Hungary’s government has decided that the state-owned National Infocommunications Service Company (NISZ) will provide closed-circuit fixed line telephone services for state administration institutions in future, the interior ministry said on Tuesday, commenting on a government resolution published in the latest issue of the official gazette Magyar Közlöny.
“Among the goals of the government is to make the operation of state administration cheaper, and one of the ways of doing this is to reduce further the telephone costs of institutions of state administration,” the ministry said.
It noted that NISZ had taken over 80,000 telephone numbers used in public administration in 2012. Expanding its service further will allow NISZ to contract calling outside of the network at wholesale prices, it added.
The government resolution stipulates that institutions required to use NISZ’s telephone service must cancel contracts with their current service providers by June 1, 2018 or at the earliest time possible after that date when penalties no longer apply to the cancellations.
László Varju, deputy leader of leftist opposition party Democratic Coalition (DK), called the move “shameless”, one that will help the government exercise direct control over state hospitals, law enforcement bodies, the National Judicial Office and the national media authority NMHH.
Jobbik’s Ádám Mirkóczki, answering a question at a press briefing on a different topic, said that Jobbik will request a detailed report of the decision at the next meeting of parliament’s national security committee. Although Jobbik agrees with the aim to save expenses, the network is planned to cover more institutions than necessary which gives cause for concern, he said.