Final Word from Wednesday, October 2, 2013

One reason given yesterday by Transport Minister Zdeněk Žák for the removal of Jan Skalický as head of the ŘVC waterways agency was the bloated price of a feasibility study. "We caught him trying to pay a Kč 2m invoice for a study for which we have an official valuation showing that under no circumstances could it be worth more than Kč 50,000," he told Czech TV. It's small peanuts, really, but in percentage terms that Kč 2m contract would be a nice haul for someone! A 97.5% profit. Another reason for Skalický's removal, Žák said, are disagreements over plans for a Kč 300bn Danube-Oder-Elbe canal. By sheer coincidence, or perhaps not, ŘVC estimates the cost of the feasibility study at Kč 200m. At the same profit margin of 97.5%, that would put the real value of such a study at Kč 5m, which sounds about right. With Skalický soon gone, we can now expect a fair tender for a study at this price, right Minister Žák? [Czech Railways Television Události, komentáře Labe]

Glossary of difficult words

bloated - inflated;

feasibility study - an evaluation and analysis of a proposed project to determine its viability;

peanuts - a paltry thing or amount, esp. a very small amount of money;

haul - an amount of something gained or acquired; a quantity of something that is stolen or possessed illegally.


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