The Ministry of Finance cannot initiate legal proceedings regarding alleged changes to the contractual conditions of the reconstruction tender for Tallinn's Pronksi tänav and Jõe tänav simply as a result of claims made in the press. To do so, the ministry requires notice that a sufficiently serious infringement has occurred. To date, no such information has been provided by any of the parties involved.
In a report published by daily Eesti Päevaleht on Thursday, according to Sven Pertens, CEO of roadbuilding company TREV-2 Grupp AS, the original conditions for the reconstruction tender included the obligation to keep a single lane of traffic open in both directions. However, as the area has now been closed to traffic entirely, Pertens suspects the city of tampering with agreement.
Kristel Mesilas, head of the Department of Public Procurement and State Aid at the Ministry of Finance, said that, unless amendments are made, the original contract remains binding. "The amendment of a contract must comply with the requirements of the Public Procurement Act, said Mesilane. "The Public Procurement Act provides for seven different grounds for the amendment of a contract, and the contracting authority must carefully assess each time whether the amendment is acceptable," said Mesilane.
Despite the serious allegations made in the press, the ministry's public procurement oversight department is unable to conduct a full investigation into the matter based on this alone.
"If there is reasonable suspicion that there has been a violation of the law, it is possible to notify the ministry that an infringement has occurred. If, on the basis of that information, the investigator suspects an offence has indeed taken place, misdemeanor proceedings will be initiated," Mesilane explained.
The reconstruction of Jõe tänav and Pronksi tänav is expected to total €14.3 million. The roads will be completely closed to cars during all three construction phases.
Editor: Michael Cole