21st June 2017

NFPK: The Role of Public Procurement Administrators – Compet Consult

One of the activities pursued by the Anticorruption Endowment in the field of public procurement is to monitor the performance of administrators. An administrator is the entrepreneur to whom the principal has delegated his legal obligations and responsibilities in awarding a public procurement contract. The administrator is an external consultant that formulates procurement specifications and supervises all steps and moves resulting in his principal’s entering into the contract. But problems arise if the administrator plays foul or his mission is to ensure that the contract goes to a prechosen contractor.

Fair acquisition of these consulting services poses yet another formidable problem for the principal, since a dishonest administrator may sell his services for a base price, having been financially compensated by a commission charged to the prechosen contract winner, with whom he entered into an pre-negotiated contract. The firm, Compet Consult, long prospered in the Liberec region. In 2008-2015, when the region was effectively run by Syner building contractors, ČSSD and ODS, this firm copiously ran public procurement tenders on behalf of prominent local contractors. Under the tenure of Mayors Jiří Kittner (ODS) and Martina Rosenbergová (ČSSD), Syner were virtually a stalwart of townhall establishment and carried chores normally entrusted to city officials. This state of affairs was criticized by members of the Změna pro Liberec political association, who “cut off” that firm from public procurement. But Compet Consult retained its position in the areas still controlled by people from the ODS and ČSSD.  

While it was still legally possible, administrators manipulated competition results by means of posing quite sophisticated requirements concerning the economic indicators of the bidder, such as the firm’s liquidity or mathematical indexes of no telltale quality whatsoever. Competition would be illegally eliminated by a trick, whereby the administrator calculated the required data into the tender terms on the instruction of the firm with which he had a pact.

Read full press release by the NFPK.

Members of the American Chamber of Commerce in the Czech Republic