Serbia: Tender for electricity billing raises fierce investigation of EPS power utility

23. January 2015. / AppSerbia

Electric Power Industry of Serbia (EPS) announced a tender for a contract worth 15 million euros in which contains conditions suitable only to one foreign company while domestic companies are eliminated.

The tender, whose deadline is extended until 26th of this month was announced for the supply of unique information system for the billing of electric energy. Until now, solutions were provided by domestic companies, among which was Electro-Technical University. According to “Blic” daily, the only company that matches conditions is the foreign company SAP it was confirmed from Blic to Serbia Energy.

According to the statement received from Blic, expansion of SAP in EPS started with existing CEO of EPS. Last year EPS they made a contract for a “business software” worth 3.99 million euros through a direct deal. At the very start of the tender there was one condition in favor of the company which is that the bidder “already has at least one project of software implementation in minimum value of 3 million euros”.
Among conditions in the bidding documentation which are eliminating domestic companies is: that in the last three years they have had a revenue of at least 10 million euros per year. Domestic companies can not fulfil this condition, not even with a mutual offer. The bidding documentation also contains bullet points related to the business capacity of the company. Several conditions are defined which are practically unachievable for Serbian companies. Conditions, however, follow the same pattern: time of supply is not crucial, but the time in which a company did some implementation of any software and wage in that job. In carefully set terms there are those related to the technical specification which must be satisfied.

Thus, bidder has to offer software which is active with at least one user with minimum of million measuring points. With this condition, domestic companies should not even send their envelopes with offers. Such company, which has one client with more than million measuring points, never existed in Serbia. Capacity of staff of the bidder was also taken into account. Although the conditions of Serbian speaking coordinator of the project and internal control of quality give an impression that this goes in favour of domestic companies, that is not the case. Other conditions are such that the ones whose native language is Serbian are practically out. According to the daily Blic, only SAP has working staff which correspond to abovementioned conditions.

EPS: Conditions are not discriminating “Blic” asked those competent in EPS to explain eight discriminating conditions in the tender, however, the daily received the following response: “As the tender is still in progress, we cannot give detailed explanations of defined criteria and parameters” and that the company believes that the conditions are not discriminating. There was no precise answer to the question if the conditions in the bidding documenations were created in favor of one specific company. Instead, the daily was told that the procurement of a unique information system is a strategic and the most important project and that the procurement is being conducted in accordance with the law.

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