LOW BID: Criticism of the procurement law is that the lowest bid wins, regardless of quality and the probability of cost overruns.
TALLINN - Estonian President Toomas Hendrik Ilves hopes that the first thing that the new Riigikogu will do is to amend the state procurements law, reports National Broadcasting. The Via Baltica highway section via the city of Parnu, the completion of which was recently indefinitely postponed, indicates that businessmen just take advantage of the poorly compiled law, complained Ilves, who visited Parnu on March 21.
Last week, the Highways Board announced that the contract with Latvian road construction company Binders and Estonian firm Koger & Partnerid, who worked on the same project, was ended. This means a new procurement is required, and no one knows when the construction will continue.
The project has been problematic from the start and the reason for this is the overly cheap bid that was submitted to the state procurement tender. The cheapness of an offer, however, is the main factor evaluated, according to the state procurements law. “I am convinced that the Riigikogu, once it convenes, and it will soon, will make it one of the first priorities to revise our entire state procurements system so that what we see here in Parnu, what we have seen in the Tallinn-Tartu highway construction, could not be possible anymore. It cannot be that it is impossible to solve this thing in Estonia while it is solved elsewhere,” said Ilves.
The contract for building the Parnu detour road was concluded in 2009 for 23.6 million euros with Koger & Partnerid and Binders. Binders announced in February that it was forced to end the contract with the Estonian Highways Board, as it had caused major losses for the Latvian firm since it was forced to fix inadequacies by its Estonian partner firm, which was not equipped to carry out such a big project.
An initiative is circling in the Web comments section of the daily Postimees calling for the closure to traffic of the Via Baltica Parnu section on May 7 due to the bad state of the road, and that the outlook for it would not be improved this year.