SOFIA, (BM) – The military mega-project for the construction of two modular patrol ships for the needs of the navy is facing another obstacle after the lost Italian shipyard “FINCANTIERI S.p.A.” blocked the procedure with a complaint to the Supreme Administrative Court (SAC), learned BulgarianMilitary.com citing news agency Capital.
The modernization program of the navy is worth almost BGN 1 billion and is currently on the final straight.
As early as the end of February, Defense Minister Krassimir Karakachanov announced that the interdepartmental group on the project had praised the offer of the German military company Lursen and that the report would soon be submitted to the Council of Ministers for approval. The next phase was to submit the selected German offer to the National Assembly, where the deputies would authorize the minister to sign a contract.
According to unofficial information, the subcontractor of the German military company will be the Bulgarian shipyard Dolphin. The company was determined as the winner in the previous attempt to implement the same project, but withdrew at the last moment, after it turned out to be surprising that 20% VAT should be deducted from the budget. It is also claimed that Dolphin will now have to take on the “rough work” on the project and will construct the hulls of the two corvettes, while Lursen will take on the systematic integration of equipment and armaments.
Capital news agency sources claim that the complaint is probably an attempt to sabotage the modernization program by postponing it by procedural means. If the project is not finalized in parliament by the end of the summer or the beginning of autumn, the agreement with the Germans will hardly be able to be signed in time.
Thus, the first payment may occur after February 15, 2021, which will be a serious problem for Lursen to receive the prices for equipment and armaments stated in the request for a binding offer (RFP) from its subcontractors. And because it worked at very low rates of profit, the project could fail and the Germans withdrew.
From the complaint of “Fincantieri” to the SAC, submitted in March, it is clear that the Council of Ministers has already approved the report on the selection of the winner of the project for modular patrol ships and has authorized the Minister of War Karakachanov to continue the procedure. to move the documents to the parliament.
However, the SAC found serious incompleteness in the submitted documentation under the project, therefore it ordered the Council of Ministers to submit the entire administrative file on the issuance of the disputed decision within 7 days.
First of all, we are talking about the decisions of the competent authorities, which set the beginning of the procedure – Decision of the National Assembly of the Republic of Bulgaria of 2.06.2016 for acceptance of the project for investment cost, as well as the decision of the Council of Ministers № 156 of 16.03.2017, indicated in the appeal, which determines the existence of a basic interest related to the security of the country, which should be protected in the implementation of the project – maritime sovereignty.
“It is not clear what is the subject and outcome of the complaints filed by Fincantieri AD to the Prime Minister of the Republic of Bulgaria and to the Minister of Defense,” the magistrates also noted in their latest ruling in the case.
However, until all the documentation on the complaint is completed, the SAC has decided to leave the case without action. Which in this case works in the interest of the Italians, whose biggest asset in the dispute in question is the maximum postponement of the final decision.
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