The Conflict of Interest Commission on Wednesday fined outgoing Health Minister Sinisa Varga a total of 20,000 kuna (2,600 euros) for two violations of the Conflict of Interest Prevention Act.
Varga was penalised for authorising a payment of 50,000 kuna (6,500 euros) for a conference on primary health care, which was organised by the CIMS medical centre of excellence, of which he is a founder, and for performing duties that were not of an educational nature at Zagreb’s Dubrava Clinical Hospital between February and October 2012 while at the same time serving as minister.
Outgoing Science, Education and Sport Minister Vedran Mornar was found to have violated the principles of discharging public office by having the cost of his travel to South Korea in November 2014 covered by the Samsung company.
When checking out of a Korean hotel, Mornar realised that his accommodation had not been paid by the Croatian government and after returning to Croatia he requested a refund from Samsung. The commission concluded that he had not received an illicit gift but noted that he should have checked before leaving who was paying for his accommodation.
Mornar attended the commission’s session, saying that as a minister he had had confidence in the ministry’s administrative services and that he thought that he should not have checked personally. “I think that the responsibility here lies with the ministry’s services rather than with the minister,” he told the commission.