A third tender to renovate and consolidate the building of the Constanta Casino, at the Romanian seaside, was contested by one of the bidders, Constanta mayor Decebal Fagadau said. The other two previous tenders organized for the same purpose were contested as well.
The casino, which has been laying derelict for years, is a historical monument.
The repeated appeals are the reason the renovation works cannot start, although the money and the project for it are available, the mayor said. According to Fagadau, a company filing an appeal on the tender has more rights than the local community or the historical monument.
“We are at the third tender appeal at the casino. A winner was selected in March, and the rest of the bidders were disqualified. Appeals were made. One of those who appealed contested the fact that they were disqualified. The appeal was rejected. He went further, to the National Council for Solving Contestations (CNSC), and the appeal was rejected. He went to court, the appeal was rejected. He contested the decision, and this was rejected,” the mayor explained, quoted by News.ro.
The same company went on to request the winning bid, since it had the legal right to do so, and contested the fact that the winner’s bid was deemed to conform to tender requests. After making several appeals that were rejected, the same company was found to be right by a court assembled during the summer holiday, the mayor explained.
“I just want to bring to your attention the fact that the documents provided by one bidder exceed in volume the half size of a mini-van. I don’t know if a holiday court had all the needed information or all the time needed to make a fully informed decision,” Fagadau said.
As a result, the National Investments Company decided to cancel the tender and restart evaluating the offers, but even this was contested, the mayor said.
Fagadau argued that a legislative change in the area of public acquisitions is needed, and mentioned that such a project, belonging to the National Agency for Public Acquisitions (ANAP), is currently under discussion.
“I’m afraid that this debate brings us to a sad reality. Someone making a contestation, a business, has more rights than our casino. We have been waiting for two years and half, we look at the funding, the VAT changed three times since then, I think. We have the money, we have the project, we organized the bid,” Fagadau said.
Tenders for the renovation of the casino were previously organized in 2015 and 2016. Some RON 37 million (approximately EUR 8 million) were allotted for this.
The Constanta Casino has been closed for the last eight years. The last time it underwent any sort of work was in 1987, when a painter painted its walls in art nouveau style.
The casino, which is emblematic for the city of Constanta as is it located on the city’s pier, was built in 1909, during the reign of King Carol I.