By Constantin Radut
The battle to get orders of nearly 1.5 billion euros for the endowment of the Romanian Naval Forces has reached an unexpected stage.
At the tender organized for the construction of multifunctional corvettes, the offers of Naval Group (France), Damen (Netherlands) and Fincantieri (Italy) were detained. According to information in the press, but not officially confirmed, the Naval Group would have submitted a bid of 1.2 billion euros, the other deals being 1.25 billion euros (Damen) and 1.34 billion euros (Fincantieri).
The National Council for Settlement of Complaints (C.N.S.C.) has accepted the request of the Italian Fincantieri Group to suspend the procedure for awarding the multi-functional corvette acquisition contract. C.N.S.C. considers the Italian company’s request justified. Fincantieri called for this suspension until the unlawfulness of the procedure, as indicated in the company’s appeal, was resolved.
“It is evident, in the Council’s view, that the contested procedure could go beyond the legislative framework, could be damaging and would also violate the principle of legal treatment and non-discrimination under Art. 2 paragraph 2 letters a) and b) of Government Emergency Ordinance 114/2011 (n.r. – on the award of certain public procurement contracts in the fields of defense and security) “, established CNSC.
The institution argues that this decision protects both the interests of the contracting authority and the interests of the contestant.
The National Council for Solving Complaints (C.N.S.C.) is an independent body with administrative-judicial activity. C.N.S.C. is competent to resolve disputes concerning the procedures for awarding contracts by specialized specialist.
In this context, we mention that Constanta Shipyard (SNC) and the Naval Group, controlled by the French state, addressed C.N.S.C., trying to oblige the Ministry of Defense to communicate the outcome of the tender for the purchase of the four multifunctional corvettes for the Romanian Military Navy. The request was rejected.
In the spring of this year, Defense Minister Gabriel Leş indirectly presented in the press as the winner the French Naval Group (DCNS), saying that “the order is known,” as it has already appeared in the press.
Previously, the Department of Armaments of the Ministry of Defense notified the Military Prosecutor’s Office to the Military Court of Appeal for “reasonable suspicions” on the lawfulness of the proceedings. At this point, the Corvette dossier reached the National Anticorruption Direction.
By Constantin Radut