Prime Minister Miro Cerar unveiled the scale model of the Second Rail project last week in Koper. The scale model was part of a multimedia presentation showing the construction and the placement of the new rail link.
The Infrastructure Agency chose the maker of the scale model in a public tender. The winning bid, worth just over 133,000 euros, came from the company Art Rebel 9. However, it was later revealed that another bid, worth less than 61,000 euros, had been submitted by a company known as RPS.
In the public tender, the price was an important criterion (worth 100 out of 200 possible points). However, as can be seen from the result of the tender, the more expensive model got the maximum number of points, while the less expensive bid received fewer points. Supposedly, the more expensive model was more complete, and it included a multimedia presentation. That's why it received more points in the second part than its cheaper competitor (Art Rebel received 68 points, whereas RPS received 43). Still, based on the tender criteria, the cheaper model should have been chosen because of the 70,000-euro difference. But RPS never appealed the decision.
A computing error to blame
But why was the more expensive model chosen? According to the Infrastructure Agency, a review of the documentation revealed an error.
"Our commission used an Excel calculation as the basis on which to evaluate the tenders. However, the formulas for this tender were not updated in the file. That's how the error occurred," explained the head of the Infrastructure Agency Damir Topolko, whose signature was on the public order.
Topolko added that the Infrastructure Agency processes many public tenders, some 260 a year. The tenders are the responsibility of committees that prepare the reports; those reports are then reviewed before the head of the agency confirms them.