ANIMAL WASTE REMOVAL IN VRBAS (2017/2019)
As in the case of public procurement of animal waste disposal in Bač, Beočin, Bačka Palanka, Titel and Novi Sad conducted during 2020, in the procurement procedures of these services conducted in Vrbas in the previous three years (2017-2019), the only bidder who participated and to whom the contract was awarded was “Eko-vet plus” doo from Vrbas. In the proceedings in question, this bidder used the absence of competition by offering a price that was very close to the estimated value of the procurement. It is important to note that there were no clear parameters that could help determine the real price of the service, or control real quantities of removed animal waste during the execution of the contract.
Therefore it is completely clear that in these public procurement cases the bidder “Eco-vet plus” was favored, and that the basic principles of public procurement were violated, namely the economic efficiency principle and the principle of ensuring competition.
This conclusion, made on the basis of the analysis of the public procurement procedures in question, is confirmed by numerous texts published on certain internet portals, which indicate that “Eco-vet Plus” enjoyed the support of state and local structures since its establishment, and that this support continued throughout public procurement procedures in which this company won different jobs in a large number of municipalities in Vojvodina, as the only bidder who submitted a bid.
These texts state the following facts:
– in 2017, immediately after its formation, “Eco-vet plus” received under unexplained circumstances two mobile plants for the incineration of animal waste, which were originally allocated to the Veterinary Institute in Novi Sad as a EU donation;
– the Commission of the Veterinary Administration at the Ministry of Agriculture issued a decision on the fulfillment of veterinary-sanitary conditions of the incineration facility of the bidder “Eko-vet plus” (more precisely the canopies for the mentioned mobile plants) before that facility was built;
– the Commission of the Veterinary Administration was formed on October 31, 2017, and it went to control the facility on that same day, only 24 hours after “Eko-vet plus” addressed it, whereby the facility that the commission visited and determined to meet the conditions at that time did not even exist (“Eco-vet plus” received the permit for the works issued by the Department of Urbanism of the municipality of Vrbas only a day later, i.e. on November 1, 2017, and “Eco-vet plus” itself announced the start of works for November10, with November 30 as the deadline for completion of works);
– in Vrbas there is a Public Agency for Zoohygiene and Agriculture – JAZIP, which was established in 2010, among other things for the “harmless removal of animal carcasses from breeding areas and facilities” and for the “transport of animal carcasses to collection facilities”, which is stated in the Founding Act of that agency;
– JAZIP received a refrigerator for the collection of animal waste as a donation from the company “Carnex”, and in 2015 the municipality of Vrbas paid 8 million dinars for a truck for the removal and transport of animal waste, but that truck has never been used;
– during the previous three years, the municipality of Vrbas paid millions to the bidder “Eco-vet plus”, although before that JAZIP paid about 200,000 dinars a year to the Veterinary Institution “Proteinka” Sombor, which is in state ownership;
– JAZIP terminated the Agreement on business and technical cooperation with “Proteinka” Sombor under the pretext that “there is no financial possibility” to keep it in force, and a month later a decision was made to sign a much more expensive agreement with “Eco-vet Plus” doo.
Almost all the stated facts are summarized in one of the announcements of the Vrbas Environmental Movement.
Based on all the above, it can be concluded that specific public procurement procedures in Vrbas are obvious examples of restrictions of competition between bidders: in all cases the bid was submitted by only one and always the same bidder, who was ultimately selected and whose price in each of these procurements was close to the estimated value. The support that this bidder received from the local government for whose needs the procurement was conducted and on whose territory its headquarters (and incinerator) is located was obvious, both before these procedures and during their implementation, and all this indicates the intention to favor the mentioned bidder which should, of course, be checked by the competent authorities.