Concerns persist over procurement in Poland

By Helen Wright16 December 2013

Despite recent changes in regulations and contract conditions, public procurement is still a worry for the construction sector in Poland, according to FIEC, the European Construction Industry Federation, and EIC, the European International Contractors trade association.

After a meeting with Polish consulting engineers and construction companies organised in Warsaw on 11 December, EIC director Frank Kehlenbach said, “Consulting engineers and construction companies feel that further substantial improvement of the project and contract management is necessary.”

FIEC and the EIC said contractors in the country faced a combination of poorly prepared tenders and unfairly modified International Federation of Consulting Engineers (FIDIC) contract conditions, which do not comply with generally accepted international standards.

They said this had resulted in low efficiency of the national construction investment programmes and low socio-economic value.

They said this in turn had led to massive litigation, bankruptcies and a loss of jobs in the construction sector. In addition, these developments are also said to have raised the risk of a negative impact on the image of Poland in the eyes of foreign investors.

FIEC and EIC have again urged the Polish government and contracting authorities to award public contracts on the criterion of the most economically advantageous tender, as foreseen in the new EU Procurement Directives, and to stop their current policy of shifting construction risk solely on to the industry.

They said the Polish construction sector was ready to start an in-depth discussion with the new EU Minister for Transport and Development, Elzbieta Bienkowska, in order to find quick solutions for the current problems as well as ways to improve the long-term efficiency of infrastructure project management.

A wave of bankruptcies have affected Poland’s construction sector, with around 300 companies going bust in 2012 and more still in 2013. On top of this, contractors have consistently complained of weak procurement controls.

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