Hospital design procurement suspended due to possible conflict of interest

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A rendition of Tallinn Hospital. Source: Tallinn City Government

The Tallinn Social and Health Care Department suspended the design procurement announced last week for the Tallinn Hospital project to exclude any possible conflicts of interest in the project team. A new procurement will be announced as soon as possible, city government announced on Monday.

While doing background checks on the project team, it turned out that a member of the team responsible for the procurement had their employment contract and board member authority at their previous employer changed in the registry on March 23 2021 while their contract finished in November 2020.

"The City's Internal Auditor's Office identified a potential risk of the conflict of interest with a routine background check of project team staff. Although there is no reason to believe that any potential bidder would have gained a competitive advantage as a result, we decided to rule out the possibility of an apparent conflict of interest. The city orders an additional audit of the terms of the design procurement and announces a new procurement within ten days," said Tallinn city secretary Priit Lello.

"The delay in the international procurement procedure makes it a little more difficult to stay on schedule, but in this situation I consider it right to rule out the current doubts and announce a new procurement as soon as possible after an additional audit. Although there is no substantive conflict of interest and no company has gained a competitive advantage according to our current information, we consider it important to review the procurement conditions and exclude any possible future disputes on this matter," said Tallinn mayor Mihhail Kõlvart (Center).

The deadline of the main project of the hospital building is 2023, after which a construction procurement will be carried out. The estimated cost of the procurement is €11 million.

The preparations for the design procurement were organized with the help of the Estonian Association of Architects. The tenderer must submit the concept of the proposed hospital building and landscape architecture to the evaluation committee together with the price offer, and its quality will be assessed as a separate part of the tender.

The estimated cost of the hospital will total €520 million with €450 million allocated to design and construction with the remaining €70 million going toward equipment. The estimated area of the hospital will be around 127,000 m2.

With the construction of Tallinn Hospital, the city plans to create a comprehensive hospital establishment and to build a new modern medical campus at Narva maantee 129, 129b instead of the depreciated hospital buildings of the current Eastern Tallinn Central Hospital and Western Tallinn Central Hospital.

The new hospital near Tallinn Song Festival Grounds is planned to improve the availability and quality of medical care for the residents of Tallinn and Harju County as well as the whole of Estonia in the future. The hospital in Lasnamäe is planned to open fully in 2027.

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Editor: Kristjan Kallaste

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