Appeal to anti-graft watchdog to check PM’s contacts with lobbyists

Ljubljana – The opposition-controlled Commission for Oversight of Public Finances has asked the Commission for the Prevention of Corruption to check the records of Prime Minister Janez Janša’s contacts with lobbyists after a media reported that he had played golf on several occasions with the owner of a medical devices supplier.

The resolution was adopted at a session called at the request of five centre-left deputy groups, who alleged that Janša had had opaque contacts with suppliers of medical equipment that could potentially constitute corruption.

The commission also urged the government to disclose within a week a contract between a company, Integralis, and the government’s secretariat general, and it called on the Court of Audit to conduct an audit of this transaction.

The session came after the portal Necenzurirano reported that in the last two decades Janša had often holidayed and played golf on Mauritius with Božo Dimnik, a health industry lobbyist whose daughter owns a company that supplies medical equipment, and Andrej Marčič, the director of IT firm Integralis, which recently supplied IT equipment for the government.

Janša and Marčič were invited to today’s commission session. Neither came. When the report was first released by Necenzurirano, the prime minister’s office said Janša had played golf on Mauritius several times, but never during any of his tenures as prime minister.

Opposition MPs said today that three decades of corruption and politicians’ refusal to separate between private and professional affairs had to come to an end. Coalition MPs did not participate in the debate.

Božo Predalič, a former secretary general of the government who now serves as state secretary at the Interior ministry, meanwhile explained the details of the agreement with Integralis.

He said the change of servers eventually completed by Integralis had been proposed by the technical department, with the contract managed by the legal service.

According to Predalič, none of the non-selected bidders had asked for a revision of the selection and all procedures were conducted transparently.