Polish practices under fire

23 June 2015

The Polish government is being asked to take steps to deal with the "shortcomings and counterproductive practices" in the Polish construction industry, after a study commissioned by the Ministry of Infrastructure & Development has confirmed construction sector worries about public procurement practice in the country.

Ulrich Paetzold, director general of FIEC, the European Construction Industry Federation, said, "Much to our regret, this new study on how to implement intervention priorities as foreseen by the National Development Strategy 2020, commissioned by the Polish Ministry of Infrastructure & Development, confirms yet again some of the fundamental problems repeatedly stressed over several years by contractors and consulting engineers in relation to the practice of procurement processes and contract management of infrastructure contracts in Poland."

He was speaking following a meeting with Polish consulting engineers and construction companies organised in Warsaw, Poland.

Frank Kehlenbach, director of the EIC, European International Contractors, added, "This study is another wake-up call for the Polish government finally to counter the deteriorating business conditions in the Polish infrastructure market, as illustrated already in February 2014 by a comprehensive Ernst &Young analysis of the road infrastructure market in Poland."

The issues highlighted by the latest study included untimely materialisation of strategic plans, low quality of design documentation, and award of contracts based on the lowest price.

It also pointed to the incompetence of clients in supervising and co-operating with the designers, as well as inappropriate risk distribution between the client and the contractor – for example in assigning risks to contractors that were beyond their inflhence.

Frequent changes in legislation, largely thanks to such systemic or operational deficiencies, were also highlighted.

FIEC and EIC, together with their Polish partners, PZPB and ZPBUI, said they were therefore once again appealing to the Polish government to take the necessary steps in order to remedy the shortcomings and counterproductive practices shown in several independent expert studies - in particular, to stop their current policy of shifting typical client's risks to the construction industry.

The Polish construction sector said it was looking forward to intensifying its collaboration with the current and future Minister for Transport & Development, in order to find both quick solutions for current problems and ways to improve the efficiency of infrastructure project management in the long term.

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