Global anti-corruption watchdog Transparency International ("TI") has called on the Czech government to abandon one of the biggest tenders in the country's history.
The Finance Ministry has advertised a contract to supervise a clean-up of the nation's significant public pollution. Some NGOs have estimated a fair price for the work to be around Kc25 billion (or £0.8 billion), but the lowest bid received by the government on the 5 September 2011 deadline, has been revealed as Kc56.8 billion (or £2 billion).
The opposition party, as well as the Environment Ministry and even the Prime Minister have joined TI in calls for the tender to be scrapped, following the organisation's public statement on 6 September that it fears the Finance Minister's decision would be based on bidders' respective political influence rather than the merits of each bid. TI also cited fears of a cartel deal between the bidders, and the bidders' lack of experience with the work involved, as reasons to scrap the tender.
The Finance Ministry has agreed to have the value of the work checked and expects to make a final decision by the end of September.