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KDH points to overpriced tenders at Transport Ministry

SMER party is reembracing the corrupt manners employed by the first government of Robert Fico (2006-10), Christian Democratic Movement (KDH) Chairman Ján Figeľ said in Parliament on November 13, the TASR newswire reported.

SMER party is reembracing the corrupt manners employed by the first government of Robert Fico (2006-10), Christian Democratic Movement (KDH) Chairman Ján Figeľ said in Parliament on November 13, the TASR newswire reported.

Figeľ pointed on to two overpriced tenders conducted by the Transport, Construction and Regional Development Ministry under Ján Počiatek as an example.

“Overpriced public procurement processes represent a rule of thumb rather than an exception,” said Figeľ, as quoted by TASR, stressing that it is not only a fixture in health care, where the shady purchase of CT device by Piešťany hospital recently cost Zuzana Zvolenská her post as health minister.

Figeľ pointed out to the construction of two highway tunnels, Žilina and Višňové, on the D1 close to Žilina. According to Figeľ, these are two tunnels of similar structure, on the same highway, close to each other and under construction in similar terrain conditions. Despite these facts, the price difference is significant, according to Figeľ.

The tender for Višňové tunnel, completed in 2011 under Figel’s administration, will see the 7.5-kilometre long tunnel constructed at €180 million, whereas the 700-metre Žilina tunnel, a project run by the current government, will cost a planned €55.5 million.

“Measured in units, the price for the tunnel, the tender on which was run and signed by Ján Počiatek, equals almost €81 million per kilometre,” Figeľ said, as quoted by TASR. “The Višňové tunnel costs €24 million per kilometre. The former thus costs more than three times the latter.”

Representatives of KDH are comparing “apples and oranges” when comparing price of Žilina and Višňové tunnels as costs for the construction of any tunnel depend also on specific geology and structure, Transport Ministry spokesman Martin Kóňa said in response.

“Mr Figeľ should know this, as it is unequivocally concluded also by state expert analyses for these highway sections that were available also during his term as transport minister,” Kóňa said, as quoted by TASR. “He cast no doubt over these documents [at that time].”

Another difference is the fact that there were five final-round bidders in Figeľ’s tender, whereas only two competed in Počiatek’s.

Another overpriced public procurement by the Transport Ministry is supposed to be the tender on railway line welding works ordered by railway infrastructure owner ŽSR. KDH vice-chair Pavol Zajac claimed that these works were ordered by the company both in 2011 and 2013.

According to Zajac, unit prices in 2011 were lower by 30 percent from those seen in the past year, despite the fact that the works were carried out by the same company – TSS Grade – and the amount of work in 2013 was 10-times greater than in 2011 - amounting to a difference equalling €2.5 million.

“We’d all expect that when the same tender is run for the second time but with the amount of work being 10-times bigger, the prices would be lower,” said Zajac, as quoted by TASR “That’s the logic of trade. But lo and behold, they’re higher by 30 percent.”

Source: TASR

Compiled by Roman Cuprik from press reports
The Slovak Spectator cannot vouch for the accuracy of the information presented in its Flash News postings.

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