The Slovak parliament will decide on draft legislation aimed at clamping down on corruption in public procurement as soon as this week, local media reported on October 18.
Provoked by several corruption scandals in recent years – in particular connected to state road contracts and healthcare – the anti-letterbox law is heralded by NGOs as a potentially significant step in the fight against money laundering and the ‘tunnelling’ of public funds, TASR reports. The bill will establish a registry of public sector partners that can bid for public contracts.
Proposed by Justice Minister Lucia Zitnanska, the anti-letterbox law will cover all public contracts, including those issued by the healthcare system and state companies.
"The approval of a good anti-letterbox law is extremely important. It is a key law in the field of preventing money laundering, reducing the scope of corruption and detecting those currently ‘tunnelling’ public funds through various state orders or front companies. The draft law fully conforms to requirements asserted by the Jingle for Change initiative,” said Juraj Rizman, coordinator of the initiative which features several NGOs.
The public sector will be able to provide public funding and trade only with verified business entities listed in the online registry. Lawyers, tax consultants, notaries and banks will need to verify the names, and they will be responsible for the accuracy of the information.
Companies facing challenges will have to prove in court that their record is correct. Failure to convince the court will result in dropping off the list and sanctions.
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