Managers of the state-run social insurer Sociálna Poisťovňa violated the law. They prepared a public procurement worth nearly €6 million in late 2015, when the insurer was led by current Smer MP Dušan Muňko, so that it enabled the victory of the security company Bonul, led by Miroslav Bödör, known for close links to Smer and police representatives.
This stems from the revelations of the Public Procurement Office (ÚVO), which fined the insurer €25,000, the Denník N daily reported.
“Regarding the seriousness of the violation, which is part of the protocol, the fine was set at the highest possible amount,” said ÚVO’s head Miroslav Hlivák, as quoted by Denník N.
The ÚVO comptrollers clearly say that the procurement was unfair since it did not allow a fair and open tender. They explained that the combination of qualification conditions set by Sociálna Poisťovňa’s management could have prevented several companies from participation.
For example, the managers were asking applicants for documents confirming that they not only have guards and respective security licences, but that they be able to install the security system and have a special system integrator C4 certificate. However, the certificate is not easy to obtain. When ÚVO scrutinised the competition, only two companies in Slovakia had the certificate, one of them being Bonul.
As a result, Bonul competed with itself, Denník N wrote.
ÚVO says that it would have been better to divide the entire procurement among several smaller orders.
Moreover, if the insurer had observed the law, it would probably had saved some money, ÚVO added, as reported by Denník N.
The insurer will go to court
ÚVO has already fined the insurer, which has appealed, so now the procurement office only confirmed its previous decision. The insurer can still turn to the courts, which it promises to do soon, Denník N wrote.
“Sociálna Poisťovňa considers the fine inappropriate and will ask the court to postpone the enforcement of ÚVO’s decision,” said Sociálna Poisťovňa spokesperson Peter Višváder, as quoted by Denník N.
The insurer, now led by Ľubomír Vážny of Smer, is still defending the tender, while Muňko claims that before announcing it, the tender had been checked by ÚVO and no errors were found. He also says that ÚVO has no relevant evidence that more candidates could not have participated in the tender.
Non-affiliated MP Miroslav Beblavý says that the fine should be paid by Muňko. However, it is not very probable since the insurer does not plan to ask him to, as reported by the Denník N daily.
10. May 2018 at 13:03 | Compiled by Spectator staff