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Office of Competition and Consumer Protection

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Tender for police equipment - the UOKiK initiates proceedings

< previous | next > 19.04.2017

Tender for police equipment - the UOKiK initiates proceedings
  • The UOKiK initiated proceedings concerning a possible instance of tender collusion.
  • Three entrepreneurs wanted to influence the results of public procurement proceedings conducted by the Police Headquarters, concerning the purchase of cryptographic equipment.
  • After a search of the premises of the entrepreneurs involved has been conducted, the Competition Authority came into possession of information which may suggest the presence of prohibited conduct.

Three companies – Enigma Systemy Ochrony Informacji (Enigma Information Protection Systems) from Warsaw, Enamor from Gdynia and Koncept from Warsaw – are believed to have participated in illegal practices. The entrepreneurs concerned might have attempted to influence the results of the tender proceedings conducted by the Police Headquarters back in 2015. The subject of the public procurement proceedings has been the “extension of the digital network through the delivery and setup of cryptographic devices along with the appropriate management centre infrastructure”.

– The Competition Authority conducted searches at the offices of the entrepreneurs involved. We have obtained information – including e-mail correspondence – which may indicate that the companies engaged in tender collusion – says Mr Marek Niechciał, President of the UOKiK.

The UOKiK suspects that courtesy bids might have been placed; this is one of the mechanisms used when various entities engage in tender collusion. The entrepreneurs agree that one of the parties will place a bid which is deliberately designed as less advantageous for the contracting authority than the winning bid. This is intended to make the entire tender process appear competitive or create an impression that the price offered by the bona fide competitor of the colluding entities is abnormally low.

In the course of the investigated tender, Enigma acted as part of a consortium and also prepared subcontracting bids for Enamor and Koncept. The prices offered by the latter two entrepreneurs (above PLN 22 million) were identical due to the fact that they were determined by the subcontracting bids presented to them by Enigma. The prices in question exceeded the estimated value of the tender specified by the contracting authority (nearly PLN 17 million), the bid placed by Enigma (nearly PLN 15 million) as well as the bid of the fourth bidder, Krypton Polska (approximately PLN 6 million).

In the view of the Competition Authority, the bids placed by Enamor and Koncept may in fact have been courtesy bids. In that way, the colluding entities could have artificially proved that the price proposed by Krypton Polska is abnormally low, thus eliminating this bidder from the tender proceedings. Failing that, however, they still stood a chance of winning the tender. This is because, according to the Terms of Reference, the contracting authority provided for an electronic auction to be held in the event that at least three bids were placed which were not immediately rejected. In such case, the entrepreneurs in question may offer lower prices, which means that the entity which initially offered a less advantageous price still has a chance of winning. The entrepreneurs engaging in collusion could therefore be certain that even if they failed to eliminate their competitor, they would still stand a chance to win the tender.

 

According to the provisions of applicable laws, participating in an agreement that restricts competition carries a financial penalty in the amount of up to 10% of the entrepreneur’s turnover.

Additional information for the media:

Press Office of the UOKiK
Pl. Powstańców Warszawy 1, 00-950 Warszawa
Phone: +48 55 60 430

E-mail: [SCODE]Yml1cm9wcmFzb3dlQHVva2lrLmdvdi5wbA==[ECODE]

Twitter: @UOKiKgovPL

 

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