Report: HUF 10 million monthly for 45 commissioners

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Despite Fidesz’ complaints levied in the 2006 election campaign against the sitting MSzP government’s employment of four commissioners for its ministries, Hungary-based news outlet Blikk has found that the Orbán Administration is now currently employing 45 and providing them enviable benefits including company car, personal secretary and/or healthcare benefits – all at a cost to the taxpayer of HUF 10 million per month in salaries alone.

Under Hungarian law, commissioners may be employed by national government ministries to perform a specialized task: Some may recall that newly-nominated Ombudsman László Székely was employed by the Orbán Adminstration in 1998 as a commissioner working on the Gabčíkovo-Nagymarosi cross-border barrage system when disputes between Slovakia and Hungary had that project in the Hague International Court, for example.

Blikk found that of the 45 commissioners, some 21 are with the National Development Ministry (NFM); seven are with (ironically enough) Human Resources (EmMi); six with the Public Administration and Justice Ministry (KIM); three with the Defense Ministry; and four other ministries employ two each.

Even more incredible considering the costs to employ this many is that fact that just under half of the commissioners – 22 in all, including 19 in the NFM – are working as volunteers, i.e. for no salary. Blikk goes on to report that almost every ministry is providing the paid commissioners with the legally-allowed maximum wages of up to HUF 750,000 monthly, plus secretarial services.

At least 12 commissioners are supplied with automobiles; Blikk provides a handy chart detailing makes and models alongside the total amount paid by each ministry in salaries. All commissioners are granted free stays at the government-owned Balatonöszöd retreat and “VIP” healthcare treatment, according to the article.

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