The Supreme Audit Office (NKÚ) has criticised Slovakia’s ineffective and uneconomic toll system in its recent report.
Its inspection revealed that only 10 cents from every euro of toll money collected was used to build new highways between 2014 and 2018. The state-owned National Highway Company (NDS) received 45 cents from €1, and 48 cents went to SkyToll, which has been operating the toll system since 2010.
The NDS collected €967 million from the toll system during the audited 2014-2018 period, but spent only €97 million on the construction of new stretches and highways. The money from EU and state funds remain the primary source of funding for highway projects.
Moreover, the ownership of the toll system is problematic. The 2009 contract between the state and SkyToll expires in 2022. After this period, Slovakia was expected to take control of the toll system.
“Yes, the system was to be transferred to the state without additional payment,” ex-transport minister Ľubomír Vážny (Smer), who served when the contract was signed, told the Denník N daily.
The NDS paid €256 million to get the toll system built, but the state will not own the system unless it pays more money.
The NKÚ wants to share its revelations with the police.
Nobody had a clue
“Such a situation is in conflict with the principles of the economy, and it's a possible breach of obligations in the management of foreign assets by key NDS managers or the Transport Ministry – people who prepared tender documents and a contract with SkyToll,” the NKÚ said in the press release.
27. Nov 2019 at 22:31 | Compiled by Spectator staff