Wednesday, 23 April 2014

Police disclose bribery evidence against senior officials

ČTK |
4 October 2012

Prague, Oct 3 (CTK) - The dismissed Czech deputy labour minister Vladimir Siska and former IT department head Milan Hojer offered a bid worth at least 100 million crown to a firm for withdrawing its complaint against the ministry, Jaroslav Ibehej, spokesman for the Czech anti-corruption police body said Wednesday.

The firm lodged the complaint with the Office for the Protection of Competition (UOHS).

According to the information available to CTK, the public order was offered to the company OKsystem.

Ibehej said OKsystem had complained that the Labour and Social Affairs Ministry had violated the law in a different tender put up by it and the Interior Ministry.

Daily Mlada fronta Dnes (MfD) wrote Wednesday that Siska started to reform computer systems for the payment of welfare benefits and "sidelined" OKsystem firm that was doing it for 20 years.

He allegedly entrusted friendly firms with the order without a tender.

The anti-corruption police have charged the senior ministerial officials with bribery.

"If convicted, the two men face up to six years in prison," Ibehej said.

A court in Prague Wednesday decided to take Siska into custody. Judge Monika Krikavova said he had masterminded the crime and had the real power to influence the affair.

Shortly after the court ruled so, Labour and Social Affairs Minister Jaromir Drabek (TOP 09) said he would resign at the end of October.

The UOHS has also dealt with other tenders put up by the ministry.

The office and the police are checking the implementation of new information systems for welfare payments.

The Anti-corruption Foundation Fund has also lodged criminal complaints against Siska, Drabek and other persons.

The Ministry did not put up a tender, but used a general agreement between the Interior Ministry and the firm Fujitsu Technology Solutions from 2008.

The Office for the Protection of Competition is examining the public order for the "social card" with which welfare benefits are paid.

The server Aktualne.cz has written that Siska used various ways with which to avoid public tenders.

The dubious procurement includes a bid for roughly 65 million crowns for new internal rules at the ministry or an order worth two million crowns for the analyses of the processes of insurance benefits gained by the company AMI Praha, co-owned by Michal Svaty, a friend of Siska.

Also without a tender, the ministry allegedly wanted to lease a system for medical advisers' supervision from IBM.

However, the UOHS eventually decided that the ministry must not accept the deal.

MfD has written that the police have also been investigating Hojer over the Mostecka uhelna coal-mining company and overpriced purchases for it.

Hojer dismissed the allegations Wednesday.

"I feel not guilty and the things that are mentioned there did not happen," Hojer said.

Copyright 2014 by the Czech News Agency (ČTK). All rights reserved.
Copying, dissemination or other publication of this article or parts thereof without the prior written consent of ČTK is expressly forbidden. The Prague Daily Monitor and Monitor CE are not responsible for its content.