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MNB loses appeal, is ordered to publish tender details

Analysis

After losing an appeal, the National Bank of Hungary (MNB) has 15 days to reveal details of a tender for studies carried out by the government-friendly think tank Századvég for HUF 1.8 billion, Hungarian online daily hvg.hu reported on Saturday. MNB was also ordered to reveal the study that Századvég produced under the contract.

Századvég won a consulting tender announced by the central bank, against a consortium of Kopint-Tárki and Tárki, whose competing tender was worth HUF 1.2 bln, the online daily said. 

After losing the tender, Kopint-Tárki and Tárki requested to see the tender documents and sample studies related to the tender. The consortium claimed that the Századvég sample studies did not meet the requirements of the tender, “neither in form, nor content,” and sent related questions to the MNB, which the consortium claims remained unanswered.

Subsequently, Transparency International Hungary sued the central bank in February to force the MNB to reveal its justification for accepting the higher-priced bid, and to reveal the study produced under the contract. Transparency International won that case, and has now secured another court ruling, according to which the bank must reveal why the bidder with a higher price won the contract to "prepare complex analysis and carry out related communication tasks” for the bank.

Under the court decision, the central bank has 15 days to publish Századvég’s studies, as well as documents and protocols in connection with the procurement procedure of February 2015. 

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