Education Ministry fined €790,000

The fine is the result of a botched contract for the Infovek 2 project in 2015, which was concluded without due tender.

Education Minister Martina LubyováEducation Minister Martina Lubyová(Source: SME)

The Education Ministry will probably have to pay a fine of €790,000 in connection with the Infovek 2 project, said ministry head Martina Lubyová (junior coalition Slovak National Party/SNS) after the cabinet meeting on August 22.

“We received a ruling on a fine of €790,000, which was imposed because the [former] minister Juraj Draxler (Smer) in 2015 signed a contract that was drawn up through a direct negotiated procedure instead of announcing a tender, meaning that they continued with Telekom as a supplier,” Lubyová said, as quoted by the TASR newswire.

No chance to appeal

The ministry has no option to appeal, according to Lubyová. “The decision is final,” she said for TASR, adding that the ministry is examining the situation with lawyers. “It seems, however, that the fine is unavoidable. It’s very likely that we won’t manage to get out of it,” she summed up.

What happened back in 2015?

In 2010, the Education Ministry concluded a contract with the Slovak Telekom company for the Infovek 2 project for the provision of internet. In September 2015, the ministry sealed a contract with Slovak Telekom through a direct negotiated procedure to extend the project by one year, worth a total of €5.7 million, excluding VAT.

“The contract was concluded at that time because a new connection provider wasn’t selected via a competition,” the ministry explained recently, as cited by TASR. “The public procurement for the new connection provider, that is, the public procurement for the Edunet_SK project, was announced in December 2015. Since the Edunet_SK project wasn’t completed at that time, the ministry concluded an addendum to the contract with Slovak Telekom in September 2016, extending the Infovek 2 project.”

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