Following the Tax Authority’s decision to enter into a contract with the company Nitra Invest, despite shouts of cronyism over the past few months, the deal has been slammed by NGOs, but defended by finance minister Ivan Miklos.
Both the Fair-Play Alliance independent watchdog and Transparency International Slovensko (TIS) have expressed their disappointment over the signing of the rental contract for Kosice tax office with a company owned by SDKU-DS regional head Ondrej Scurka.
The Fair-Play Alliance claims that the second tender (the first was cancelled over suspicions of being fixed for Nitra Invest), was also tailor-made to suit the company, which was the only company to submit a tender as a result. The alliance has therefore called for the tender to be cancelled and no contract to be signed.
Transparency International Slovensko (TIS) agreed with the Fair-Play Alliance that the conditions of the tender were too narrow, and so prevented many offers from being submitted. For the second tender, the Tax Authority invited NGOs to oversee the process and give their recommendations, which TIS did. Even so, the authority brushed them aside in the end.
Finance minister Ivan Miklos, who is deeply entangled in the affair as a good friend of Scurko and who also stood up against the PM over the issue, says the statements of the NGOs just go to prove that the tender was in order and the law had not been broken.
Miklos strongly rejects any crony partisan practices, arguing that his party colleague’s company was the only one in the tender and so the Tax Authority had little choice. How convenient for Nitra Invest.