Bratislava, July 4 (TASR) – The Public Procurement Office (UVO) put on hold the Defence Ministry’s public tender on the purchase of military vehicles, TASR learnt on Thursday.
The ministry claims that this is a standard procedure and they asked to be audited themselves.
“The UVO is looking into the commission in question. Meanwhile, it issued an interim measure, which in simplified terms means that the Defence Ministry cannot undertake any activities, save for the cancellation of the tender, until the audit is concluded,” UVO spokesperson Janka Zvoncekova confirmed to TASR.
The ministry argues that it’s a standard procedure. “It has stemmed from the audit, which the Defence Ministry applied for itself with an eye towards ensuring maximum transparency and dispelling any doubts about the procurement of 4×4 vehicles,” ministry spokesperson Danka Capakova told TASR.
By applying for the audit, the ministry intends to disprove “politically-motivated and unsubstantiated claims and attacks suggesting that only a single bidder meets the requirements of the international tender”.
Jaroslav Nad of opposition OLaNO maintains that the tender has been non-transparent, unfair and bespoke for only a single type of vehicle since the very beginning. “We hope that the UVO will thoroughly investigate yet another suspicious tender organised by SNS nominees and the outcome will be its definitive cancellation,” he said.
The tender, announced in June, is aimed at purchasing 424 multi-purpose tactical 4×4 vehicles for the Slovak Armed Forces worth up to €321 million total, VAT-free.