Evka agency sues the state

The controversial company asks for compensation from the Agriculture Ministry.

Agriculture Minister Gabriela MatečnáAgriculture Minister Gabriela Matečná (Source: SITA)

The Evka agency, known from the case of the allegedly overpriced gala to introduce the logo for Slovakia’s EU Council presidency, has submitted a lawsuit against the state. It is asking for a subsidy amounting to €180,000 which it was to receive from the Agriculture Ministry back in 2011 for “the implementation of progressive technologies in wood processing”, the Denník N daily reported.

The ministry, however, refused to pay the sum, claiming that Evka has not fulfilled its duties.

The agency was to use the money for purchasing new devices to produce exhibition stands. Evka focuses mostly on exhibitions and constructs the stands for companies at various fairs. It has already constructed the stands for the state at several travel fairs, while it also prepared the Slovak pavilion at the latest Expo in Milan, Denník N wrote.

One of the conditions set by the ministry for those willing to receive the subsidy was that the company should have found suppliers of the machines in transparent competition. Evka, however, failed to meet this requirement, the ministry claimed.

“The inspection revealed the unauthorised exclusion of a bidder with the lowest offer though he had fulfilled the technical conditions for the devices requested in the competition materials,” Agriculture Ministry spokesperson Vladimír Machalík said, as quoted by Denník N.

Evka repeated the competition, but the Public Procurement Office has again revealed some flaws and ordered that the competition be scrapped again. The agency thus violated the agreement on subsidies, so the ministry terminated it.

Following this decision, Evka sued the state and is asking the court to order the ministry to pay the subsidy, Denník N reported.

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“The Agriculture Ministry insists on its claim that all of its actions were in compliance with the then valid legal framework,” the ministry says.

The court proceeding is scheduled for late March, Denník N wrote.

The agency made it to the headlines in November 2016, after former employees of the Foreign Affairs Ministry questioned its organisation of the gala at which Slovakia’s EU Council presidency logo was officially introduced. It received the order within the market survey, whose details are still hidden by the ministry. It is also not known who the other participants in the survey were, the daily wrote.

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