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Preferential treatment? Attorney General’s office denies corruption

Michael Lauber is said to have connections to people at the companies that benefited from the contracts

(Keystone/Ti-Press/Gabriele Putzu)

The Swiss Attorney General’s Office has responded to accusations in a Sunday newspaper of corruption. It’s alleged the office favoured certain companies for contracts, without competition.

The Schweiz am Sonntag newspaper obtained documents about the procurement process at the Attorney General’s Office, using a Freedom of Information request.

It writes that the Attorney General’s Office awarded contracts for IT and consulting work almost without exception to the same companies, without inviting other firms to tender for the work.

According to the newspaper, eight contracts went to the consulting firm PwC, five to the IT and security company Swiss Infosec. The paper goes on to allege that the Attorney General, Michael Lauber has personal connections to people at both companies.

The Attorney General’s office responded to the allegations in the newspaper on Sunday by saying everything had been done by the book. “The awarding of contracts by the Attorney General’s Office to PwC was carried out – as with the other contracts – according to the relevant legal principles.”

The paper also noted their suspicion that larger orders were broken up. Marc Steiner, procurement expert from Transparency International and Federal Administrative Court judge, commented in the newspaper, “breaking up larger contracts into smaller ones means a way to get around the obligation for public tender”.

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