Ministry Hires Lawyers to Assess Situation in Social Firms
BRATISLAVA, January 17, (WEBNOVINY) — The Ministry of Labor, Social Affairs, and Family has ordered legal services worth nearly EUR 30,000 including the VAT in order to evaluate the situation with eight pilot social companies launched by the previous center-left government. According to a contract published on the Internet webpage of the central register of public contracts, the legal firm White & Case, s.r.o. is to provide the services, which include a legal analysis of the ministry’s position toward the social companies, from the viewpoint of the Slovak as well as EU legislation. The firm is also to propose possible steps of the ministry against individual social companies and optimum steps to be taken based on the results of the analysis. The analysis should be carried out by mid-February of this year. The contract includes also provision of legal consulting related to the social companies.
State Secretary at the Labor Ministry Lucia Nicholsonova announced in late September that the ministry would try to claim back the money the previous government provided to pilot social companies. The ministry also informed the concerned social companies that it would not provide them with any further funding because, as Ms. Nicholsonova said, state aid terms and economic competition regulations would be violated. “All contracts were concluded in conflict with the law and so all money from the state budget was provided unlawfully,” she underscored.
Nicholsonova said that the Labor Ministry also filed a complaint to the Special Prosecutor’s Office requesting it to check whether an offense was not committed of harming the financial interests of the European Communities regarding the financing of social companies, which has since been halted.
In the previous election term, the ministry led by former minister Viera Tomanova withdrew from four out of eight pilot social companies because of apparent irregularities.