The 5-time world champion and 2-time Olympic bronze medalist former canoeist, György Kozmann was a deputy state minister in Hungary responsible for sports for 14 months. In addition, he had a less public but more lucrative relationship with the state. A company co-owned by Kozmann was contracted 23 times by state-owned companies for more than 100 million forints (325 thousand euros) during Kozmann’s time as a deputy state minister.
Kozmann was appointed to his government position at the Ministry of Hunan Capacities in the autumn of 2015, and a few months later he acquired a 50 percent share in a company named Vergotek. After Kozmann’s acquisition, Vergotek became a regular partner of state-owned companies MVM OVIT and MVM ERBE, subsidiaries of MVM, the biggest Hungarian power company.
According to the statements of the two MVM subsidiaries, they signed contracts with Vergotek worth 177 million forints (577 thousand euros) between May 2016 and February 2017, mainly for maintenance works at Paks Nuclear Power Plant, the only such power plant in Hungary. Kozmann resigned from his position at the ministry at the end of 2016. During his time as a deputy state minister, his company signed contracts worth 106 million forints (345 thousand euros).
The contracts with the MVM subsidiaries contributed significantly to the revenues of Vergotek. Its total revenue in 2015 was 173 million forints (564 thousand euros), while a year later it was 171 million forints (557 thousand euros). This shows that the contracts with the MVM companies worth as much as Vergotek’s average yearly revenue in the last two years. We asked MVM OVIT and MVM ERBE why and how they contracted Vergotek, but they provided only a brief comment, stating that the process was in line with their procurement policy.
According to Hungarian laws, a deputy state minister is enabled to hold company shares and also to do businesses with the state. We wanted to ask Kozmann whether he found it ethical to do businesses with the state while he was serving as deputy state minister. We tried to reach him through his coworker, but he said that Kozmann did not even want to see our questions as he does not consider himself a public figure.
Paks and the nuclear plant were not new territory for Kozmann. According to his resume, he worked at MVM OVIT between 2008 and 2013, but the company did not release information on his exact position. After retiring from canoeing in 2012, he ran to become mayor of Paks as the candidate of Fidesz but he lost.
He also founded an NGO called Active Energy Association which received 193 million forints (629 thousand euros) in EU subsidies to establish an “energy house” in order to promote energy efficiency. The energy house was inaugurated in September 2016, but its homepage has not been refreshed ever since, while its Facebook page since December. MVM group also sponsored Kozmann’s association with 14 million forints (46 thousand euros) in the past years.
The association’s project was not entirely in line with the rules. It was fined 6.2 million forints (20 thousand euros) by the Ministry of National Development as the association run by Kozmann contracted a company owned by himself for project management works.
For the company data we used the services of Opten.