25.12.2021. / 11:00
PRIJEDOR – The situation that two companies from the same group fictitiously competed in the e-auction for setting up bus stops in Prijedor speaks volumes about the meaninglessness of certain parts of the Law on Public Procurement of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Namely, the companies “Inving invest inženjering” from Prijedor and “BG Energo tim” from the same city applied for the job of purchasing and installing reinforced concrete and stainless steel bus stops. According to official data, both companies belong to the same group, and while “Inving” is owned by Goran Bojić, “BG Energo team” is owned by “Inving”.
It is interesting that these two companies competed in the e-auction, and in the end the winner was “Inving invest inženjering”, which offered a lower price.
Specifically, “Inving” undertook to do the job of setting up the stand for 16,903 KM with calculated tax, and “BG Energo team” for 91 marks more, or 16,994 KM.
At the end of last year, “BG Energo team” recorded revenue of 13.2 million KM, while “Inving” earned 17.4 million marks.
Competitive affiliates are more likely to participate
Although this was not the case in this situation, according to Damjan Ožegović, legal affairs associate at Transparency International BiH, the goal of two or more interconnected companies in the same procurement is to have better chances with different prices.
„Most often, the meaning of the participation of two or more bidders who are in a relationship with each other is that the different prices offered have a better chance of participating if several different bidders submit bids.“, Ozegovic pointed out.
As he explains, of the two connected, one offers a much lower price in order to be more competitive, while the other goes with a real or higher one, so if there is no competition, he is usually awarded a contract because the former usually withdraws from bidding at one stage.
„In this example we see that as there were no other bidders, they participated in the e-auction which was mandatory but did not compete in the sense that they did not significantly lower the prices of each other. If there were more interested bidders, the outcome would probably be different“, Said Ožegović.
Explaining such situations from the aspect of the Law on Public Procurement of BiH, Ožegović explains that fair competition means that the contracting authority is obliged to act transparently and to treat all bidders equally and non-discriminatoryly.
„When checking the bidder during the qualification, the contracting authority may require from the bidder only the evidence necessary to determine whether they meet the minimum qualification requirements to be reliable and capable of performing the contract. Unfortunately, contracting authorities cannot verify the ownership structure of bidders, and this would be difficult to resolve legally“, Emphasizes Ožegović.
The solution is active identification of all interested parties
As he notes, legal protection in public procurement procedures is given only to those bidders who have taken over the tender documentation, while no third party has the opportunity to invest legal remedies, ie active identification.
„A larger number of bidders also means lowering the price, ie competing among them, but the problem arises if the most favorable offered prices are given by the companies of one owner where the one with the lowest gives up and the job is awarded to the next or most expensive one.“, States Ožegović.
Transparency International BiH, as he adds, during the drafting of the Law on Amendments to the Law on Public Procurement, advocated that the active ID be extended to all interested parties who have an interest in defending public funds, such as prosecutors, attorneys, NGOs and the like, but unfortunately that proposal not included.
CAPITAL: Bojana Ninković
Source: Capital.ba – Informacija je capital by www.capital.ba.
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