The Slovenia Times

Panel criticises procurement legislation and never-ending appeals


The chairman of national motorway company DARS Tomaž Vidic recounted for the panel the never-ending appeals in the Karavanke tunnel project, which has been making headlines along with the first tenders for the new railway track to the Koper port.

He expressed relief following the latest decision by the National Review Commission, but noted one appeal was still possible. "We actually kind of expect it," he said, pointing out this would already be the fifth round of appeals.

While Vidic argued "our legislation allowed appeals to be filed almost indefinitely", Damir Topolko of the national Infrastructure Agency said there were far fewer appeals when the level of public procurement was stable, when the investment cycle was predictable.

The agency has around 300 public procurement cases a year and successfully completes 98% of them. About 4-5% of the tenders go through the Review Commission.

The deputy director for international operations at Czech builder Metrostav, Vaclav Pavlovsky, was also critical of Slovenia's legislation and its appeals options.

"There has to be political will to change the legislation," he said, speaking of an exceedingly complex situation in Slovenia.

He also took issue with the public tenders going to the cheapest bidders, saying past references, expertise and quality should also count.

This was echoed by developer and director general of the engineering and consulting firm Elea IC, Angelo Žigon.

"The developer is the one that draws up the entire project. Those with more experience will usually design a better project, while choosing the cheapest is not necessarily the best choice," he said.

The participants also touched on the idea of setting up a ministry in charge exclusively of construction. Vidic likes the idea but finds it unrealistic. He called for a construction agency, suggesting three or for ministries operating in this field clearly caused confusion.


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