Who Is Afraid of BGN14MN Contract?

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At a time when all companies are dreaming of winning a secure state contract, no one is interested in a public procurement tender of nearly 14 million levs and the state will need to declare it for a third time. At first glance it sounds paradoxical, but when one sees the name of the contracting authoritu, things quickly fall into place. It is financially troubled company Bulgarian State Railways (BDZ). Just days ago, it again opened a contest for cleaning and equipping coaches and electric and diesel locomotives. In the assignment is included also the polishing of offices, locker rooms, workshops, corridors, toilets, halls and windows and cleaning of open areas. The period for which the specific activity will be assigned is three years and the amount of the service is 13.71 million levs without VAT.

The first auction failed in February. For a winner was then chosen company the Comex – RM, but it did not appear at the appointed time to sign the final contract, as it was not sure it can cover its expenses.

The second round began in mid-August. Four companies bought documents, and then three of them refused to submit. To pass to the next round had courage only Vasilka Sofia. But it did not signed the final contract. Reasoning this time was that the private company has offered to clean 11,929,600 square meters of area and 677,720 train cars for three years, while the requirements of the Railways were for a far greater space – 24,047,085 square meters and 1,506,528 cars. Thus, because of the discrepancy, the procedure was again suspended.

The reasons for the two consecutive failures are quite different from those of the mentioned by Railways in official documents. One of the conditions was the winner in the bidding to hire all – about 400 employees of the railway company – who are now engaged in this activity. Such commitment guaranteed a monthly fixed costs for salaries and benefits, which naturally was not to the taste of any private company, however large it may be.

The other major problem was that the Railways insisted on paying for the work done but to be able unilaterally to determine its volume. Which made it difficult for nat potential contractors to create a financial plan for their relationship with the rail carrier. Such a threat is not exaggerated.

During the week, the President of the Syndicate of railroad workers Peter Bunev warned that if BDZ fails to start repairing wagons and locomotives by the end of 2013 it may need not stop its activities. According to the trade union leader now in operation are below 200 railroad cars and the hope is by the end of January their number to be expanded by another 40-50. However, next month there will be a need to repair one hundred of the cars that are now running and BDZ fleet will thus be reduced by at least 40 percent.

All this raises more questions for the third round of the tender of the Railways. Indeed, in the present proceeding the requirement to recruit cleaners from the company has been reduced to 222 people, or 60 percent.

Otherwise, regarding the volume of cars to be cleaned, nothing is mentioned. It is indicated only that the payment will be made every month in levs, bank transfer, within a period not less than 30 days after submission of an invoice in original and signed bilateral handover protocol for the work done in the previous month.

The BANKER

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