KESh Officially Approves Dubious Tender

As Exit reported already a few weeks ago, KESh has announced the official winner of the tender for the cleaning of the area in front of the metallic grills on one of the four turbines in Fierza hydropower plant. All bidders except for S.M.O. Union shpk were disqualified.

KESh announced that S.M.O. Union was announced winner because it offered the lowest price. This argument is rather cynical, as KESh has taken care to disqualify all other offers under the pretext that they didn’t fulfill the tender conditions – indeed making the only bid left de facto the lowest.

In fact, S.M.O. Union’s offers is the second highest of all four offers made in the public procurement procedures. Whereas S.M.O. Union asked for 299 million lekë, the other offers were 307 million, 269 million, and 256 million.

Exit has secured the tender documents as well as the evaluation of the tender commissions, which raise a number of question marks about the legality of the procedure.

First, it is curious that of the seven companies that expressed interest in the tender and the four that actually made a bid, only a single company fulfilled all conditions.

Second, among the disqualified companies is Viante Konstruksion shpk, which a few months ago actually won a KESh tender for exactly the same type of cleaning work at the Koman Hydropower Plant. It should have been enough for the company to reproduce its application in order to qualify.

Furthermore, the tender documentation shows that the actually lowest bid – €326,000 lower than the winning bid – was disqualified on particularly unimportant points: three of its trucks had a larger volume than specified in the tender documents, and one of the technical documents describing an excavator was partially in English.

As we explained previously, the total costs of the project, around €2.5 million, a several times higher than the expert estimate of the work, and much higher higher than for other, comparable projects tendered out by KESh in the past.

Although it Exit is unable to verify completely that this tender has been manipulated, the documents show enough evidence that this might be the case. Every day the Prime Minister calls upon the common people to provide any information or doubt about possible corruption or malpractice in the government, so perhaps he can have a look at KESh.