The renovation would be financed by the Budapest municipality, a 6 billion forint (EUR 17m) contribution by the central government and loans. (Image: Wikipedia)

Authority cites content errors in tender documents

Chain Bridge renovation delayed again

Hungary's Public Procurement Authority has rejected the tender documents of the renovation of Budapest's landmark Chain Bridge, citing errors in their content, daily Magyar Nemzet said.

The paper cited the municipal group of ruling Fidesz saying in a Facebook entry on Monday that after a more than six-month delay the opposition leadership of Budapest had still failed to conduct a tender with proper content on the bridge’s much needed upgrade.

It cited Fidesz as saying that because of the errors “the renovation of a national symbol will be delayed for weeks due to incompetence”. The board of the Budapest Transport Centre (BKK) approved tender documents for the project on July 24, the paper noted. The project would be financed by the Budapest municipality, a 6 billion forint (EUR 17m) contribution by the central government and loans, the paper said.

Commenting on the authority’s decision, Budapest Mayor Gergely Karácsony said the municipal council disagreed with the move to reduce the number of years for which potential bidders could provide references to their previous work from ten to eight, saying this could narrow the field of bidders for the project. The municipal council considers the original tender to be sound, Karacsony said in a Facebook entry, adding that the project’s urgency meant that the city council had “no choice” but to incorporate the authority’s instructions into the tender.

The directorate of Budapest public transport authority BKK will rework the tender immediately, he said, adding that this would not be the reason for any further delays to the bridge’s upgrade. “Given the current political situation, the real surprise would have been if the government authority had approved the tender,” the mayor wrote. Karácsony noted that after thorough preparations BKK approved the public procurement tender for the upgrade of Chain Bridge about ten days ago. He said the tender served to guarantee the conditions of a broad and transparent competition and to ensure a high number of competent bidders. But the Public Procurement Authority reduced the original ten-year reference period in the tender to eight, Karácsony noted. He said this was crucial because there had not been any bridge renovations carried out in Budapest over the past eight years, meaning that none of the bidders will be able to provide references to previous projects they had worked on.

Karácsony also said that the government had yet to issue a resolution on the amount of funding it will allocate to the project despite having promised to do so back in February. The mayor speculated that this was because the government had been awaiting the Public Procurement Authority’s most recent decision.

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