350 Million Kuna Contract Lost Due to Four Words in Slovenian?

Total Croatia News

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Source: Split Airport

A minor linguistic mistake has a great impact.

Reconstruction and expansion of the passenger terminal of the Split Airport, a contract worth nearly 350 million kuna, will be postponed for at least a month because of a bizarre error. Companies which were scheduled to start the construction works in October included in their tender bid a few words in Slovenian rather than Croatian language. It seems that they might lose the job completely, reports tportal.hr on October 6, 2016.

State Commission for Supervision of Public Procurement Procedures annulled recently a decision made by the Split Airport to award the contract to Tehnika from Zagreb and Kolektor Koling from Slovenia, after it received a formal complaint by the second-placed consortium which includes Kamgrad, Viadukt from Zagreb, and KFK Tehnika from Dugo Selo. The winning bid might have offered the best price (339 million kuna, compared to 346 million offered by the second-placed bidder), but they have not been careful about the language.

Among thousands of pages, which include as many as 5,500 items of cost estimate, there were four mistakes mostly related to the guarantee of Nova Ljubljanska Banka. Some of the expressions used were “Oddelek za garancijske posle” (Slovenian for “Department for Guarantees”), “namestnica direktorice in vodja oddelka” (Slovenian for “deputy director and head of department”). Also Slovenian word “pomenutog” was used instead of Croatian “spomenutog” (mentioned).

Although the guarantee was proper and valid, the Commission determined that the offer was not in accordance with the terms of the tender because it was not delivered in Croatian language. The Split Airport will now have to re-launch the selection process for contractors, which will likely bring the contract to Viadukt and its partners. “The process is ongoing and we do not intend to comment. We fully respect the procedure and the Public Procurement Law, and we will make a new decision. Our primary goal is to find a contractor as soon as possible and start with the works”, said assistant director of the Split Airport Pero Bilas.

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The largest investment in the history of the Split Airport will therefore be delayed for at least a month, unless there is another complaint which might delay the process even further. It is planned that by summer of 2018 Split will have a renovated and reconstructed passenger terminal with additional 35,000 square metres of operational space, a huge outdoor parking lot for buses, rental cars and passenger cars, a footbridge to connect these two segments, new roads around the airport, and a number of service areas in the interior of the airport itself. Its capacity would be expanded to about 3.5 million passengers a year.

The Split Airport just recently received its two millionth passenger this year and has broken all the records. During the summer months, when in just 30 days as many as half a million passengers pass through the terminal, it is evident that expansion is very much needed. During this period, aircraft are landing or taking off literally every five minutes.

Thanks to a huge traffic growth and strategic planning, the largest investment in the history of the Split Airport will be financed from its own funds, unlike in Zagreb, which is being funded by a concessionaire, or in Dubrovnik, which is being financed by EU funds. Part of the planned 350 million kuna investment has been secured from profits, while part will be raised with a loan from Croatian Bank for Reconstruction and Development.

The Split Airport management hopes that the delay in selecting a contractor will not affect the deadlines and that by the 2018 tourist season the new terminal will be operational.


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