Damen challenges auction on multi-functional corvettes programme

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Dutch Damen has filed a complaint to the National Council for Solving Complaints, challenging the procurement on assigning the multi-functional corvettes programme to French Naval Group, and denouncing “multiple irregularities”.

The company argued that all involved parties in the auction, including the contractor authority, have raised multiple legal aspects pertaining to the breach of confidentiality. Damen mentioned that some of these aspects had been claimed even by the Ministry of National Defence in the past.

The Dutch company further said that, “instead of being suspended until all investigations on the endowment programme were concluded, the auction is raising even more suspicions and controversies on Romania’s reputation and on the public procurement programmes both in the country and abroad”.

Damen argued that the Romanian authorities had not managed to clear up these concerns for good, which led to ethics-related questions on the procurement.

The Dutch also pointed out that the procedure had been under the sign of “unacceptable classified information leak” , including regarding elements of the financial offers confirmed by the authorities last week.

Damen invoked multiple journalistic investigations showing that one of the bidders “had not met the needed criteria to join the procedure“. Besides, the company added, the corvettes “risk not being entirely built in Romania, but only assembled in a shipyard in Romania, which goes against the procurement’s requirements”.

Moreover, Damen opined that “a partnership between two bidders should have been the ground to disqualify them”, as “dropping a legal procedure initiated by one of the participants has been in the benefit of the other bidder, several days later”.

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