Fico Deprives Opposition of Control Over Public Procurement

Robert Fico © Tibor Macak -

Relations with the opposition will not be so rosy for Robert Fico and his new government after he announced plans not to grant the opposition control over the public procurement authority UVO, designating it instead to an “expert” who will be nominated by a professional organisation.

The latest plan, announced at a press conference yesterday and just days after Fico confirmed that the post belonged to the opposition, has naturally met with anger and frustration from the five opposition parties, which claim he has broken his promise. Fico says the move is to ensure greater quality in public procurement, but the opposition is more inclined to thinking he wants to prevent them from having a controlling hand over this key institution.

Fico has always insisted that the public procurement authority belongs to the opposition in principle, and after the government of Iveta Radicova got into power in 2010, he even lashed out at the Prime Minister calling her a liar after she blocked one of his candidates, even though not depriving him of his right to fill the post. Fico accused the government of trying to gain control over the procurement authority by appointing its own person to this strategic, some would say ‘lucrative’, post. He then denounced the PM for consistently lying to everyone.

Many are saying Robert Fico is changing since his ego was appeased by the landslide victory in the March 2012 elections, which is at least true here as he has changed his tune concerning how the use of public money in public procurement should be overseen. The liberal Freedom and Solidarity party (SaS) does not believe that Fico and Co have changed in any way, referring to the latest move as proof that “the old Smer-SD is back”.

1 Comment

  1. Where the hell is Bobby no Mates going to find an expert in this country?
    Public Procurement – the longest running scam in the SK and probably the most lucrative. No wonder the bandits want their own man in charge.
    Two senior govt. employees explained to me how it works: a department wants some light bulbs, they can’t pop down to Tesco’s they have to make a request to the procurements agency. The procurements agency make no effort to find the cheapest supplier they just award the order to a “approved supplier”, which must be Slovak. The supplier can buy the bulbs for cents but bills the government Euros – no work, loads of money. Hence, 25K each for rubber boats without engines that cost 8K direct from Zodiac, 19K each for PCs without screens, operating systems, software etc when top of the range, all the bells and whistles computers were available at the shop down the street for less than 1K. Its the same for everything from nuts and bolts to aircraft engines and cars. A deparment full of non-jobs and a nice little earner for someones “approved” friends.

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