Municipality of Tirana Maintains Illegal €4 Million Contract with Alko Impex

Alko Impex shpk has repeatedly forged documents to win public procurement bids. Despite having been exposed, it has continued to do so, while also keeping contracts from bids won through forged documents.

The latest case is that of a 3-year contract signed with the Municipality of Tirana for city cleaning services.

On 9 March, 2018, Alko Impex was announced the winning bidder for a 3-year contract, 2018-2021, on cleaning the Tirana III area, with an amount of € 4 million. On 12 March, 2018, the company signed the contract with the Municipality of Tirana.

The call for bids was opened on 19 July, 2017. 9 companies submitted offers. Upon evaluation by Municipality of Tirana, Alko Impex’s offer was the fifth highest price. Municipality of Tirana disqualified the other eight companies for not complying with technical requirements or for incomplete documentation. Alko Impex was announced the winning bidder.

Following the announcement, the two bidders Victoria Invest shpk and Shpresa shpk appealed to the Public Procurement Commission (KPP) at the Prime Minister’s office.

The KPP ruled that Shpresa Ltd. has been unfairly disqualified and that it complied with all requirements. Victoria Invest Ltd.’s case was not considered as it did not submit evidence to support its claim. Hence, the KPP’s Decision 781/2017 overruled the Municipality of Tirana and ordered the cancellation of the previous decision to disqualify Shpresa Ltd., as well as the correction of violations and the re-qualification of Shpresa Ltd.’s bid offer.

The Municipality didn’t abide by the overruling, and instead it signed a contract with Alko Impex Ltd., on 12 March, 2018.

Shpresa Ltd. followed up with another appeal to the Public Procurement Agency (APP) demanding an administrative investigation into Alko Impex Ltd.’s “misinformation and submission of documents containing false data”.

The APP corroborated Shpresa Ltd.’s claim about document s containing false data, and ruled on excluding Alko Impex Ltd. from any public bids for three years.

As a result, the Municipality of Tirana is required by law to break the contract and demand a criminal investigation into company’s administrators.

Instead, the Municipality keeps paying Alko Impex Ltd. for the illegally signed € 4 million contract.

A plausible reason for this unfolding of events might be the fact that Alko Impex Ltd.’s owner is Arber Abazi, the nephew of the Socialist MP Sadri Abazi.

The company has a history of forging documents. In April, 2018, it was excluded from public procurement for a period of three years upon evidence of forged document in a bid at the Municipality of Tirana.

In the 2014-2017 period, Alko Impex Ltd. got € 10.8 million in bids from 7 municipalities led by the Socialist Party; 6 contracts were signed with the Municipality of Tirana for an amount of € 6 million.

The Municipality of Tirana is legally bound to cancel all bids won by Alko Impex Ltd.

Some of the data used here were taken from Open Data Albania.