Perhaps no new Czech law has been anticipated with such great hopes — both justified and idealistic — as the amended law on public tenders. The legislation aimed at cutting out corrupt practices from public contracts came into force on April 1. While the law is certainly a step in the right direction, as indicated by the rush to churn out tenders under the provisions of the old law before it expired, it is still far from ideal.
Despite the fact that stricter regulations governing Czech public tenders — aimed at stamping out corrupt practices — came into force on April 1, the old rules will continue to influence “the game” for some time yet. What’s more, it appears the new regulations are not completely resistant to manipulation. Czech Position tracks what went on with public tenders just before the April 1 deadline.
Real estate firm Ekospol has issued a press release according to which local developers are planning to build a total 20,756 apartments in Prague over the next few years. And that calculation only includes units with 50 or more apartments. If smaller projects are counted, the total number could be as much as double.
The ‘warping of Motorway D47’ and allegations of shoddy construction work by Eurovia remain a sensitive issue. After flinging mud via the media, the Czech Road and Motorway Directorate and Transport Ministry sat down with the company and now agree a specialist commission should be created, and the ŘSD will look for foreign specialists, probably in Germany. Civil engineering specialist Jiří Konečný looks at the state of the nation’s transport infrastructure.
Czech anti-corruption police are investigating 36 cases of suspected rigging of public tenders in which three lottery machines were used to reduce the number of bidders. The machines had been introduced with an amendment to the Law on Public Tenders that came into effect in July 2010. Instead of leveling the playing field, there is evidence of quite the opposite, as the anti-monopoly office (ÚOHS) sits idly by.
Police detectives from a specialized anti-corruption unit have filed a criminal complaint against former Central Group CEO Aleš Novotný and two former managers of the leading Czech residential real estate developer for tax evasion in the amount of Kč 180 million. Novotný was taken into custody in November 2010 following a raid on Central Group’s headquarters in Prague. If convicted, he faces up to 10 years in prison.
The relocation of PricewaterhouseCoopers Czech Republic to almost 12,000 sqm in Skanska’s City Green Court office building indicates the growing significance of sustainability on the Czech real estate market. Czech Position sat down with some of the leading green building specialists in Prague to discuss a range of key issues facing the real estate industry in its efforts to become greener.
While still Transport Minister Vít Bárta (Public Affairs – VV) launched a public attack on the construction giant Skanska, claiming it was responsible for defects on stretches of motorway, primarily the D11 near Hradec Kralové, and demanded it pay for the repairs. Bárta embellished his campaign with notices reading “Skanska built here” placed on the sections of road. Skanska responded by suing the Road and Motorway Directorate (ŘSD) for tarnishing its reputation.
The President of the Czech Association of Building Entrepreneurs, Václav Matyáš, has said the Polish authorities have contacted Czech construction firms to prepare offers to complete a section of motorway where Chinese firm Covec failed. So far communication has been informal as the contract with Covec is still valid, Matyáš says. If the Czech firms are to capture the contract, they will have to move fast though.
Skanska has been awarded a construction contract in connection to the extension of the Prague subway amounting to Kč 3.7 billion (SEK 1.3 billion). The order will be included in the order bookings for the second quarter 2011. The customer is the Department of Public Transportation in the City of Prague, the Swedish company said in a press release.