AUKN Head Steps Down, Remaining Management Members Face Dismissal
Komar submitted her resignation to the government yesterday, so the cabinet got acquainted with it behind closed doors at its regular weekly session, at which it also endorsed a proposal for dismissal of AUKN management members Danilo Grašič and Marko Golob.
The label "restricted" was removed from the documents concerning Komar's resignation today, when her resignation and the proposal for dismissal of Grašič and Golob will be sent to the National Assembly, which is to decide on the matter, the Government Communication Office said in a press release.
Komar will continue to perform the duties of AUKN head until her successor or acting head is appointed.
However, if the bill on the Slovenian Sovereign Holding, a super-custodian of state assets assuming the role of AUKN, is passed in July, no new appointments will be necessary, as AUKN will be abolished. The bill is expected to be debated by the cabinet next week.
As regards the dismissal of Grašič and Golob, the government said it had found them not complying with their legal obligations, thus damaging the management of state assets.
The government believes the pair has overstepped their powers in the management of capital assets and has acted unprofessionally and unethically by forwarding documents with "ungrounded and untruthful contents" and classified information to a legislative body, the central bank and the public.
AUKN said last night that the government had reported Grašič and Golob to the police for disclosing to MPs confidential information about possible scenarios in the recapitalisation of the state-owned NLB bank from government documents.
Finance Minister Janez Šušteršič confirmed at a press conference following yesterday's government session that an investigation was under way on suspicion that certain members of AUKN management disclosed some confidential information to the public but said that the government had not reported anybody.
Golob and Grašič said they see the move as another form of pressure on the independent work of the agency. They highlighted in their response today that the anonymity of the reports
Commenting on the news of their dismissal today, the pair said they were surprised by the government's decision, of which they had been informed by the media. They are convinced that there are no professional arguments for their dismissal, only political.
Saying that AUKN management had been conducting its duties in a fair, ethical, expert and legitimate way, Golob and Grašič said they expected to be given an opportunity to present to MPs and the public their work and AUKN's results in more detail.
The pair also said that Komar had decided to step down for personal reasons.
Separately, an anonymous report against Golob and Grašič was received by the specialised prosecution unit today. "It is said that in Slovenia, elected officials resort to such methods to discredit disobedient public servants," the pair said in a press release.
Meanwhile, the parliamentary Finance and Monetary Policy Committee, which was to discuss AUKN report for 2011 today, interrupted the session and decided it would not discuss the report before the government reviews it.
The opposition Social Democrats (SD) had demanded that the committee get acquainted with the report, since the government had not reviewed it yet although it had received it at the end of May. "The government does not want to discuss these reports, which is unacceptable for the National Assembly," SD MP Janko Veber said.
The 2011 AUKN report says that the agency's portfolio, which includes shares in 76 Slovenian companies, yielded a 0.23% return on equity (ROE) ratio in 2011, up from -2.86% in 2010. Net sales revenues of companies in AUKN's portfolio increased by 12.8% to EUR 19.49bn, while net loss amounted to EUR 136m, down from EUR 396m in 2010.
AUKN was set up by the previous Borut Pahor-led government to meet the requirements of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), which Slovenian subsequently joined.
Komar took over as the agency's head in October 2010 and was joined by Grašič and Golob in the management board.
Tensions occurred between Komar and some ministers already during the previous government's term, most notable was her dispute with the then Economy Minister Darja Radić.