Five Romanian and foreign construction companies will have to pay some EUR 660,000 in fines after the Competition Council found they had rigged a bid organized by the Romanian Highways company.
The five companies – Romanian Plastidrum, Signature Semnalizare and Swarco Romania, as well as Austrian Swarco Heoscont Strassenmarkierung Gmb and Greek Eleftherios Kokkinakis LTD took part in a bid as members of two associations. The anti-competition agreement between the two associations was for one of them to lose the bid on purpose, and then sub-lease work to the other association.
“The two associations agreed over their offers submitted for the batch 2 in Craiova and batch 6 in Iasi. The Plastidrum association won the contracts and then sub-leased them to the Swarco association. Such agreements affect competition within the public acquisition procedure and lead to an increase in price, to the expense of the contracting authority – the state,” said Bogdan Chiritoiu, the president of the Competition Council.
The biggest fine went to local firm Plastidrum, some EUR 330,000, and the second highest, to Austrian Swarco, some EUR 260,000.
Romanian media has been reporting that Plastidrum has been winning bids from the Romanian Highways Company for the last 16 years. The company was set up in 1996 as a joint – venture of a Swiss company, Plastiroute, and the National Roads Administration in Romania, owned by the Transport Ministry. In the beginning, the company put road markings on some roads, according to its website. The company now offers vertical signaling, mounting of railings and other traffic safety elements, and well as road and bridge joints repairs. It has eight branches around Romania.
Swarco Austria is part of the larger Swarco group and it is a road marking contractor.
(photo source: sxc.hu)