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Ministry withdraws lawsuit against public procurement authority

The Transport Ministry has withdrawn its lawsuit against the Public Procurement Office (ÚVO), in which the ministry contested the UVO's decision concerning excluded participants in the first tender for the construction and operation of D1 highway sections between Martin and Prešov, the SITA newswire wrote.

The Transport Ministry has withdrawn its lawsuit against the Public Procurement Office (ÚVO), in which the ministry contested the UVO's decision concerning excluded participants in the first tender for the construction and operation of D1 highway sections between Martin and Prešov, the SITA newswire wrote.

Ministry spokeswoman Eva Benešová informed that the ministry had not received any request to examine the matter from companies interested in taking part in the first package of public-private partnership projects for the D1 highway within the deadline set by law. The ministry also delivered calls for participation in the concession dialogue to all three qualified bidders.

Bidders have until the end of May to create draft solutions that they will then present to the Transport Ministry as the tender procurer.

Transport Minister Ľubomír Vážny had decided to file a lawsuit to examine the methods used by the office so that the highway tenders are completed successfully. Following the cabinet's session on April 2, he mentioned that he could not let the tenders be tarnished by implications that his ministry had violated principles of transparency. Vážny insisted that the ministry respect the public procurement law and that transparency was one of its fundamental principles.

The ÚVO confirmed that the Transport Ministry had withdrawn the lawsuit. On April 21, the Transport Ministry opened data rooms with project documentation on the first PPP highway projects to the selected bidders.

The main problem was that according to the ÚVO, the exclusion of some candidates from the tender was insufficiently justified. They did not provide some documents, which is why the ÚVO returned the issue to new proceedings. The office asked the Transport Ministry to again verify whether these papers are issued in individual states.

On March 14, 2008, the ÚVO nullified the ministry's verdict on the exclusion of the Austrian-German consortium comprising Alpine Bau, Hochtief PPP Solutions and Western Carpathians Motorway Investors Company and ordered its re-inclusion, together with three other expelled bidders. SITA

Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports

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