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Office of Competition and Consumer Protection

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Collusion in tenders for the maintenance of green areas - the decision of the President of the Office of Competition and Consumer Protection

< previous | next > 02.09.2022

Collusion in tenders for the maintenance of green areas - the decision of the President of the Office of Competition and Consumer Protection
  • The President of the Office of Competition and Consumer Protection, Tomasz Chróstny, issued a decision on tender collusion, and by this decision, he imposed a fine totalling over PLN 100,000.
  • The companies called Zwyż – DĽwig and FHU Berger agreed between each other upon the terms of the bids and took actions leading to the selection of the bid with a higher price, which influenced the result of public procurement for the maintenance of green areas in the Lubuskie and Dolno¶l±skie voivodeships.

The participants of the collusion had taken part in three tenders carried out in 2016-2019 related to tree felling, milling, grubbing up and caring for trees. The anti-trust proceedings proved a repetitive pattern of actions taken by Firma Usługowo-Transportowo-Sprzętowa “Zwyż – DĽwig” registered in Żagań (Lubuskie Voivodeship) and Firma Handlowo Usługowa Maciej Berger registered in Iłowa (Lubuskie Voivodeship) aiming at winning public contracts. These companies had submitted incomplete bids in tenders, and afterwards, depending on the arrangement of bids in the ranking, had decided to supplement them.

If proposal by FHU Berger turned out to be the best, and the next in line was that by Zwyż – DĽwig, then the company proposing the potentially winning price either did not complete the bid or supplemented it incorrectly, which resulted in its rejection. Consequently, the contracting party chose the more expensive bid by Zwyż – DĽwig. Pursuing this tactic was aimed to achieve additional financial benefits, namely winning the contract at the highest possible price. The participants of the collusion followed this way of conduct in three tenders, whereby in two cases the contract was completed, and in one case the organiser cancelled the tender, suspecting illegal practices.

“The actions exercised by these companies were deliberate and repetitive, and they manipulated the results of the tender. The antitrust law prohibits companies joining the tender from agreeing upon the terms of submitted bids. Such agreements result in adverse effects involving higher costs of performing public tasks, and thus losses to be suffered by the Polish economy” – says Tomasz Chróstny, President of the Office of Competition and Consumer Protection.

The President of the Office issued a decision by which he punished companies Zwyż – DĽwig and FHU Berger for anti-competitive practices. The total sanctions reach over PLN 100 thousand (108 923.50 PLN). The decision is not yet final.

This is not the first decision of the Office of Competition and Consumer Protection concerning Zwyż – DĽwig. At the end of 2021, the President of the Office of Competition and Consumer Protection accused the company of tender collusion with the same method of operation, then with the company called “M&M” registered in Bolesławiec (for 2018-2020). At that time, the total fines imposed amounted to over PLN 131 thousand (PLN 131,140).

In order to be more effective in detecting collusions, the Office of Competition and Consumer Protection cooperates with the Public Procurement Office. The use of data on tender procedures collected within the eZamówienia system renders it possible to more effectively identify prohibited anti-competition agreements.

The Office of Competition and Consumer Protection also runs a programme of obtaining information from anonymous whistleblowers. Visit https://konkurencja.uokik.gov.pl/sygnalista/ and use a simple form. The pan-European system we rely on guarantees full anonymity, also towards the Office’s staff.


Additional information for the media:

UOKiK Press Office
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Twitter: @UOKiKgovPL
You can also follow us on Instagram: @uokikgovpl

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