Hungarian central bank fined €600 for dispersing €63mn without public tenders

By bne IntelliNews June 29, 2016

Each of the five foundations of the Magyar Nemzeti Bank (MNB) has been fined HUF200,000 (€631) by the Arbitration Committee of Public Procurement, local press reported on June 29.                              

The fine was imposed on the foundations due to spending around HUF20bn (€63.1mn) without announcing public procurement. A scandal over the foundations’ spending broke out after a Constitutional Court ruling that blocked the government's attempt earlier this year to remove the foundations’ spending from public scrutiny.

Following the scandal, on May 13 the foundations themselves initiated a process at the Arbitration Committee of Public Procurement, asking the committee to review the status of the foundations and decide whether their activities fall within the rules detailed by the Public Procurement Law.

The Committee ruled on June 28 that the foundations are subject to the Public Procurement Law. At the same time, the committe said that it decided to impose "only a small fine" for not having followed the law, due to the fact that the foundations themselves initiated the committee’s review.

The foundations received HUF245bn (€790mn) in 2014 from the MNB, officially to promote financial literacy and conduct economic research. However, a significant amount of funds were granted to people close to Matolcsy and other allies of Prime Minister Viktor Orban.

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