Ásotthalom is a corruption-free zone

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Ásotthalom Mayor László Toroczkai installed a sign at the boundary marking the limit of the local administration labeled "Corruption-Free Zone" announcing that the town was corruption-free.

Earlier, Ásotthalom representative body accepted the mayor's proposal to make all future procurement procedures open. Toroczkai hopes that other municipalities will follow their example.

According to Toroczkai, corruption could be greatly reduced in the country by making local government purchasing procedures public.

Current regulations specify that procurement procedures can be made public only above a certain limit. For construction investment the threshold is HUF 100 million, which allows a kind of hybrid solution, but a fully open procurement process possible only over HUF 500 million investment.

Ásotthalom just beginning the renovation of the local sports hall with a total value of HUF 16 million in the first phase. The town wanted to invite companies to bid for the project publicly to ensure transparency but it was not authorized by the Public Procurement Authority. After some wrangling the municipality managed to use a hybrid solution, which at least, allows the city council to release the names of companies interested in the project said Toroczkai.

Following the example of the Venetian Republic the municipal council of Ásotthalom placed an "idea box" in front of the community center half a year ago, urging residents to report suspected cases of corruption anonymously. The director of the community center opens the box in front of the representative body of the center in regular intervals. Toroczkai added that so far not one corruption case has been reported.

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