By: Domen Mezeg /Nova24tv.si
“This last thing, however, is absolutely the most unacceptable, that an official who should be the most unspoilt of all – the President of the Court of Audit – he should be more unspoilt than the President, the Prime Minister and the President of the Constitutional Court, this is possibly, which may be confirmed that he communicated with certain political options, another disaster. This is a new affair that gives a new dimension to the issue of credibility, independence of the President of the Court of Audit,” an unnamed, recognised lawyer commented for our media regarding the alleged release of the confidential content of the Court of Audit by its President Tomaž Vesel to DeSUS champion Karl Erjavec.
At Monday’s meeting of the Committee on Internal Affairs, MP Robert Polnar revealed that with a demand for the party to leave the coalition, Karl Erjavec told them that the whole idea was based on a constructive no confidence vote by opposition parties and that he would be the Prime Minister. According to Polnar, Erjavec said that he was building his expectations on only one case. This one case is the Court of Audit’s review report on the regularity and efficiency of the procurement of medical and protective equipment, which he supported with three theses. “It seemed strange to me how he knew what was written in the audit report, which was still secret.” With this, MP Polnar revealed the abuse of the position of the President of the Court of Audit Tomaž Vesel and his accomplice Erjavec.
We asked a long-time legal expert, who wishes to remain anonymous, for comment, and who commented the following: “There are a number of open dilemmas here. From the question of when the term of office of the President of the Court of Audit ended, which probably happened three months after he had taken up his obligation at FIFA, to what the National Assembly will do now when it has to accept some finding that this has happened.” At the same time, there is also the question of the validity of all audit reports in these few years, which have been adopted in the meantime, because if someone who is not the President of the Court of Audit or should not be, then he should not be signing his name as such. “This last thing, however, is absolutely the most unacceptable, that an official who should be the most unspoilt of all – the President of the Court of Audit – he should be more unspoilt than the President, the Prime Minister and the President of the Constitutional Court.”
“This is possibly, which may be confirmed that he communicated with certain political options, another disaster. This is a new affair that gives a new dimension to the issue of credibility, the independence of the President of the Court of Audit.” One is the financial affair with FIFA and the other is the political affair, which is a whole new area. In the first case, it is not important how much someone earned, as the media are quoted on the “Slovenian jealousy”, namely the incompatibility of functions is essential, as it is not possible to be both at the same time. This incompatibility should not have happened and even less last that long. Why this took four years, however, we do not yet know. Perhaps, the one who performs these two functions should inform the authorities about his status.
The Court of Auditors must be the purest, clean as a whistle, and the most unspoilt of all the institutions
“I believe that what Polnar revealed should not happen. However, it would be absolutely inadmissible for the President of the Court of Audit to communicate with representatives of political parties, especially for political purposes. If they meet to get coffee, but by chance one is in politics and the other is the President of the Court of Audit, that is one thing. However, if it is entangled with the products of the Court of Audit for political purposes, which should definitely be checked, then this is a scandal that is about the same, if not even bigger than the first one. This should not be done.” In such a case, however, it could be an abuse of the state institution for political purposes of some political parties. It is rather strange that certain political parties could engage national independent institutions. The Court of Auditors must be the purest, clean as a whistle, and the most unspoilt of all these institutions.
“It is like someone would use the Constitutional Court for something, or, for example, the State Prosecutor’s Office for something. And these are things that are worrying. For me, this is something unheard of, if it is true,” our source explained. Then there are other things, such as the fact that the report should not be issued because it is confidential under the law and also its content, and so on. The press conference of Vesel was already questionable. Why would anyone refer to something that is confidential? Of course, the purpose of that press conference was completely different, it was promotional. If the content is confidential, nothing can be said anyway. “In a mature democracy, the president of the Court of Audit or the supreme auditor would not be the auditor of a football organisation at the same time. It is as if our President of the Constitutional Court were still employed part-time at the Constitutional Court of Montenegro. Or that President Borut Pahor would advise an Arab chess federation.” The fact that people who are a priori independent, untouchable, and who should be satisfied with their position are engaged in some afternoon activities, casts a bad light on our country.
If someone earns ten times more abroad than at home, then they probably do not care much about their job at home
But it is also important to note that if someone earns ten times more with their afternoon activity, then they should be ten times more engaged there than at home. “Then you probably do not care about your job at home as much.” Earnings outside Slovenia as such, of course, are not disputable if someone has reported all taxes, etc. The problem is in the damage done to the function, in the independence, and in the reputation of the state, although his work in FIFA did not harm the Slovenian budget. However, it is necessary to take into account the Incompatibility Act, i.e. the fact that certain functions do not go together. “The Court of Audit is an independent branch that is special, that is neither legislative, nor executive, nor judicial, and has nothing to do with the judiciary. It is an audit body and has an independent status. And given that it must be especially precise, look for the faults of others, it must be all the more immaculate. Someone who forgot to report a million or two cannot harass others because of five thousand in some reviews.” However, if this institution is also associated with political interests at a concrete moment and for a concrete purpose, then the matter has even more weight.