15. 05. 2017 14:53
The Office for Public Procurement (ÚVO) claimed that the Interior Ministry led by Robert Kaliňák had violated the Public Procurement Act while building a client centre in Bratislava. Therefore, the ministry has to pay a fine of €260 000. The mistake was pointed out by the opposition independent MP Miroslav Beblavý who also called on Kaliňák to step down.
Beblavý pointed out that in February 2015, the Interior Ministry concluded without any tender a contract with Vienna Invest to rent a building, so-called 'Old Ikea'. Shortly afterwards, the ministry granted a commission to the same company to reconstruct the building and a few months later, inked a contract addendum to increase rent payments by almost 52%. In December 2015, once again without any tender, the ministry signed another agreement with the firm to acquire ownership of the building in exchange for the millions already paid, an additional payment and a Bratislava District office building.
"It's not acceptable to avoid tender by renting something first, which it is legal to do without tender, and then granting a construction commission worth millions to the owner with the justification that it's on his land. If this were acceptable, then even the National Highway Company wouldn't have to organise tenders on highways," concluded Beblavý, who added that he had asked for more detailed information on these transactions under the Free Information Act thrice and had not received a single response.
"Mr. Beblavy doesn't know what he's talking about," said the Interior Minister in his reaction on Friday. "It's a desperate attack against successful projects of this Government in the spirit of the motto - every and any attack against the Interior Minister counts." Kaliňák also conceded that the ÚVO probe concluded that law had been violated, yet the ministry is prepared to appeal against such statement. "If proceedings are initiated, we will defend ourselves accordingly," said Kaliňák.