A tender for the construction of a tunnel on the Kardhiq-Delvinë axis at the center of the accusations made by the ARRSH (Authorities Rrugor Shqiptar- Albanian Road Authority) to the construction company "Gjoka Konstruksion" for fraud in the tender documents.
For its part, the company responded by accusing Director General Sonila Qato of favoring one of the competitors for the contract.
According to the Albanian newspaper reporter.al , the largest road construction concessionaire, the 'Gjoka Konstruksion', has been accused of falsifying documents to win a tender for the 19,3 million euro limit value.
However, as a counter-claim, the company made a serious accusation to the Director General of ARRSH Sonila Qato, namely that of having manipulated the tender on behalf of a competing company, with a damage of around 4 million euro charged of tax payers.
Infrastructure Minister Belinda Balluku announced, unexpectedly, that the tender for the last segment of the Kardhiq-Delvinë road would currently be postponed because the government "has other priorities", A decision that should have at least attracted the attention of the supervisory bodies, given that the phenomenon of rigged tenders is widespread and often sees the acquittal in court of the accused.
The BIRN (Balkan Investigative Reporting Network) addressed a question to Balluku, who however preferred not to answer the questions.
Placed by Ministria and Infrastrukturës dhe Energjisë op Maandag 4 maart 2019
The name of the GR Albania, the company that is supervising the works on the axis of "Rruga and Arbërit" and, at the same time, is part of a holding company that presented the lowest bid for the Kardhiq-Delvinë tender. A probable conflict of interests still to be ascertained, according to the words of Qato. This statement provoked the accusation of aiding and abetting by the Gjoka Konstruktion.
The Kardhiq tunnel - Delvinë
The two-way street of Kardhiq - Delvinë aims to connect the resort town of Saranda with the rest of the country through a completely new path that should cost tax payers a total of over 70 million.
So far three segments have been purchased at the cost of 54 million, in three suspicious tenders because the winning bid in all three cases was only less than the 2% compared to the limit fund.
In April of this year, the ARRSH opened the tender for the 7 segment, which includes the 1,2 km tunnel under the Skarficë Pass.
Unlike the previous offers, in which there were one or only two competitors in each race, in the latter there were six offers presented by consortia involving the largest public procurement companies in the country, such as Fusha, Gener 2 and the already mentioned Gjoka.
The offers of these companies ranged from the highest, of 19,2 million, equal to 98,6% of the limit fund, to the lowest offer, for 14,9 million, equal to 77% of the contract value. This latter offer was presented by a consortium of companies that included, among others, Gjoka and GR Albania.
The ARRSH declared the highest offer valid, casting doubt on whether the offer was piloted as the result of an agreement between the client and the winner.
In effect, called to respond before the Public Procurement Commission, the Arrsh did not produce sufficient evidence to remove the doubts. Indeed, the same Ministry of Infrastructure intervened, with a letter announcing publicly that the tender procedure had been canceled, becausethe government has other priorities.
The 7 segment project has been canceled, at least for now, the other 3 remain standing but practically not usable.
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