Montenegro:A2A advising its own energy company without tenders, media fuss raised on legality

12. September 2013. / SEE Energy News

Montenegro Power Utility Company delivered yesterday to the “Vijesti” opinion facsimile of the Commission for the Control of Public Procurement from 6th September 2010, which was signed by the former president Marko Lazarevic. Responding to the EPCG request from July of that year Lazarevic gave an opinion on the direct EPCG business with company A2A and its daughter companies, allegedly barring the application of the provisions of the Law on Public Procurement.

“In the opinion, that we sent in the appendix, states that EPCG is not bound to apply the rules on public procurement in direct dealings with the company A2A and her daughter companies, which are individually listed in the application and for which the opinions were issued. The Commission states in its opinion, taking into account the provisions and objectives of the contract between the Government and A2A, that it is a practice which was adopted by the European directives in the European Parliament, and that in these situations is not alluded the application of the legislation in the area of ​​public procurement and that there is a legal basis in respect of direct business between EPCG and A2A “, states in the EPCG reaction on the article recently published in local magazines “There was not  agreement that A2A advised EPCG without tender.”

From EPCG company stressed that in this, as in all other cases Power Utility Company, as a responsible company, always addressed to the competent authority and only after obtaining their interpretations and opinions act in accordance with these instructions and opinions, and not pursuant to over-sided interpretation of the law.

A2A is the second largest shareholder of EPCG shares from October 2009, with 43.7 percent, but according to the privatization contract, the company management is in its hands.

The Power Utility Company spent 4.56 MEUR for consulting and legal services during the 2010, 5.45 MEUR in 2011, and during the 2012. even 4.29 MEUR, according to official data from the financial statements published on the website of the Commission for Securities. Most of the money, at least 7.5 MEUR was paid to the company A2A.

At the 16th General Assembly in June this year the small shareholders said they doubt in the legality of these purchases which were done without tender, suspecting that it was money pulling out from EPCG to the detriment of other owners.

Responding to the question of representatives of the EPCG minority shareholders, during the shareholders’ general meeting, CEO  executive director Enrico Malerba, management representative Vojka Calasan and Milos Komnenic, plenipotentiary A2A representative from the Vanja Mugosa law firm, according to what it is written in the minutes said that “for A2A consulting services, pursuant to the notice of the Commission for public Procurement and the current  Law on public procurements, should not open a tender”.

In the notes of the EPCG auditor report for 2012.  states that the EPCG obligations to the related A2A legal person amounts 5.05 MEUR for 2012. and 2.53MEUR  for 2011.

The approval was for everything, not for consulting services

On the occasion of the EPCG claim that “for A2A consulting services, according to the notice of the Commission for Public Procurements and the applicable provisions of the Law on Public Procurements, should not open a tender”, “Vijesti” asked the president of the Commission Susana Pribilovic “Did the Commission for the Control of Public Procurements at the end of 2009. or during the 2010. and 2011. give to the Power Utility Company of Montenegro (EPCG) any official notifications or agreements for procurement of consultancy and legal services of multimillion-dollar value and without tender, from the associated legal person of  company A2A? “.

Pribilovic replied: “Yes, by the Professional Service of the State Commission was checked the archive and it was found that in the period 2009, 2010. and 2011, the  former Commission for the Control of Public Procurement at the request of EPCG in 2010. gave two opinions signed by the President of the Commission at that time, but none of the given opinion do not refer specifically to the procurement of consultancy and legal services of multimillion-dollar value of the company A2A. ”

On the basis of her response “Vijesti” wrote an article two days ago “There was no agreement that A2A could advise EPCG without tender,” on which Pribilovic responded yesterday: “In the introduction of the disputed text was given the conclusion that the President of the State Commission Suzana Pribilovic confirmed for “Vijesti” that the Commission for the control of public procurements of Montenegro in the period since 2009. to 2011. did not give to the Montenegro Power Utility Company any opinion relating to the procurement of consultancy and legal services of multimillion-dollar value of the company A2A.

From the above  mentioned, it is obvious that in the disputed part of the text did be adequately transmitted the State Commission’s response to this question, so, as such, does not inform the public on the full and proper manner about the subject topic ” ,said Pribilovic,  repeating  response that they ” give two opinions, which were signed by the President of the Commission at that time, but none of the given opinion do not refer specifically to the procurement of consultancy and legal services of  multimillion-dollar value of the company A2A. ”

Only when the opinion signed by Lazarevic and answer of Suzana Pribilovic are compared , it can be understood that from the EPCG answered to the small shareholders in the wrong way  and that the opinion that they got is not applied to the consulting services, but on all business transactions between EPCG and A2A and its daughter companies .

Source; Serbia Energy see desk/Vijesti/EPCG

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