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Old October 24th, 2013, 06:01 PM   #10821
Urbanista1
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sounds to me like Poland demanded good quality standards while sticking to costs proposed so that the taxpayer would not have to bear the burden of corporate mistakes. Here in Canada it's the opposite, the government rarely protects consumers. I can remember one case where the Conservative government of Ontario built a new highway, the 407, at taxpayer expense, it kept having cost overruns, which the government kept passing off to the taxpayers. It cost over $1billion in the end. So, then the government sold it to one its biggest party corporate supporters for $250 million and the new owner is charging the taxpayers again in the form of road tolls. It's true contractors all over have gotten used to putting a gun to the head's of states and taxpayers forcing them to keep paying more or else they wouldn't get critical infrastructure. High profits, low taxes is the corporate mantra while any mistakes are covered by taxpayers like the massive bailouts of US private investment banks. People are tired of it.

So Poland got good roads in line with cost estimates. Poland handles other project contracts the same way form what I have seen - if you can't build it for the price promised and we will help you to find creative cost-effective solutions to unforeseen problems, then we'll find someone else. Poland has a very strict anti-corruption policy that is very good at preventing any shadey deals. BTW, the that section of road to the Czech border is under construction now and the bridge is being repaired.
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Warsaw Post-War Reconstruction to Present

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Old October 24th, 2013, 09:44 PM   #10822
Don Vito KurDeBalanz
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Quote:
Special Report: Poland's roads to ruin


(Reuters) - When Poland started handing out billions of euros worth of contracts for a wave of road-building five years ago, everyone was meant to benefit.
Poland would bring its decrepit transport system into the 21st century, European construction firms would win contracts at a time of recession, and the European Union, whose cash helped fund the work, could point to how it was helping.
Poland got its roads, for the most part. But in many other ways the enterprise, one of the biggest construction projects in Europe, went seriously wrong. Several contractors are in legal battles to recover billions of euros they say Poland owes them. Dozens of Polish companies are in bankruptcy, and multinational firms have blamed losses on the Polish contracts turning sour. Six European governments have complained to Poland about the way their companies have been treated. The European Commission is investigating what went wrong.
Here's the twist: This is not so much a story of corruption as of cost-cutting zeal. Poland stuck to its budget and the prices agreed in its contracts. That was the problem. In an industry where firms routinely bid as low as possible and costs routinely overrun, Poland frequently refused to budge on cost. In its drive to keep costs down, it also ignored warnings - including some from independent engineers hired by the state - that designs and plans needed to be changed.
The drive to economize was repeated on dozens of projects, industry groups and construction company executives say, and left many involved in the projects struggling. One of the biggest losers was Alpine Holding GmbH, the Austrian unit of Spanish group FCC, which entered bankruptcy proceedings in June, becoming Austria's biggest corporate collapse since World War Two.
A project that should have been a bonanza for Europe has turned into "a slaughter house for Polish and European firms," Jaroslaw Duszewski, a former Alpine executive, wrote to the head of the Polish state roads agency in June this year. A spokesman for FCC declined to comment.
Five other firms have told Reuters they are still in dispute with the road agency over payment: Austria's Strabag, the Polish unit of Germany's Bilfinger, Ireland's SIAC, a joint venture of Ireland's Sisk and Roadbridge called SRB, and Budimex, a Polish unit of Spain's Ferrovial. All but one said they had filed suits against the state road agency which were unresolved. Bilfinger's subsidiary said it was seeking to resolve the dispute out of court.
Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk has defended his officials, and said Poland will not bow to foreign pressure. His office referred reporters to the transport ministry, which defended the agency, saying it had acted within the terms of its agreements with contractors.
Article is quite long so here are subtitles. Seems to me that it's time for GDDiKA to hire good PR agency and for Government to back its own agency in that matter as outcry gets full force.



"RUSSIAN ROULETTE"


"A BRIDGE TOO FAR"

"GUN TO THE HEAD"

"THE STATE IS RESPONSIBLE"


Whole article:


http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/...99N05920131024
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Old October 24th, 2013, 10:43 PM   #10823
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Don Vito KurDeBalanz View Post
Article is quite long so here are subtitles. Seems to me that it's time for GDDiKA to hire good PR agency and for Government to back its own agency in that matter as outcry gets full force.
Perhaps it is high time not only for that. Perhaps Government should start using anticorruption laws and start issuing European Arrest Warrants for those who first signed contracts to build sth for xxx$ and then demanded more $ for whatever reason (aka corruption)? Top management officials like CEOs of those companies are good target as they must have sanctioned such actiones and if they did not then they are guilty of serious negligence.

Another question: if there is gonna be any court case in these matters, in what courts any proceedings would take place? I find it hard to believe that any Polish court would punish any government agency for simply following the letter of anticorruption law.
This is actually very important question as the logic of sponge_bob arguments suggests that he (and perhaps those cooking lawsuits) uses anglosaxon common law where such lawsuits could have a chance as the verdict there usually depends on who is the best speaker/actor/comedian/entertainer
In continental Europe court proceeding are sometimes much simpler: you signed a contract, you have to obey it whatever the circumstances, "pacta sunt servanda".
Perhaps it could create a ground for a deal: you loosers who tried to bribe us, f... off and we as an act of grace will not put you in jail for the rest of your lives.
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Old October 25th, 2013, 12:06 AM   #10824
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Originally Posted by bartek76 View Post
This is actually very important question as the logic of sponge_bob arguments suggests that he (and perhaps those cooking lawsuits) uses anglosaxon common law where such lawsuits could have a chance as the verdict there usually depends on who is the best speaker/actor/comedian/entertainer
Good idea sending out lots of EU warrants, I like that. Especially if there is evidence of a conspiracy.

I was referring to EU law. EU case law on procurement can even cover interesting things like Coffee Machines in Holland. Last time I looked it took precedence over anglo saxon law or indeed Polish law in Europe. A highly relevant case summarising many of the issues is this Greek one from 2010.

I recommend forensic accountants over PR but a bit of PR would be good. But falling back entirely on the Polish courts might be a rather short termist strategy in this case.

Last edited by sponge_bob; October 25th, 2013 at 12:18 AM.
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Old October 25th, 2013, 01:37 AM   #10825
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I don't get it. A bunch of firms wanted to increase their prices halfway through the contract and now they are blaming the Polish government? Are they joking or are they serious? If you screw up your estimates then you only have yourself to blame. Go and screw around in some third world country with your backward methods! I say well done Poland. This will pay dividends in the future.
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Old October 25th, 2013, 01:56 AM   #10826
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Poland has no choice but to dig in hard. Let me give you an important number.

Poland has been a member of the EU for 10 years and for kindness sake I will assume Polish Lawyers have 15 years of experience of EU Procurement Procedures and Principles.

The 6 countries named by Reuters have been members for an average of around 40 years plus ( each) and probably 50 years. Their lawyers have a collective 240 years of experience of EU law. Their ambassadors who complained during the summer have the backing of a public service with a collective 240 years of experience of EU law.

This constant refusal to answer questions from tenderers is a breach of Article 89(1) of the Financial Regulations 2002. This has been changed recently to article 102(1) of the Financial Regulations 2012 but the wording has not changed at all. The 2002 regulation applied in the period when the contracts were entered.

http://eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/...01:0096:EN:PDF

Article 102

Principles applicable to public contracts


1. All public contracts financed in whole or in part by the budget shall respect the principles of transparency, proportionality, equal treatment and non-discrimination

The budget means the EU budget. By the way that article means:

The principles of transparency AND proportionality AND equal treatment and non-discrimination.

My advice to GDDkia is:

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Old October 25th, 2013, 03:00 AM   #10827
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This "constant refusal to answer questions from tenderers" is something that, I'm fairly certain, exists only in their imagination. Maybe they didn't got answers they wanted, but that is another kettle of fish.

Every public tender in Poland which I was interested in generated flurry of questions from interested companies, always answered. The whole process in lengthy and often results in corrections to the documentation, lengthening of tender deadlines and so on and so on.
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Old October 25th, 2013, 03:42 AM   #10828
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Fine. The questions and answers will all be on the GDDkia website and all is, therefore, well.
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Old October 25th, 2013, 08:04 AM   #10829
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Corruption in Poland is a very severe crime, corruption in Poland is controlled on many levels, like CBA - Central Anti-Corruption Bureau http://www.cba.gov.pl/pl/ or NIK - Highest Control Agency.http://www.nik.gov.pl/

GDDKiA operates an enormous amount of money and is obligated to report every single złoty they spend.

Last edited by markfos; October 25th, 2013 at 08:17 AM.
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Old October 25th, 2013, 08:47 AM   #10830
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sponge_bob View Post
Poland has no choice but to dig in hard. Let me give you an important number.

Poland has been a member of the EU for 10 years and for kindness sake I will assume Polish Lawyers have 15 years of experience of EU Procurement Procedures and Principles.

The 6 countries named by Reuters have been members for an average of around 40 years plus ( each) and probably 50 years. Their lawyers have a collective 240 years of experience of EU law. Their ambassadors who complained during the summer have the backing of a public service with a collective 240 years of experience of EU law.

This constant refusal to answer questions from tenderers is a breach of Article 89(1) of the Financial Regulations 2002. This has been changed recently to article 102(1) of the Financial Regulations 2012 but the wording has not changed at all. The 2002 regulation applied in the period when the contracts were entered.

http://eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/...01:0096:EN:PDF

Article 102

Principles applicable to public contracts


1. All public contracts financed in whole or in part by the budget shall respect the principles of transparency, proportionality, equal treatment and non-discrimination

The budget means the EU budget. By the way that article means:

The principles of transparency AND proportionality AND equal treatment and non-discrimination.

My advice to GDDkia is:


sponge_bob,

give everybody a break for a while.

you said what was on your mind. now wait and see what will happen. three pages about your imagination is fair enough.


you have nice pictures of Polish road infrastructure ? go and paste them otherwise create your own thread.
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Old October 25th, 2013, 02:07 PM   #10831
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I've read there is a possibility to go to court if GDDKiA allegedly refuses to clarify things in the tender procedure. However this option is rarely - if ever - used.

The tactics many international construction companies use is to make unrealistically low bids and then demand more money during construction. Perhaps this works in some countries, but is not how things should go, because it makes the tender procedure useless.

There are situations however, where it is sensible to accept a demand for more payment, especially for issues beyond the control of the contractor, such as flooding. But they can't blame GDDKiA for their own cost miscalculations (which I doubt are really miscalculations).
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Old October 25th, 2013, 02:48 PM   #10832
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Meanwhile in Toruń..

by hNr



















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Old October 25th, 2013, 02:58 PM   #10833
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisZwolle View Post
There are situations however, where it is sensible to accept a demand for more payment, especially for issues beyond the control of the contractor, such as flooding.
It's all in the contract - the contractor is reimbursed for any unforeseeable expenses when they're not at fault. It's true those things often take too long to sort out - should be a few days, often takes more than a month - but the system generally works. Unless of course a contractor comes up with some ridiculous claims, as did Alpine Bau on many occasions (for example they asked for extra money because of the bombings in Syria, I kid you not).
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Old October 25th, 2013, 02:58 PM   #10834
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisZwolle View Post
The tactics many international construction companies use is to make unrealistically low bids and then demand more money during construction. Perhaps this works in some countries, but is not how things should go, because it makes the tender procedure useless.
It works in a lot of countries but fewer than it used to. The issue however is more subtle than that as we are now quite a distance into a long recession in the European construction industry.

If a contracting authority _always_ defines "most economically advantageous" tender = lowest, _while knowing the project cannot be built at that price_, is it actually economically advantageous. ???

For every main contractor who fails to finish a project many subcontractors, generally local operators, are also left out of pocket and are not economically advantaged at all. The taxpayer may be advantaged but the taxpayer is not the only stakeholder here.

Parts of UK government procurement have moved to recognise this and now have a formula for EJECTING abnormally low or 'suicide' bids in public procurement processes.

http://www.dfpni.gov.uk/index/procur...ow-tenders.pdf

Quote:
CONSTRUCTION WORKS PROCUREMENT: ABNORMALLY LOW TENDERS June 2013

BACKGROUND
1. The current economic downturn has created a difficult trading environment for
contractors, with fewer tender and contract opportunities available. As a result,
some firms are prepared to submit uneconomic or unsustainable tender prices in
order to survive. Such practices significantly increase the risk of poor contract
performance, create difficulties within supply chains and have a damaging effect on
the industry.

2. Centres of Procurement Expertise (CoPEs) should discourage contractors from
submitting prices that are so low that they put the delivery of a contract at risk
. The
following approaches should be adopted for abnormally low tenders.
And such an approach will be adopted more widely in other procurement agencies across the EU ( unless someone successfully takes those guys to the european commission or courts of course. )

Oh, from todays Irish Times. If you do not like biased people do not click because you have been warned that This guy is very biased.

I'll leave it all at that! Someone get some photos somewhere..quick.!
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Old October 25th, 2013, 03:46 PM   #10835
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According to GiK (Gdańskie Inwestycje Komunalne) Darmorka TBM has drilled 940m of the tunnel under Vistula river.



http://www.gik.gda.pl/investmentNews...40_metrze.html
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Old October 25th, 2013, 04:40 PM   #10836
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FURTHER EXTENSIONS OF THE VIATOLL SYSTEM IN POLAND:


Uploaded with ImageShack.us

Source:http://www.viatoll.pl/en/heavy-vehic...stem-in-poland
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Old October 25th, 2013, 05:08 PM   #10837
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Quote:
Originally Posted by toonczyk View Post
It's all in the contract - the contractor is reimbursed for any unforeseeable expenses when they're not at fault. It's true those things often take too long to sort out - should be a few days, often takes more than a month - but the system generally works. Unless of course a contractor comes up with some ridiculous claims, as did Alpine Bau on many occasions (for example they asked for extra money because of the bombings in Syria, I kid you not).
That's a good one.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sponge_bob View Post
If a contracting authority _always_ defines "most economically advantageous" tender = lowest, _while knowing the project cannot be built at that price_, is it actually economically advantageous. ???

For every main contractor who fails to finish a project many subcontractors, generally local operators, are also left out of pocket and are not economically advantaged at all. The taxpayer may be advantaged but the taxpayer is not the only stakeholder here.

Parts of UK government procurement have moved to recognise this and now have a formula for EJECTING abnormally low or 'suicide' bids in public procurement processes.
And therefore GDDKiA very successfully utilizes the bank guarantees, I would say. I say let the banks due diligence deal with it!! Much better solution than excluding low bids.

But I understand that the construction lobby is strong and the taxpayer tit is full of milk.
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Last edited by Surel; October 25th, 2013 at 05:15 PM.
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Old October 25th, 2013, 05:14 PM   #10838
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del
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Old October 25th, 2013, 09:25 PM   #10839
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bleetz View Post
I don't get it. A bunch of firms wanted to increase their prices halfway through the contract and now they are blaming the Polish government? Are they joking or are they serious? If you screw up your estimates then you only have yourself to blame. Go and screw around in some third world country with your backward methods! I say well done Poland. This will pay dividends in the future.
Fair enough, but the only thing is that those GDDKiA foreign "victims" are leaving behind good few local Polish victims (subcontractors) with unsettled bills...

Quote:
Originally Posted by markfos View Post
Corruption in Poland is a very severe crime, corruption in Poland is controlled on many levels, like CBA - Central Anti-Corruption Bureau http://www.cba.gov.pl/pl/ or NIK - Highest Control Agency.http://www.nik.gov.pl/

GDDKiA operates an enormous amount of money and is obligated to report every single złoty they spend.
That's why, in this matter I can believe the words of one of the Irish executives for Poland's projects (despite all other issues, e.g. as reported by the media, in addition to the issues in Poland Irish construction companies had fairly substantial unsettled bills with Irish subcontractors, in relation to projects in Ireland):

Quote:
Sources familiar with public contracts in Poland say that, after post-communist years marked by cronyism and corruption in public life, the pendulum has swung the other way with an acute fear in public bodies of making decisions – particularly involving large infrastructure projects.

Mr Sullivan says this reflects his experience dealing with GDDKiA. Rather than seek an amicable solution, he said, officials preferred to let courts decide.
http://www.irishtimes.com/business/s...sisk-1.1572124
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Old October 26th, 2013, 12:27 AM   #10840
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/\ Sub-contractors should then sue those 'victims', and if the 'victims' can't pay then they should go into liquidation, simple as that.

And letting courts decide is a bad thing since when? Of course courts should decide, who else? I feel like I am dreaming here, western European companies and journalists accuse Poland of not being corrupt enough? WTF?
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