MoD Prefers no Aircraft Overhaul Tenderer

In response to the recently published articles on public procurement and overhaul of fighter aircraft of the Croatian Air Force, the Ministry of Defence is releasing the following statement:

As announced previously, the invitations to the tender for overhaul and procurement of the MiG 21 fighter aircraft with a 30-day due date have been forwarded to two companies in Romania and Ukraine respectively, following a series of discussions and consultations at the expert level with the potential contractors.

The only interest the Ministry of Defence does favour is that of the Republic of Croatia.

We are confuting the allegations that during the procurement and overhaul of the MiG21 Aircraft some tenderers have enjoyed preferential treatment. The procedure is being conducted in a transparent manner, in full compliance with the Public Procurement Act and the Defence and Security Public Procurement Regulation and will be concluded transparently, with the objective of maintaining the controllability and protection of the national air space. The exclusive criteria for awarding the contract are the quality in terms of the tenderer ability, the offer adequacy and the price offered.

We are also confuting any association of the Ministry of Defence with criminal groups claimed by some media over the past month, without any foundations and evidence in support of the existence of corruption in the procedure of the aircraft overhaul.  
In the interest of public information it should be made known that, most recently, the article in the “Večernji list” of 2 April 2013 contains utter disinformation that the Ministry of Defence favours any interested tenderer and that direct contracting any one of them was considered.  

The allegations of the kind have appeared in the media space in Croatia since the end of 2012, coinciding with the decision to overhaul the existing fighter aircraft fleet of the Croatian Air Force.

Contrary to what has been written in some articles, no lobby can have influence on the choice of contractors, as the Board assigned with bid evaluation is formally and actually independent from the Expert Group in charge of technical specifications for the procurement. We are kindly reminding the public that the Defence Minister’s Instruction for Conducting Public Procurement Procedures in the Ministry of Defence and the Armed Forces precludes the assignment of the same officials with drafting of the technical specifications and with acting as authorised representatives of the contracting authority.

It is obvious that some media covering overhaul and procurement of fighter aircraft act to create continuous pressure on the Ministry of Defence by groups interested in winning the contract.