Teraz.sk 18.4.2013 EN


The Ministry of Finance Supposedly Giving Contracts to Arbitration Attorneys Without Tender




TASR, 18 April 2013 21:33


Ministry of Finance, Contracts to Arbitration, public procurement, European Commision, violation of the law, law office,  Jana Martinková - Attorney-at-law (lawyer), der Rechtsanwalt - Advocatus Martinková s. r. o.
According to arbitration expert attorney J. Martinková, any law firm interested in participating in the selection process can consult the European Commission with a formal complaint, which will undoubtedly be successful.


Bratislava 18 April (TASR) - According to the portal Pluska.sk, the Ministry of Finance interprets arbitration laws differently than attorneys and the European Commission, who argue that addressing law firms directly in arbitration claims does not leave any room for competition.


Pluska.sk indicates that the Ministry of Finance is currently choosing attorneys to defend Slovakia in the lawsuit against the owner of the health insurance union Achmea. "In the second arbitration with the company Achmea, representatives are being selected. This process is not affected by the Public Procurement Act.", claims the press office of the Ministry of Finance. In the last dispute with Achmea, Slovakia was ordered to pay 40 million Euro in compensatory damages and legal costs.


The public procurement office has confirmed the exception in favor of the ministry. "This is supposed to be an arbitration, which is excluded from our law and EU directives on public procurement."


However, Plusky.sk claims that the European Commission states that the exception in Article 16c of the Act only applies to arbitration services and not legal services that defend interests in arbitration proceedings.


"This exemption only affects the selection of an arbitration tribunal or an independent arbitrator. It does not affect legal advice or representation," explained Andrej Králik, a representative of the European Commission in Slovakia.


Arbitration expert Jana Martinková Advocatus Martinková s.r.o. added that any law firm interested in participating in the selection process should turn to the European Commission and file a complaint on grounds of discrimination. For example, by arguing that the procurement offer was not correctly disclosed. This will undoubtedly be successful and Slovakia will face sanctions.