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Hungary denies breaching procurement laws in EU project

The national development agency (NFÜ), which is responsible for the administration of Hungary's EU subsidies, rejected the European Commission's contention that the local council of Budapest violated public procurement regulations during the Csepel sewage treatment project.

NFÜ told MTI that the disagreement likely stems from a divergent interpretation of the public-procurement regulations that were in force at the time of the investment.

The dispute affects €40 million in European support which may not be drawn by Budapest, NFÜ said, noting that the money will not be lost as could be used to new elements related to the project.

The European Commission is expected to make its final decision on the matter following further consultations, where Hungary will be able to list its arguments, the development agency said.

City of Budapest Communications Director Krisztián Nyáry told MTI that the European Union has carried out two audits over the past year regarding the public procurement procedure begun in 2005 for construction of the Csepel sewage-treatment facility.

MTI reported earlier the European Commission had levied a HUF 10 billion (€38.75 million) fine for failure to comply with public-procurement regulations on the Csepel-sewage project for which the EU granted €40 million in support. (MTI – Econews)