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EU suspends payments of transport funding for Hungary, ministry confirms

The European Union has suspended payments of development funding for transportation projects in Hungary because of “serious shortfalls”, the National Development Ministry told MTI, confirming an earlier statement by National Development Minister Tamás Fellegi.

Fellegi said a week earlier that the payments were suspended for the period between January 1, 2007 and September 15, 2009 because of irregularities and monitoring shortfalls. The government must work on an action plan to free up the funding, he added.

In its statement on Monday, the ministry said it was informed of the suspension by the Commission in a letter dated September 13. The Commission acknowledged in the letter government steps to accelerate an investigation of irregularities in public procurement procedures.

The government is working on changes to public procurement rules that aim to strengthen the efficiency of oversight.

A week earlier, Fellegi said the government wants to start “testing” a new public procurement system in the second half of 2011 and begin full-scale operation of the system from the start of 2012, he said. (MTI – Econews)