I am truly in awe of the childlike conviction that legal regulations can work miracles. Polish politicians – regardless of the party – are absurdly confident that passing further acts will change reality as if by a touch of a magic wand. If that were true, our country would have long been a paradise on earth. Year after year, the volume of acts increases. But that is where the fairytale ends, as quantity does not translate to quality – writes the President of Employers of Poland Andrzej Malinowski in “Rzeczpospolita”.
According to him, the interpretation of regulations is of key importance. The amendment to the public procurement act passed in October was supposed to restrict the mindless application of the lowest price criterion in tenders.
However, even before the supposedly revolutionary amendment the criterion was not an obligation. – It is the policy of public institutions that made it a rule. A rule which does not always prove appropriate even when it comes to buying paper clips, not to mention investments worth billions. What are the causes of that? Routine and the fear of being accused of wrongdoing – assesses the President of Employers of Poland.
Malinowski believes that the effects of this paper revolution are already visible. In a tender for one of the stretches of the Southern bypass of Warsaw, a company willing to carry out the works for 55 percent of the estimated cost of the procurement was chosen. It is easy to see that in the construction sector, there is little space for manipulating prices and the contractors’ profit margins are small.
Why would the contractor suggest a sum for which he would not be able to finish the job? The public procurement act allows additional procurements to be made outside of a tender procedure if the relevant works are necessary for the contract to be fulfilled and organizing attender would result in “excessive costs”. The value of such procurements could be up to 50 percent of the contract’s total value.
– Optimists say that everything can be fixed. However, the functioning of Polish administration proves rather that everything can be broken – sums up the President of Employers of Poland.