Allegations Of Botched Bidding Surface For The Mapping Of The Danube Delta
A company in Miercurea Ciuc city, central Romania, is about to cash in three million Euro from the state budget for a land study mapping out the Danube Delta.
A company in Miercurea Ciuc city, central Romania, is about to cash in three million Euro from the state budget for a land study mapping out the Danube Delta. The company belongs to a local leader of the Democratic Union of Hungarians in Romania, or UDMR, and the bidding which awarded it the contract is vehemently contested by competitors.
During the National Liberal Party member Paul Cononov governorship of the Danube Delta Reservation, many scandals made it to the national and local media, most of them alleging the delta was turned over to poachers. Others exposed the fact that Cononov's fellow party members in the Tulcea and Constanta counties targeted the delta with development projects ranging from building highways to windmills parks, from residential areas to full-fledged resorts.
In 2002, hundreds of hectares of land in and outside the perimeter of the delta localities in the the Constanta County were recorded by the National Institute for Research and Development of the Danube Delta, in Tulcea city.
The similar operation for land mapping in the Tulcea County was not accomplished for lack of funding. Only late last year the investment was approved by the minister of the environment Attila Korodi, and in January this year the Administration of the Danube Delta Biosphere Reservation, headed by Cononov, started the bidding process.
The winner was Topo Service Miercurea-Ciuc company, which belongs to UDMR party member Iozsef Botond Rakossy, for a three million Euro fee.
Other three companies in Miercurea Ciuc took part in the bidding (Topo Service, DXF SRL and Carto Service), along one in Pitesti city (Topo Cad), and the National Institute for Research and Development of the Danube Delta.
However, documents made public by the bidding committee showed only the Institute in Tulcea and the company in Pitesti complied with the eligibility criteria regarding former experience in conducting similar studies. None of the companies in Miercurea Ciuc filed such documents with their bidding offers, and yet one of them – Topo Service – won the bidding.
Another feeble point of this bidding result is that Rakossy, the owner of Topo Service, was at the time a public servant with the National Agency for Land Development and Real-Estate Advertisement, while one of his subordinates seated on the bidding committee.
None of the people cited above wanted to comment on the findings: Korody was on a conference in Paris, while Rakossy did not answer his phone. The only exception was Cononov, who stated for the local media that the bidding abode by the law and that it would get official approval in a short while.