The STA reports January 31, 2018, that the University Medical Centre Ljubljana (Univerzitetni klinični center Ljubljana, UKC Ljubljana) has violated public procurement rules in purchasing EUR 69m worth of medical devices and almost EUR 122,000 worth of medical equipment, the Court of Audit has found after reviewing the country's main hospital's operations in 2014 and 2015.
According to public broadcaster RTV Slovenija, this means the hospital purchased about a fifth of its supplies without following the rules for public procurement and market competition.
In most cases, the hospital followed public procurement rules for a part of supplies, but divided the other part into small orders, which enabled it to engage in simple purchase orders and also buy from suppliers that had not been picked in a public contracting procedure.
The audit has found that almost 80% of the hospital's suppliers handled orders below EUR 20,000, thus avoiding the rules for transparent public procurement.
Irregularities were also found in four cases of public procurement whose joint value topped EUR 318,000.
According to the auditors, UKC Ljubljana did not pay its suppliers on time, and in some cases paid for the material at prices that had not been set in the contracts, which resulted in at least EUR 10,600 in overpayments.
The Court of Audit has also assessed that in the two audited years the hospital was not efficient in planning equipment purchases and managing its equipment.
The hospital did not have a system of managing equipment donations or kept records of maintenance costs. It also did not have a commission that would set the standards and requirements for the planned equipment.
Based on these findings, the court has issued an adverse opinion and demanded a response from the hospital.