Bratislava, July 3 (TASR) – A public hearing of candidates for the post of Budgetary Responsibility Council (RRZ) chair will take place in Parliament next Monday (July 6), Finance Minister Eduard Heger (OLaNO) said on Friday.
The selection will be carried out by a commission composed of economic experts and representatives of parliamentary caucuses, but the minister won’t attend. The Stop Corruption Foundation and Transparency International Slovakia will also oversee the selection process. Twelve candidates have applied.
“RRZ is a very important institution because it’s a guardian of debt and the health of public finances. It’s also a guardian of the future. All the more so at this time, when Slovakia is facing a big crisis and debt is climbing to more than 60 percent of gross domestic product (GDP). We’re not afraid of supervision,” the finance minister told a press conference on Friday.
Heger emphasised the importance of the soundness of public finances and the role of RRZ in this regard. “It’s time to choose a new chairman for RRZ. We’ve therefore launched a competition for this post. It’s important that it’s an independent institution, and that’s why independence is key. An independent person needs to sit on that particular chair,” noted Heger.
Finance Ministry State Secretary Lubos Jancik pointed out that several international institutions have indicated that the quality and independence of democratic institutions in Slovakia have been declining. “Public institutions have functioned very poorly or not at all. Two institutions have been exceptions, namely the Supreme Audit Office and RRZ, which has worked very well. We still want the quality of RRZ’s work to increase; that’s why we decided on a transparent selection procedure for the post of RRZ chief,” said Jancik.