Anti-corruption speaker of liberal party Politics Can Be Different (LMP) Ákos Hadházy told the press on Thursday, that he has identified several abuses of EU public money at Hungary’s Government Control Office (KEHI). The state office is known for its probe against Norway Grants recipient Hungarian civil organizations and especially Norway Civil Grants administrator Ökotárs on charges of “embezzlement.” Hadházy says that he thinks KEHI committed genuine cases of mishandling EU funds received for the recently introduced State Reform II. project. KEHI already announced that they will sue Hadházy for his allegations.
KEHI has so far required HUF 27 million (USD 100,000) for “organizational development” within the framework of State Reform II. The project has been announced at the end of 2014 by János Lázár, minister of the Prime Minister’s Office. According to LMP HUF 16,8 million (USD 65,000) of this had been awarded to Telos Partners for giving seemingly simplistic advice. The open competition had only two contestants, Telos and a fake company without as much as a website.
The successful applicant Telos was awarded for a best practices study, that only included the suggestions to amend minor practices within KEHI, like how to report car usage, or to promote equal opportunities without specifying changes in practices.
KEHI reacted to the allegations in a public statement, claiming that Hadházy’s statement “raises the suspicion that Hadházy is aiming to defame the Office on purpose.” They also wrote that KEHI was giving a transparent account of how they have spend the EU funds received. They added that, contrary to Hadházy’s claims, there were three companies invited into the competition instead of two, and that all implementation studies are publicly available.
KEHI also announced that they will sue the opposition party member for defamation.
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