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Construction Sector worried about public Procurement Practice in Poland

BRUSSELS/BELGIUM, January 2, 2013 - "Polish engineers and contractors continue to be concerned about the procurement rules and practices in the country despite recent changes in the procurement regulations and contract conditions," says Ulrich Paetzold, Director General of FIEC, the European Construction Industry Federation coming out of a meeting with leading Polish consulting engineers and construction companies organised in Warsaw in December 2013.

"Whilst the recent PwC report on the state of the road construction industry depicts a rather bright picture of the way infrastructure development is handled by the Polish government and in particular by GDDKiA, consulting engineers and construction companies feel that further substantial improvement of the project and contract management is necessary," adds Frank Kehlenbach, Director of European International Contractors.

The combination of poorly prepared tenders and unfairly modified FIDIC contract conditions, which do not comply with generally accepted international standards, has resulted in low efficiency of the national construction investment programmes and low socio-economic value. This in turn has led to massive litigation, bankruptcies and a loss of jobs in the construction sector.

These developments also raise the risk of a negative impact on the image of Poland in the eyes of foreign investors, thus making the country less attractive for foreign direct investment. FIEC and EIC therefore once again urge the Polish government and contracting authorities to award public contracts on the criterion of the most economically advantageous tender, as foreseen in the new EU Procurement Directives, and to stop their current policy of shifting construction risk solely on to the industry.

The Polish construction sector is ready to start an in-depth discussion with the new Minister for Transport and Development, Ms. Elzbieta Bienkowska, in order to find quick solutions for the current problems as well as ways to improve the efficiency of infrastructure project management in the longterm.