Govern­ment eye­ing di­rect con­ces­sions

Kathimerini English - - Front Page - DIMITRA MANIFAVA

The Econ­omy Min­istry is in­tro­duc­ing a mea­sure for break­ing down the ten­ders for pub­lic con­tracts into smaller parcels, pav­ing the way for di­rect con­ces­sions and hasty pro­ce­dures even in cases where open ten­ders ought to take place.

The govern­ment is bring­ing to Par­lia­ment a 500-page bill in the mid­dle of the sum­mer lull that was ex­pected last year and which goes one step for­ward and two steps back: Although its adapts Greek leg­is­la­tion to the most re­cent Euro­pean di­rec­tives on pub­lic con­tracts, it can­cels to a great ex­tent the ef­fort of bring­ing the big­gest pos­si­ble trans­parency and time- and money-saving to state pro­cure­ments.

For in­stance, Ar­ti­cle 118 pro­vides that although re­course to a di­rect con­ces­sion is al­lowed only when the es­ti­mated value of the con­tract is up to 20,000 euros, this can also be al­lowed in the cases of part or parts of con­tracts whose to­tal value is greater.

The di­rect con­ces­sion process, de­prived of the pub­lic­ity that a pub­lic con­tract ten­der nor­mally en­tails, can even take place with­out the for­ma­tion of a su­per­vi­sory com­mit­tee for that process.

The min­istry ar­gues that these steps have been in­tro­duced to speed up pro­ce­dures – even though they do noth­ing to pro­mote more trans­parency.

The house con­struc­tion in­dus­try is shrink­ing for the eighth con­sec­u­tive year, Hel­lenic Sta­tis­ti­cal Author­ity (ELSTAT) fig­ures showed yes­ter­day. In the first quar­ter, only 1,955 new houses were built across the coun­try, against 2,181 a year ear­lier, and al­most 26,000 in Q1 of 2007.

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