The Albanian Road Authority (ARrSh) has disqualified the company Gjoka Konstruksion from the tender for lot 7 of the Kardhiq–Delvina road after it presented false documentation regarding its progress on the Rruga e Arbrit road.
The Rruga e Arbrit road project, which is supposed to connect Tirana to North Macedonia and unlock the Dibra region, is a keystone of Prime Minister Edi Rama’s “1 Billion Euro Plan” to invest in Albanian infrastructure through highly criticized public–private partnerships.
The tender process for the Rruga e Arbrit started after Gjoka Konstruksion made an “unrequested offer” to build the road, a common tactic to secure bonus points to win a tender. From the beginning, it was clear that Gjoka would win the tender, even though it lacked previous experience in a project of this magnitude, which included several tunnels. Moreover, the construction costs seemed extravagant compared to the company’s actual size.
Costs of the project further increased as the government announced new tenders for the supervision of the construction. Earlier this year, one of the planned tunnels caved in, resulting in another setback for the project.
The official filing of the ARrSh now gives further details as to how Gjoka Konstruksion has distorted the truth regarding the Rruga e Arbrit project.
In order to be eligible for the Kardhiq–Delvina lot, Gjoka had to provide evidence it had completed “similar works” in the past. To fulfill this requirement, it provided documentation concerning the Rruga e Arbrit project.
The ARrSh completed an inspection to verify Gjoka’s claims, and concluded that the construction company had “provided documentation that contains false information.”
We conclude that the inspected tunnels under construction are unfinished. None of the inspected tunnels has been finished and doesn’t comply with the parameters and standards envisioned to be put to use.
The conclusion included in the evaluation form provided for the subcontractor Gjoka Konstruksion for finished works is untrue and does not match reality and the actual works witnessed by the inspection.
The ARrSh has asked the Public Procurement Agency, which falls under the direct control of the Prime Ministry, to take immediate action.