Budapest, December 9 (MTI) – Hungary’s new public procurement law, one of Europe’s strictest legislations, is instrumental in fighting graft, a senior official of the prime minister’s office told a conference organised by Transparency International Hungary on Wednesday.
The new law provides for a much broader scope of transparency and defines a minimum number of applicants required in certain areas of public procurement procedures, Eszter Vitalyos, state secretary in charge of EU development projects, said.
The legislation also requires applicants to provide a broader scope of data, she said.
US Ambassador Colleen Bell said the role of dedicated and vigilant citizens as well as investigative journalists is essential in eliminating deep-rooted problems like corruption. She said voters must be committed to reminding their government of its responsibilities.
The ambassador said business relations between the US and Hungary were “sound”, adding, however, that the US business community often experiences a sense corruption in Hungary. She said US businesses should not have to compete with the relatives of the country’s decision-makers.
Releasing all documents pertaining to the upgrade of the Paks nuclear power plant to the public would also be important, Bell told the conference organised to mark International Anti-corruption Day.
Margarete Hofmann, director of policy at the European Union’s anti-fraud office (OLAF), said the number of corruption cases uncovered by Hungarian authorities has risen since the start of last year. She said she saw the increased number of cases reported to Brussels in 2014 as a positive development, adding that Hungary was at the sharp end of the European field in terms of the number of cases reported last year.