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Sunday 28.05.2017 | Name days: Vilhelms, Vilis
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Ventspils businessmen suspect political pressure in boat restoration procurement case

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Baltic news, News from Latvia, BNN.LV, BNN-NEWS.COM, BNN-NEWS.RUVentspils businessmen are shocked about Ventspils City Council’s and Seaside Open-Air Museum’s behaviour in the tendering procedure for the restoration of an old sail ship, choosing in favour of an offer that is EUR 51,700 more expensive offer, said Ventspils businessman Vigo Svikekalns in a publication.

Ventspils boat master and businessman Svikekalns is confused over Ventspils Seaside Open-Air Museum unreasonable choice, considering his and his colleagues’ experience in reconstruction of old boats in Latvia and abroad. Residents have already turned to the Procurement Monitoring Bureau to challenge the museum’s decision, because the main criterion used in the procedure was low price.

At the beginning of the year, the museum announced an open tendering procedure for the restoration of an old fishing boat and sail ship (procurement Nr.VM2017/1). Offers with the lowest price were chosen as the main criterion.

It was also mentioned in the report that V.S. Būve Salons, Vigo Svikekalns and Normunds Blumanis together submitted an offer with a price of EUR 119,556.58 (without VAT).

In spite of the lower price, the tendering procedure’s committee picked the offer of OM Design and Yachtland, which was EUR 171,303.51 (without VAT). It was also the most expensive offer.

Vigo Svikekalns comments the situation the following way: «This decision as explained with the argument that our offer was allegedly unjustifiably cheap.»

Continuing, he expresses his opinion on the matter: «This is incomprehensible and untrue. We have decades worth of experience building and restoring boats. Our services are chosen by foreign and local clients specifically because of their quality. This is why we can feel safe about our proposed price: it is competitive and appropriate for the quality on display. Our work and its quality is well-known in Ventspils. We have got the impression that the museum’s decision was done intentionally with pressure ‘from above’. We suspect it was a political decision, considering my involvement in politics,» says Svikekalns.

The boat master admits that he has reconstructed and built 27 boats 6 to 22 metres long in the past 30 years. He learned his skills in cities like Düsseldorf, Hamburg, Cannes, Nice and Helsinki.

He adds that this example shows how easy it is to interpret regulations to secure beneficial decisions – a cheap price is interpreted as unjustifiably low because the other is incapable of offering a competitive offer.

«Unfortunately, this situation does not benefit Ventspils residents, because, first of all, EUR 51,000 will be taken from their needs and, secondly, instead of entrusting work to locals, it is given to Riga’s specialists. This will result in taxes flowing from the city. On top of that, this whole situation only reduces residents’ trust in Ventspils City Council and its institutions,» says Svikekalns.

It is mentioned in the report that businessmen have noticed another problem – they believe the committee lacked the competence in the field the procurement was organized in.

Ref: 225.109.109.6091


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