Czech Human Rights Minister says Agency director removed over public tender errors
Czech Minister for Human Rights, Equal Opportunities and Legislation Jiří Dienstbier held a special press conference today at which he said that Martin Šimáček has been removed from his post as director of the Czech Government Agency for Social Inclusion because he made administrative errors in public tenders and the concluding of contracts. Dienstbier said another reason for the removal was that Šimáček had refused to discuss the reorganization of the Human Rights Section at the Office of the Government, where the Agency is located, with his superior, Deputy Minister Martina Štěpánková.
"Misconduct was repeatedly discovered in that area. The final straw was a contract worth CZK 5 million [EUR 182 000] for the purchase of television airtime which the director signed even though he knew he need the prior consent of the Government," Dienstbier said.
According to the minister, this was not an isolated case - Šimáček allegedly illegally signed addenda to several contracts as well. The Agency has been fined more than CZK 700 000 [EUR 25 500] by the finance authority for violating budgetary discipline.
The minister said yet another reason for Šimáček's removal was the fact that he refused to discuss the planned reorganization of his office with his superior. "To proceed that way in relation to a direct superior who wanted to discuss how an eventual reorganization might take place in order to enhance the activity is inappropriate, to put it mildly," he said.
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