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Tuesday 20.03.2018 | Name days: Made, Irbe

Pasažieru vilciens train procurement not based on national principles

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Pasažieru vilciens Board Chairman Andulis Zidkovs

The joint stock company Pasažieru vilciens will not take the decision in the major train tender on the basis of national interests in favour of Riga Railcar Factory (RRF), but on the procurement advantage basis.

The Chairman of the joint stock company Pasažieru vilciens Board Andulis Zidkovs (Andulis Židkovs). «I can affirm – we are not amenable, and the decision will not depend on such action. Pasažieru vilciens has made a maximally right decision in line with the profitableness of the purchase, in order to keep the EU funding (100 million lats of the total sum of 280 million lats estimated costs). If the purchase is made wrongly, the country will have to repay EU the money,» emphasizes A. Zidkovs.

He also indicates that Pasažieru vilciens has to determine, who will be responsible for the product and its maintenance quality. «Can RRF, who does not have the required experience in line with the regulations, be in charge of it? At the present moment, everyone regards us as the bad ones, who refuse to support the national manufacturer. Unfortunately, EU directives do not allow a direct national support in tenders, as it is against the EU principles. Emotions are emotions. Given that I’m also an engineer by training, I hope that the new Latvian engineers can get a job. However, RRF together with Bombardier has to obtain these rights in a fair competition. We cannot play against the rules,» expressed the Head of Pasažieru vilciens.

The choice of the next round participants have not been made yet, because RRF application has been submitted in an unconventional form. In particular, RRF participate in the tender as a general contractor, but the well-known company Bombardier Transportation, which has the experience, is only a subcontractor. Such a precedent is not foreseen in the EU directives and in the Latvian legislation. The judgement of such cases is also not provided by the Court of Justice of the European Communities; therefore, Pasažieru vilciens has to take a somewhat unique decision, says A. Zidkovs. RRF has been asked for an explanation on the proposed cooperation with Bombardier. In the meantime, uproar is created about the incompetence of the Procurement Commission and possible corruptibility.

A. Zidkovs considers that RRF glorifies itself by using false information, and falsely accuses Pasažieru vilciens of «corruptive actions». «Currently, RRF does not only elevate itself but also, by influencing the society, exerts pressure on the decision makers. The public relations campaign against us currently exceeds the allowable limits,» claims A. Zidkovs.

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