The Slovenia Times

Civil oversight without data on use of funds for railway project


"We're facing an extremely hard task of obtaining data about the efficiency of the use of these funds," council member Emil Milan Pintar said on Monday as he presented the report on the period between 10 May and 10 October.

Saying that the council did not claim there were any irregularities, Pintar pointed out the council had two options - either to ask the Infrastructure Ministry or to request from the Court of Audit to carry out a review.

According to Pintar, the council first had trouble obtaining data because much of it had been labelled confidential, and once this was resolved, the council "was bombarded with hundreds of pages of various data", making it impossible to discern whether funds for individual orders were used efficiently.

Overall, EUR 60m has actually been used so far, with another EUR 30m committed in various contracts. The head of the council, Jadran Bajec, reiterated that the Koper-Divača railway project, valued at around EUR 1bn, had not been managed systematically.

There is still no investment plan, which is the basis for beginning preparatory construction work on the project, the Infrastructure Ministry has still not started the process to change the national zoning plans to determine the two-tier rail track, and the implementation project has still not been ordered either, he said.

Moreover, the council wonders whether there was need for additional geologic analyses that came with a price tag of EUR 800,000.

Pintar also pointed out that the final price of the project was still not known and neither was the expected duration of the construction. Moreover, the council finds it strange that the electric network would be built as part of an old system that Slovenia will have to change in the next decade or so.

Meanwhile, the council has not dealt much with the planned involvement of Hungary in the project, but Pintar said that personally he never really understood why that would be necessary and that he found the country's plan to withdraw a boon.


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