The new government coalition parties are doing their best to put a halt to what they feel are crony contracts signed under the former government, especially those that were entered into in a rush just before or after the elections.
The latest in the series concerns a contract that was signed just one day before the general elections by former culture minister Marek Madaric (Smer-SD). The contract worth EUR 125-170 million was for the digitalisation of cultural heritage records, but current culture minister Daniel Krajcer has pulled out of the contract in time.
The contract was the most expensive ever in the ministry’s history and was entered into with the company Tender Media Group. Krajcer believes the contract was signed to provide “lucrative business to private companies”.
The digitalisation was to be funded from the EU, but Krajcer believes that because of doubts about satisfying the conditions of the Operational programme – Informatisation of Society, there was a good chance that Slovakia would have had to repay the money back, like in the case of the now infamous ‘notice-board tender’.
Most contracts that are signed in this way have a ‘backup’ clause, which makes withdrawing from the contract just as expensive as keeping it going, and minister Krajcer says that in this instance the state could have faced the risk of damages in billions of crowns (the former Slovak currency).