Defence minister orders checks of army’s 2016 acquisitions

DELFI / Mindaugas Ažušilis

“In an effort to get objective information and clear answers to the conclusions of the Public Procurement Service, as well as assure the people of Lithuania that the money intended for defence are used for the purpose, I ordered checks of the acquisition tenders currently conducted by the Lithuanian army and the signed contracts, with a particular focus on the tenders involving one supplier only,” Olekas said in a press release circulated by the Ministry of National Defence.

According to the press release, centralized purchases in the defence system are carried out by five organizations: the Defence Ministry, the army, the Cyber Security and Telecommunications Service, the Infrastructure Development Department and the ministry’s Governmental Communications Centre.

Last year, the biggest number of centralized purchases (230) was made by the army, while the Cyber Security and Telecommunications Service did 120, the Infrastructure Development Department 26, the Defence Ministry 23 and the Governmental Communications Centre completed 12 centralized acquisitions.

Lithuania’s Public Procurement Service said on Tuesday that the Armed Forces had bought various types of kitchen utensils at a price that was eight times above the market value from Nota Bene company.

In response to the information, President Dalia Grybauskaitė said that laws “do not stipulate a possibility to steal,” calling for Defence Minister Juozas Olekas to take responsibility for the deals.

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