18.07.2021 – 14:10
Inflated costs, winners with offers within the limits of the limit fund and strange criteria. These are the main issues of tenders that have been noticed over the years in the reports of the Supreme State Audit. These findings of KLSH seem to be proven by the recent actions of SPAK in the Municipality of Lushnja and Pogradec and in the Ministry of Interior for the tender of police uniforms.
The issue of tenders is multi-year in Albania and neither the task forces set up over the years, nor the legal changes have improved the situation.
“A way has always been found to determine the winner,” a former member of the bid evaluation commission at a local self-government institution told Gazetasi.al on condition of anonymity.
“The real game, at least in the small tenders of the municipalities, which do not attract much attention, is done with the criteria. If you open the tender archives you will find some of the strangest criteria. I personally encountered some such cases, which I refused to sign, although the tenders were finally approved “, says the former official.
To orient us on the absurdity of the criteria, we are reminded of the sensational case of a tender of the Municipality of Vlora a few years ago. Condition for the winning company? To have one of its engineers graduated in 1971.
The tender in question was opened in September 2016 with the object of rehabilitating the roads Ramize Gjebrea-Gjon Bocari ”. The tender value was about ALL 67 million. Among the established criteria, it was determined that the company should include at least 5 urban engineers, transport and civil construction.
In the midst of this great condition was a strange exclusionary condition in the race. The sub-condition stipulated that the civil engineer should have graduated in 1971. After being made public, this sub-condition was not applied during the evaluation of bids and the tender was won by a company with a bid of about 50 million lek, or 17 million lek less than the limit fund. .
“This is one of those cases when the scheme failed because it became public, if it had not been denounced the condition would have been implemented”, says the former official for gazetasi.al
The former member of the bid evaluation commissions says that for more than half of the tenders organized by the municipalities, there are doubts about the winner’s predetermination. Like this case in Vlora, he says, if the tender archives are opened, there are many.
“There are cases when the winner of a cleaning tender should have a doctor on staff, cases when the company’s experience is determined by fixed deadlines, deciding as a criterion that the company should have been established on a certain date and year. Criterion for the company to have the office at a certain address and others like these “, says the former official.
The issue of absurd criteria that are not related to the object of the tender was also mentioned by Prime Minister Edi Rama in the two meetings he had with mayors and ministers and heads of institutions where the law recognizes the right to public procurement.
Citing an analysis by the Public Procurement Agency, Prime Minister Edi Rama said that in 70 percent of tenders during 2020 and the first period of 2021 result in problems in terms of drafting criteria.
To reduce these problems, Rama announced the new legal package for procurement, which according to him clearly addresses the need to increase the integrity and accountability of all parties involved in this process, as well as to strengthen monitoring and punitive mechanisms for violations.
The package of changes includes deadlines for complaints and their reduction, avoidance of conflict of interest by excluding from the bidding commissions persons who result in connections with competing companies and punishment with non-participation in tenders of companies suspected of participating in fictitious competitions do not submit bids. Gazeta SI