The Slovenia Times

Law to fight graft in public projects stuck in parliament


The bill does not envisage the formation of a new state body, but it would allow the government to set up an inquiry featuring key officials from supervisory authorities.

The inquiry would examine projects wholly or partially financed with public funds when their value exceeds a percent of budget expenditure.

This means that projects such as unit 6 at the Šoštanj power station, healthcare investments, the Koper-Divača rail line, or the bank bailout, would qualify.

Such inquiries would be limited to 15 months, and would be in effect preventive in nature in that they would propose measures to prevent risks related to financing.

The bill did pass first reading, when it was backed by the coalition and the opposition Left, whereas the opposition opposed it.

Justice Minister Goran Klemenčič then asked the parliament to suspend further readings as its legal service criticized almost all of its articles.

It argued that the inquiry commission's powers would be too extensive, and there were also issues about its line-up and status.

Finally, the parliament's legal service said Slovenian law already envisaged similar commissions in the form of parliamentary inquiries.

The Justice Ministry regrets the bill has not been passed. "We regret that just like in the case of changes to the criminal procedure act, the legislator has not taken, for one reason or another, this step," it told the STA.

Indeed, the bill would be part of a broader judicial reform, which the ministry planned to involve among other things an overhaul of the criminal procedure, which was vetoed last year.

Meanwhile, chair of the parliamentary Justice Committee Jan Škoberne says lot of effort has been put into making the bill acceptable to the extent that it would pass the vote.

He notes that not even the coalition was united on it, and says he is willing to put it on the committee's agenda again as soon as it turns out there is sufficient support. Alas, he doubts this will happen.


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