Although the majority of the general local plans (also known as masterplans), drafted for all municipalities as the result of the territorial reform, was already finished by the end of last year, several municipalities only started the public procurement procedures this year, after the publication of the National General Local Plan.
This means that the data of the seven municipalities which are currently tendering out their masterplan are apparently irrelevant to the “bigger picture” envisioned by the government.
In February 2017, the Ministry of Urban Development announced tenders for three new lots, at a total value of 106,641,667 lekë (~€805,000). Recently, the winner of Lot 3 for the municipalities of Kolonja, Këlcyra, and Përmet was announced, and it shouldn’t surprise us.
Participating in the tender were 13 companies, all of which had participated in or won other tenders, including UNLAB, which was involved with the drafting of the Tirana masterplan, and Atelier 4, the preferred architecture firm of Prime Minister Edi Rama. Seven companies were disqualified in the first round, and only 5 companies handed in a budget in the second round:
- Atelier 4: 46,800,000 lekë
- GAIA S.A. Meleton: 26,948,4000 lekë
- P.A.N.G.E.A. Sovieta Cooperative Consortile + A&I Design: 45,082,866 lekë
- UTS-01: 26,242,300 lekë
- ABKONS + IP3: 42,700,000 lekë
Both GAIA and UTS-01 were disqualified because their offers were unrealistically low. However, of the three remaining candidates the public procurement commission selected the most expensive bid, of Atelier 4.
This is remarkable, because bidders who pass the first round are usually only selected on price in the second, which means that ABKONS should have been awarded the tender. Indeed, ABKONS filed a complaint against the decision, on which it received a “respective” answer on July 4.
This tender once again shows that only a handful companies with close ties to the government stand a chance of winning urban renewal and planning tenders, and that the public procurement legislation in place is merely a showpiece.