The Greek company Avax has filed a lawsuit against Croatia’s State Commission for Control of Public Procurement Procedures. The reason is a decision by the commission to annul the decision by the Croatian Roads to award the company the contract for the construction of access roads to the Pelješac Bridge, the Duboka-Sparagovići section, reports Večernji List on May 23, 2019.
The High Administrative Court has confirmed that they had received the Avax’s lawsuit on May 16, adding that, in accordance with the Public Procurement Act, a decision on an administrative dispute must be made within 30 days from the date the lawsuit is filed, unless there are exceptionally justified circumstances.
This means that the decision should be made no later than June 16. With the Avax’s lawsuit, the tender for the construction of the Pelješac Bridge access roads faces a new twist and further delays. Bids for the tender were opened last June, but the Croatian Roads public company made the decision on the selection only in late February this year. The decision to award the contract to Avax, estimated at 482 million kunas, was appealed by the Austrian company Strabag and the Greek company Aktor. The appeal was rejected.
In its appeal, Strabag stated that the Croatian Roads should had excluded Avax due to the participation of the company in a cartel agreement in Greece between 2005 and 2012. Croatian Roads responded that it did not determine there was a professional omission by Avax because it had no proof of this, and that the company had paid a fine for being in a cartel agreement.
Avax said in its statement that it received a fine of 18.3 million euro being in a cartel agreement and that the last case of a breach of market competition rules occurred in 2012. They also said that the company was not excluded from public tenders in Greece. The commission instructed Croatian Roads to reconsider all the bids received and see whether there were reasons to exclude Avax.
It is expected that Croatian Roads will wait for the court ruling on Avax’s lawsuit before making a new decision. Avax has offered to construct the Duboka-Sparagovići section for 464.9 million kuna, while Strabag was ready to do it for 478.3 million kuna. The offer of Integral Inženjering from Bosnia and Herzegovina amounted to 321.2 million kuna, and by GP Krka and Euro-asfalt to 444.3 million kuna. Aktor asked for 464.6 million kuna, and Colas for 521.9 million kuna. The offer of the China Road and Bridge Corporation amounted to 647.8 million kuna.
While the Pelješac Bridge construction is progressing according to schedule, the construction of access roads is running late.
Translated from Večernji List (reported by Josip Bohutinski).
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