Slovak government outsourced handling of refugee crisis to private company

Last week, Interior minister Roman Mikulec (OĽaNO) signed a contract worth €2.5 for “complex management of evidence, transport and care for refugees” with a private company, Dustream production was picked by the ministry without a public procurement process. [EPA-EFE/DUMITRU DORU]

The Slovak Ministry of Interior is facing strong criticism for its handling of the refugee crisis on the eastern borders with Ukraine as it has delegated the management to a private company that previously organised corporate parties.

Prime Minister Eduard Heger (OĽaNO) admits the government is not doing enough.

Last week, Interior minister Roman Mikulec (OĽaNO) signed a contract worth €2.5 for “complex management of evidence, transport and care for refugees” with a private company, Dustream production was picked by the ministry without a public procurement process.

Mikulec claims his ministry picked the company based on recommendations by the non-governmental organisations active on the borders. All of them denied this claim.

The company is owned by Július Slovák, who has previously worked for the OĽaNO party and personally knows Mikulec and Heger.

However, humanitarian NGOs on the border still say it is a step forward, though they have complained of poor coordination. Some complained that the burden rests entirely on the shoulders of the NGOs and local municipalities.

Slovák said that if criticism of the contract continues, his company will step down. Mikulec, however, claims that this would be a catastrophe. The contract is currently being assessed by a national financial watchdog.

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