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Old November 18th, 2012, 07:29 PM   #9221
metacatfry
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Maybe tightening up requirements should be done, but it is worth remembering that the market for construction companies is not normal these years. The global economic slowdown has meant much less work for them and there is a bigger desperation and willingness to cut profits in order to get contracts. At some point in the future, the situation will change, much fewer bidders will bid for contracts, and road authorities will WANT to have as many companies bidding against each other as possible to drive the price down. Setting too strict bidding requirements might drive away too many contractors, leaving only a few who can more readily dictate their price and driving up the price of building roads.
So it is a balance act.
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Old November 18th, 2012, 07:35 PM   #9222
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Originally Posted by rakcancer View Post
First of all screening companies BEFORE let them even participate in tendering is most important in my opinion. In some countries like Germany or USA companies without necessary experiences or just too small are not allowed to large contracts.
It works the same way in GDDKiA's tenders - you have to prove you are experienced enough and have enough resources when you make an offer, then they screen your offer and reject it if you don't meet their requirements.
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My whole point is that our law is badly made and is directed toward as little spending money as possible.
I'm asking again - how is that bad? This argument is raised all the time, our law is broken, yadi yadi yada, but when asked how to make it better, nobody has any constructive proposals. I think things are good the way they are. Even despite some companies going bankrupt due to global crisis, we're still making amazing progress and abandoned contracts are just a small fraction of all motorway/expressway projects in Poland.
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How about instead of making things so complicated in screening just make them not allowed in large contracts if they have never done any job in Poland?
This is very discriminatory and limits competition, which is never good.
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COVEC is a very good example of as you said yourself little or no experience with polish/european realities even if they have sufficient money. The whole "screening" in this case doesn't even make a sense. They shouldn't be in Poland with large contracts at all until they prove they have experience with smaller projects.
First of all, they did prove themselves doing smaller project in Poland before (they built some apartment buildings and a hotel or something). Second, they had no experience in EU building motorways as a company, but they hired very experienced people and had top notch management staff, who have worked on many motorways projects in Poland before. Again, they were more than capable of building A2. If you want to disprove this thesis, go read NIK's audit and find any holes in it.
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Old November 18th, 2012, 08:08 PM   #9223
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toonczyk is right. I second that. the law is not bad. companies need to play according to law rules. not to play they own rules. is it easy ? maybe not. doable ? definately yes. so let us not try to create new rules. lets make vendors understand present rules and execute this.
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Old November 18th, 2012, 08:18 PM   #9224
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Quote:
Originally Posted by toonczyk View Post
First of all, they did prove themselves doing smaller project in Poland before (they built some apartment buildings and a hotel or something). Second, they had no experience in EU building motorways as a company, but they hired very experienced people and had top notch management staff, who have worked on many motorways projects in Poland before. Again, they were more than capable of building A2. If you want to disprove this thesis, go read NIK's audit and find any holes in it.
So wait a minute, you saying they had experiences, resources, sufficient money, they knew polish market basically they were "more then capable of building A2", yet they failed... how come? This is what you just said in your previous post:

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Any company (or consortium) participating in GDDKiA's tenders has to prove they have sufficient know-how, resources and experience. COVEC has been thoroughly screened before being allowed to take part in this tender, there has been no doubt about their ability to do this (it's been confirmed for example by an audit performed by NIK - Polish Supreme Audit Office). They undervalued construction costs, they had little experience with Polish bureaucratic processes and they must have realized it would be difficult for GDDKiA to execute any contractual penalties from Bank of China, so they just abandoned this contract.
Look, there is no doubt the things in Poland are going in the right direction. On the other hand whoever is saying everything is perfect and no need to change anything is simply wrong. I am not a specialist in this area but I work abroad with large scale projects and I can only simply compare and point out what others do, what could be improved, what could be copied from other countries, what not. In my opinion regulations should be adjusted after so many companies got into bankruptcy and some projects are postponed or slowed down. The whole global economical situation is not the only one to be blame for it.

Last edited by rakcancer; November 18th, 2012 at 08:44 PM.
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Old November 18th, 2012, 08:33 PM   #9225
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yet they failed... how come? This is what you jast said in your previous post
They were in a unique situation where they could just pull back, because even if they are finally forced to pay the penalties, that still doesn't mean much for a company this large. They abandoned A2 because they could afford it. They tried getting into tight EU market, they've made a mistake, so they gave up. Not that such mistakes are unheard of among giants like Strabag or Alpine Bau... Undervaluing contracts is very common, actually many companies had negative profit margins on contracts signed in 2010 and 2011, because that was the only way for them to avoid layoffs (and there were almost no other contracts in EU). We were very lucky that we had this huge surge of investments in the middle of the biggest crisis EU has ever faced, as a result we got new infrastructure for half the price. Things like delays on A2 (which still weren't critical, I'd like to remind you this motorway has been ready since June) or SRB abandoning A1 were inevitable.
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Look, there is no doubt the things in Poland are going in the right direction. On the other hand whoever is saying everything is perfect and no need to change anything is simply wrong.
I'm not saying things are perfect, but I'm still waiting to hear any good ideas how to make things better.
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In my opinion regulations should be adjusted after so many companies got into bankruptcy and some projects are postponed or slowed down.
Adjusted how? Maybe it should be like that: whenever a company makes a mistake and undervalues a project, GDDKiA will pay them as much as they want with no questions asked. After all, we don't want anybody to go bankrupt because of their incompetence, right?
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Old November 18th, 2012, 08:54 PM   #9226
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rakcancer,

thee law is ok. there are some companies which took a risk and failed. as easy as it is. I would say the companies which went bankrupt (or are close to bankrupcy) were not smart.
I would say very controversial opinion: cover was smart. they realized quite quilcy they could not manage the contract with the promised money. they simply stepped back immediately. did not want to last it longer (longer = more expenses).



now take the polish company example close to bankrupcy - they have not canceled the contract - the expenses are definately higher, but money gratification stays the same.

which company is smarter ? what is more - I can see the sections of A2 won by Covec are now finished. so gddkia should be happy. and Poles are happy too - we have a motorway !

now how about the section of this polish company which is close to bankrupcy ? the section is not finished, definaately more delays, and serious risk sooner or later (probably later) they will surrender or collapse.

the result for Poles ? no vendor, not finished section.
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Old November 18th, 2012, 10:14 PM   #9227
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MA-532 Dębica Edition:

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efekt sprężania:
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Old November 18th, 2012, 11:11 PM   #9228
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Originally Posted by toonczyk View Post
Even despite some companies going bankrupt due to global crisis, we're still making amazing progress and abandoned contracts are just a small fraction of all motorway/expressway projects in Poland.

Depends what we understand as a fraction. So far only fraction of the A4 east of Krakow is open.
Just to remind those who are unaware, it is one of the motorways to be opened before Euro 2012. At the moment some stretches look like they might open in 2014.
Of course it is the easiest to blame crisis for that. Our road authority does perfect job there and any criticism of it is just defending bad boys from the construction business
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Old November 19th, 2012, 02:18 AM   #9229
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from what I understand another 84 kms of A4 might open this year: Szarow-Tarnow - 57 kms; and Jaroslaw - Radymno - 27 kms. so about 40% of remainder.
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Old November 19th, 2012, 12:54 PM   #9230
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from what I understand another 84 kms of A4 might open this year: Szarow-Tarnow - 57 kms; and Jaroslaw - Radymno - 27 kms. so about 40% of remainder.
Some of it might, some of it only half-profile, all good few months late and still more than 50% is nowhere near of completion. Hardly a fraction.
Then we have A1 problems (south of Torun as well as the famous MA532). A1 east of Lodz not even started etc.
I can see a string of pure success and good project management.
Definitely no need to change anything at all.

Last edited by geogregor; November 19th, 2012 at 01:01 PM.
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Old November 19th, 2012, 01:01 PM   #9231
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Depends what we understand as a fraction. So far only fraction of the A4 east of Krakow is open.
Read my quote again, I wasn't talking about delays, but about abandoned contracts. I'll make it easier for you: since 2007, contracts for over 2000km of A/S roads have been signed. Contracts for how many kilometers have been terminated?
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Old November 19th, 2012, 05:41 PM   #9232
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Originally Posted by geogregor View Post
Some of it might, some of it only half-profile, all good few months late and still more than 50% is nowhere near of completion. Hardly a fraction.
Then we have A1 problems (south of Torun as well as the famous MA532). A1 east of Lodz not even started etc.
I can see a string of pure success and good project management.
Definitely no need to change anything at all.
I can’t think of many infrastructure projects in England where you live or in Canada where I am of this scale that ever came in on time or even on budget in my life time. The sections cited will be complete when opened this year, not partially based on my readings in Polish sec tion. ofcourse there is always room for improvement. when you try to build so much so fast, many unforeseen problems can arise, topographical, economic, political etc. Don't forget under the former Kaczynski regime almost nothing was done even on the planning level for years.
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Old November 19th, 2012, 06:05 PM   #9233
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I can’t think of many infrastructure projects in England where you live or in Canada where I am of this scale that ever came in on time or even on budget in my life time. The sections cited will be complete when opened this year, not partially based on my readings in Polish sec tion. ofcourse there is always room for improvement. when you try to build so much so fast, many unforeseen problems can arise, topographical, economic, political etc. Don't forget under the former Kaczynski regime almost nothing was done even on the planning level for years.
That's almost exactly what I'm saying. I'm really not one of those who only complain. I'm glad we have a large scale road building in Poland at the moment. I also know that some problems are bound to arise.
But some people on Polish forum have tendency to glorify Polish Road Authority saying how great job they do and that the only fault of delays and abandoned projects is on the contractors side. World is never so simple. Geological background checks are often flawed, some plots of lands are not acquired by the Road Authority before construction starts, some bridge designs are "questionable" etc. Calculations of risk in such conditions are much harder.

I know that road projects are delayed everywhere but our A4 is particularly unlucky and on some sections there is no sight of light at the end of tunnel.

There is not much of the road building in the UK at the moment so it is hard to compare. But those few schemes they had came largely on time. They just seems to assume more realistic schedules (longer) Maybe that's better solution than frustrate people with unrealistic promises?

Last edited by geogregor; November 19th, 2012 at 07:36 PM.
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Old November 19th, 2012, 06:15 PM   #9234
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Let's keep in mind that any changes in the tendering process must comply with the EU Public Procurement Directive. Proposing changes that would be prohibited by EU law will get us nowhere.
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Old November 19th, 2012, 06:20 PM   #9235
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But some people on Polish forum have tendency to glorify Polish Road Authority saying how great job they do and that the only fault of delays and abandoned projects is on the contractors side. World is never so simple.
You are right here. Things sometimes look different from outside. Not everything is shining, not everything is right even if overall the things go in the right direction. Unfortunately some people have tendency to defend their opinion at any cost and take any even slightest critique pretty badly...

Last edited by rakcancer; November 19th, 2012 at 06:31 PM.
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Old November 19th, 2012, 08:16 PM   #9236
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Originally Posted by geogregor View Post
That's almost exactly what I'm saying. I'm really not one of those who only complain. I'm glad we have a large scale road building in Poland at the moment. I also know that some problems are bound to arise.
But some people on Polish forum have tendency to glorify Polish Road Authority saying how great job they do and that the only fault of delays and abandoned projects is on the contractors side. World is never so simple. Geological background checks are often flawed, some plots of lands are not acquired by the Road Authority before construction starts, some bridge designs are "questionable" etc. Calculations of risk in such conditions are much harder.

I know that road projects are delayed everywhere but our A4 is particularly unlucky and on some sections there is no sight of light at the end of tunnel.

There is not much of the road building in the UK at the moment so it is hard to compare. But those few schemes they had came largely on time. They just seems to assume more realistic schedules (longer) Maybe that's better solution than frustrate people with unrealistic promises?
yes, I agree in large part, but realistic schedules are a luxury for wealthy countries like UK that have not been set back in their development for half a century. The Polish road authority is under tremendous pressure and faces constraints UK does not and in this light is doing an amazing job. Poland has to have infrastructure in very quickly to open up more backward areas of Poland for development, to provide jobs and spur economic development overall, and forestall continued demographic decline.
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Old November 19th, 2012, 08:46 PM   #9237
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Poland opened more motorways this year than Germany ever did except in 1936-1938. It's a huge achievement. You can't build a whole network in a few years, but Poland is doing a tremendous job. Hopefully this pace will be continued for the next 10 years or so.
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Old November 19th, 2012, 10:08 PM   #9238
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You are right here. Things sometimes look different from outside. Not everything is shining, not everything is right even if overall the things go in the right direction. Unfortunately some people have tendency to defend their opinion at any cost and take any even slightest critique pretty badly...
I'm first to criticize GDDKiA for what they do wrong - and that happens quite often. Actually I'm battling them in court over some issues, so my opinion could be very biased. What I oppose is blaming them for things they do right. And I do believe they are doing an amazing job in terms of tendering process, the fact that they've never had any problems getting reimbursements from EU structural funds speaks for itself. I'm still waiting for any constructive ideas how to make GDDKiA's tendering process better, something more than "price should not be the main criteria".
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Old November 19th, 2012, 11:19 PM   #9239
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Just got the new information from GDDKiA: The S5 section Kaczkowo-Korzensko(border Greater Poland voivodeship and Lesser Silesia voivodeship) had to be put off. It will have been opened to traffic by the end of September, 2013.
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Old November 19th, 2012, 11:22 PM   #9240
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I'm first to criticize GDDKiA for what they do wrong - and that happens quite often. Actually I'm battling them in court over some issues, so my opinion could be very biased. What I oppose is blaming them for things they do right. And I do believe they are doing an amazing job in terms of tendering process, the fact that they've never had any problems getting reimbursements from EU structural funds speaks for itself. I'm still waiting for any constructive ideas how to make GDDKiA's tendering process better, something more than "price should not be the main criteria".
what is wrong with the "price" as a main factor. if other criterias like quality tight schedule are met, then what the hell is wrong ?

I really second toonczyk in this conversation. I have got very, very similar view as toonczyk has on what "gdaka" is doing.

I believe we are somehow afraid of is if the lowest price vendor wins the contract then we will see bad quality/termendous delays.

I am not an expert of contruction works contract, but storngly believe there are dedicated sections in a contract for a long term warranty and severe penalities for delays.

if for some reasons the shedule is delayed and a vendor does not pay any finance charges, there must be some conditions which do not allow to calculate these charges
(like archeological stuff, permits not issued on time, etc).

again I strongly believe "gdaka" guys will have no interest to cover vendor mistakes. we have got something like NIK (Supreme Audit Office) which controls public money contracts. if any corruption process is found then the guys go to prision. I would not take any risk ...

so these opinions, that "gdaka" is weak and cannot control the vendor or cannot execute the contracts in the right way - do not make much sense for me. there are only two implcations of these opinions: "gdaka" gus are currupted or "gdaka" guys are amateurs. if any of them is true NIK would already take care of them.
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