Why is it a problem?
Every year, there are about 10 000 tenders for about 5 billions of euros carried out. According to the entrepreneurs the competition is not fair- usually, one needs to give a bribe in the amount of 13% of the contract´s value to win the contract. More than 2/3 of inhabitants consider the process of awarding of state contracts as croyistic. In one third of the contracts, there is no competition at all- the contract goes to the only candidate. The average number of these orders is 20% in the EU. Additionally, almost nobody has been punished for such manipulations connected with hundreds of scandals which have occured in Slovakia. In the past 10 years, less than 20 people have been convicted and what is more, all of them have been only the „small fish.“
Slovakia follows the European directives in terms of the public procurement as well as Germany or Sweden, but the corruption related to the contracts is much more common. That’s why we believe that the solution is not to change law very often (in average, the law about public procurement is changed twice a year) but the important thing is to improve the availability of information about state´s contracts to the companies, the professionals and public. We have created a visual interactive portal of public tenders where everyone can simply find information about who and where wins the highest amounts of contracts. We support this kind of control and investigation. We teach local activists how to search for discrepancies, how to write about them interestingly and how to demand and achieve justice.
Transparency International helped to get to the practice the obligatory publishing of the contracts- which is the unique solution in the world, and still continues to control it. Taken the Slovak example, this solution was conducted into praxis also in the Czech Republic in 2016. We inspired many amendments to the public procurements law- the director of TIS is the most quoted expert in relation with state contracts in Slovakia. Also thanks to them, the average number of companies fighting to win the contracts has doubled since 2009. We have revealed hundreds of affairs and some of them even led to drawing of responsibility or returning of the money. We have educated more than a thousand activists and students in control of the public contracts.