaš of Slovensko.Digital said, as quoted by Denník N. 

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