PANCEVO WATERFRONT RECONSTRUCTION (2021)
The case analyzed in this study is a classic example of favoring a particular bidder through technical specifications copied from the catalog and technical documentation of certain manufacturers.
Namely, in the public procurement procedure for the design and execution of works, the contracting authority limited the competition by requiring the installation of concrete elements and curbs of precisely defined dimensions that are fixed and without the possibility of any variation. The competition was additionally limited by the requirement to install park lamps with precisely defined characteristics. It should not be mentioned that concrete elements and lamps with the required characteristics are produced only by certain bidders, who did not want to give their certificates and technical documentation to anyone except the bidder favored in this particular case.
The contracting authority justified such requests by stating that concrete elements of the required dimensions and streetlamps of the same characteristics have already been installed in the center of Pancevo, so, as it claimed, by requiring the same dimensions and characteristics, the city of Pancevo will have a unique visual appearance. The only problem is that the riverbank where these concrete works are being performed and the center of Pancevo, where these concrete elements and lamps have already been installed, are not spatially connected, nor do they represent any visual whole.
The requirements regarding technical characteristics were disputed by the request for protection of rights, but this request was rejected by the Republic Commission which, without even checking the applicant’s claims, accepted the justifications of the contracting authority.
In the end, the contracting authority awarded the contract to the bidder for whom other interested bidders had indicated that it was favored even before the submission of bids.
By such actions, the contracting authority violated a number of provisions of the Law on Public Procurement, above all the Principle of Ensuring Competition and Prohibition of Discrimination from Article 7 of that Law, as well as the provision of Article 100, paragraph 1 of the same law. These articles stipulate that technical specifications must not refer to a particular brand or source or to a particular process which characterizes the goods or services provided by a particular economic operator or to trademarks, patents, types or certain origins or production which would result in favoring or eliminating certain economic operators or certain products, unless it is justified due to the subject of the contract.