Bonus payments at four ministries last year

Last December the government stated that due to the lack of economic growth in 2012 in Hungary, the budgets of the ministries would not be burdened with further expenses, therefore fringe benefits or other bonuses of any form had to be cut. In mid-January we asked the Office of the President of the Republic (KEH), the Office of the Prime Minister and the ministries to find out what kind of benefit payments and other bonuses were allocated for their employees and those working at their background institutions. We also asked them to disclose the total sum of bonus payments, the average sum paid per person, and in case of high ranking positions, we asked the names and the exact sums as well. The institutions mostly did save expenditures, however, the employees of the Ministry of Human Resources and the Ministry of National Resources received allocations, furthermore, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of National Resources paid reasonable sums of target bonuses.

The Office of the President of the Republic (KEH) denied access to data. We were informed that at the Office of the Prime Minister “no bonus payments were made during 2012.” The Ministry of Public Administration and Justice replied the same, even though the Ministry had allocated 173 million Forints for target bonuses. The Ministry of Defence first extended the deadline to comply with our request referring to the complexity and the extent of the requested data, after which we were informed that they had made no bonus payments in 2012. Nevertheless, in a reply to another FOIA request they admitted to having paid 81.1 million Forints in target bonuses. The Ministry of Human Resources allocated 140 000 HUF/person for the employees clothing reimbursement in April 2012, and granted “Erzsébet” vouchers amounting to the sum of 100 000 HUF/person at the end of the year. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs spent a gross of 16 174 300 HUF with the Central Management for different bonuses (target bonus, target allocation, allocation for national holidays), where the average expenditure was 336 965 HUF per person. The Diplomatic Missions Directorate paid a sum of 953 300 HUF; the average sum per person was 317 767 HUF. The Ministry of Agriculture and Regional Development denied access to data, but replied Atlatszo.hu that the aggregated sums were available on their website. At the given URL, however, the number of documents containing such information was zero. (A new document was published here after the release of our article.)

Read our full article in Hungarian here.

Translated by Szabina Kerényi