Zitnanska: Government Can Abuse Public Procurement
According to former justice minister Lucia Zitnanska from the opposition party SDKU, the plan of Robert Fico’s government to revise public procurement legislation is designed so that the procurement process can be fixed.
The draft bill was submitted to parliament for review on Monday and introduces various changes that are being put into question by the opposition bench.
At a press conference yesterday, Zitnanska referred to the draft bill as the “law of all laws”, which will make it easy for the standalone government to control and manipulate the public procurement system.
“The draft bill will let the Smer-SD party use the financial role of a single party to the full”, said Zitnanska, adding that it would make interior minister Robert Kalinak the most powerful man in the government.
Zitnanska claims the new legislation will mean politicians and officials will be abel to select the winners of public procurement tenders as they wish, regardless of the best offer.
The shortcomings outlined by Zitnanska include a new condition for so-called “strategic transactions”, meaning tenders over EUR 10 million will be awarded by the use of a market survey instead of a standard tender. Accoording to SDKU MP Miroslav Beblavy, this could concern up to two thirds of all public procurement.
Zitnansk also noted how the idea of centralised procurement could lead to a situation where the government itself decides on the winners of tenders, and she questions the effectiveness of electronic auctions.