Czech Republic fires transport minister over dubious €16m website/app contract

Czech Republic fires transport minister over dubious €16m website/app contract

- Czech Republic's transport minister has been fired over his involvement in a dubious contract that would have robbed the country of €16 million

- The minister had signed a contract to build a website and mobile apps for sale of permits online at the cost of €16 million, with the project due to be completed in four years

- Another tech company in the country, however, assembled a group of 60 volunteers who completed the project in three days and gave it to the ministry free of charge

Contracts inflation is one of the rampant forms of financial fraud governments across the world have been battling with.

The Government of the Czech Republic recently took a decisive step to curb contract inflation and inefficiency by firing its transport minister, Vladimir Kremlicka.

According to local media The Times Hub, the Czech Ministry of Transport had signed a contract with the company Asseco Central Europe to develop an online service, a website and mobile app, for the sale of permits for the use of toll roads.

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Czech Republic fires transport minister over dubious €16m website/app contract
Andrej Babis, the prime minister of the Czech Republic. Photo credit: Reuters
Source: UGC

The company which was selected through open bidding was paid 401 million kroons (about 16 million euros), to create the e-commerce website and mobile app ( iOS and Android versions) for the online sale of the permits.

The project was scheduled to be completed within a period of four years.

However, Tomasz Vondracek who is the owner of the IT-company Actum Digital Tomasz Vondracek described the contract as “absurd".

According to Vondracek, the whole project scheduled to be completed in four years could be completed within a few days.

To prove his claim, Vondracek announced a hackathon and invited the developers in the country to create the service over the weekend. Sixty best volunteer programmers were assembled for the project out of the over 300 who applied.

The programmers set at work on Friday, January 24 and created finished the project in the evening of Sunday, January 26; just about three days.

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The service, already running in test mode, is called and can perform 12 out of 14 functions the transport ministry wants.

The programmers, in a surprise move, donated the service which would have cost about 16 million euros to transport ministry.

The development led to the dismissal of Kremlicka, the transport minister, by the Czech government.

The tech company which was involved in the dubious contract said it was ready to terminate the contract without payment of a penalty.

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Meanwhile, previously reported that the Russian government had successfully tested a country-wide alternative to the global internet.

According to the Russian ministry of communications, ordinary users did not notice any changes.

Experts have, however, expressed concerns about the trend for some countries to dismantle the internet.

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“Sadly, the Russian direction of travel is just another step in the increasing breaking-up of the internet,” said Prof Alan Woodward, a computer scientist at the University of Surrey. ( -> Same great journalism, upgraded for better service!

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