Highway construction and maintenance in Hungary are notorious for corruption. The M6 highway is a case in point. The 193 km motorway runs from Budapest to Pécs along the River Danube through a rolling landscape of farms and vineyards. During its construction in 2009, corruption-driven crimes lead to the theft of batteries, clods of earth, fuel and concrete. When the main stretch of the road was finally completed in 2010, one of its tunnels collapsed under the weight of the first rainfall. This suggested the materials used and quality of the engineering were not up to standard, and corruption was alleged to have played a role.
In February 2011, one billion HUF (€3.25 million) worth of fictitious invoices were discovered by the inspectors of the National Tax and Customs Administration Office during an audit of the construction of the section between Dunaújváros and Szekszárd. The final stretch of highway construction between Boly-Ivandarda and Hungary’s border with Croatia will cost about €157 million. Transparency International Hungary is monitoring the project in the hopes of ending the catalogue of corruption scandals.
Civic monitor Transparency International Hungary improved the procurement process by recommending a change to conditions that would have restricted competition and revising the value of the contract.