Miroslav Hlivák, Chairman of the Public Procurement Office, claims that Minister of Transport Andrej Doležal when he accuses the office of complications at the southeastern bypass of Košice. “He became perhaps the first politician to allow such an open front-line attack with an arrogant tone towards the office,” Hlivák said.
Before Christmas, Doležal criticized the Public Procurement Office (ÚVO) for the decision to cancel the tender for the construction of a 14.3-kilometer section near Košice (Šaca – Oľšany II). Doležal accused the office of making official decisions from the table.
The Košice bypass is hampered more by the highway error than by the Public Procurement Office
According to the Minister of Transport, only two words were missing in the tender conditions, namely “or equivalent”. The point was that in the part where highways listed what skills the construction director or his deputy (chief construction manager) should have, they mentioned, in addition to experience from demanding highway constructions, that the constructions were to be managed according to the so-called FIDIC. FIDIC is a standard of contractual conditions for large constructions.
“It is a model contract that is used in Slovakia and in some countries for larger construction works,” explained lawyer Miroslav Cák from the law firm AGM, who also worked as a corporate lawyer in a multinational construction company.
The problem is that FIDIC is not the only contractual standard in the world. “It is not true that there is no equivalent of FIDIC, there are several equivalents, these are internationally recognized conditions of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, the European Investment Bank,” Hlivák said. He also added standards known in Germany as VOB / B or in Denmark.
According to Hlivák, the National Highway Company (NDS) is aware of this because it did not make a mistake in several other competitions in this matter.
“The correctness of the Office’s decision-making practice was also confirmed to me last week by the European Commission in the consultation,” Hlivák said.
According to him, Doležal could have the tender checked in advance.
According to Hlivák, the European Commission’s audit at the time of bidding also stated that if the required FIDIC is equivalent without stating the word, “this is considered discrimination, it is an infringement affecting the result (of the competition)”.
“NDS was a participant in court proceedings in 2012 and in 2013, the regional court told them what the equivalent was. The court gave them a clear answer to what is a formal mistake, that it is a violation of the law, “said Hlivák.
The competition for the construction of the south-eastern bypass of Košice was already before the signing of the contract. Following the decision to cancel it, which was the result of mandatory inspections of Eurofund contracts before signing contracts, Doležal announced that the NDS would appeal.
The Board of Appeal of the Central Committee is now on the board. However, according to Hlivák, she has already solved similar cases and has seen a problem in FIDIC without an equivalent, according to Hlivák’s words.
An extraordinary parliamentary committee on economic affairs is scheduled to meet on Tuesday for the south-eastern bypass of Košice. “I will come to the committee and I am personally looking forward to the debate. I believe that facts will prevail over emotions. In more than 4 years as President, I have not experienced such an arrogant appearance by a politician at the office and its staff. His performance undermined confidence in the work of the office, “said Hlivák.
“But for someone to publish on Wikipedia over the Christmas holidays that I died and that I have the credit for canceling the competition we are talking about is over the lines. The controllers were targeted, so I stood here today, “said Hlivák.
He reminded that his successor will be elected this year. “Especially in recent days, some government politicians have launched a frontal and – I dare say – targeted attack to provoke anger in the people and to turn them against the office. Is this pressure and attacks on the office related to the election of a new president? Will there be more such attacks on the office? ”Hlivák asked as he began to talk about the Košice bypass.