Is there a chance that a phone, a notebook and air-conditioned cars with powerful engines are delivered under the same tender? How is it possible that one procedure covers the delivery of mobile telephony and car fleet? The answer to this question may be a surprise. It only requires publishing a notice for contract award co-financed from the EU funds for construction works. In this particular case, it was a contract for the construction of a bypass road.
Under the Public Procurement Law, if the subject-matter is construction works, the procurement may be combined with delivery of supplies required to perform it. The only obligation is to demonstrate that the specified supplies are necessary for the contract completion. The fact is – no irony intended – that the investor supervision requires getting to the site and ensuring regular communication. In this particular case, the reasons given by the contracting authority were quite peculiar, to quote Gazeta Wyborcza, “The cars can be leased, they do not have to buy them ….. the equipment will, after all, be co-financed by the European Union, as the bypass road will be constructed mainly from its sources. Being a self-government budget unit we have no financial possibilities to buy such equipment.”
Obviously, there is no attempt to follow the law or to prove that the equipment is the supplies necessary to perform the contract. The contracting party seemed to realise that it was difficult to prove the contract’s legitimacy. The quoted article further reads: “an entrepreneur that wins the contract is to provide …. a mobile phone with a hands-free set, a notebook (a new one), a digital camera, and even printing paper. …. A winning company must ensure the availability of two passenger cars to the road management at its every demand. The vehicles will be of intermediate class with the engine of minimum 1600 cubic centimetres, air-conditioned, with a hands-free set, ready to drive, with a full insurance coverage, including theft insurance.”
Even if we assume, although I seriously doubt it, that such a conduct is in compliance with the law, we should consider its consequences that may be very far-reaching. I will only highlight few of them:
- the availability of such a “non-standard” supplies for all tenderers participating in contract award procedure for construction works,
- the effect of such supplies on the estimation of the contract’s value for the works as well as the total annual value for mobile phones, cars contracts (e.g. will it exceed the limit of 30 000 euro?),
- should such supplies be included in the contracts plan in their relevant categories?
I will leave those questions unanswered for now. I would like to know your opinion. The entire quoted article is available at: http://wiadomosci.gazeta.pl/wiadomosci/1,138764,16738002,Wygrasz_przetarg__Musisz_kupic_auto_dla_pana_urzednika.html?lokale=bialystok#BoxWiadTxt
Of course, this is not a typical situation and such cases are exceptions. As client advisers, we deal with many procedures every day, including construction works for roads or railways, and there are no reasons to question the transparency of those procedures.