At the end of April, a company affiliated with “GP Group” won an order for the construction of a treatment plant in Shumen worth over BGN 21 million, VAT excluded. Now traces to the same company appear in the competition for the selection of construction supervision of the project.
The contractors are selected by ViK – Shumen, as the company is a beneficiary of OP “Environment” under a major project to improve the water cycle of the city worth a total of BGN 126 million. It includes two large sites – construction of a new pipeline from Ticha Dam in the amount of BGN 68 million /VAT included/ and construction of a drinking water treatment plant for BGN 26 million /VAT included/.
Game on clear field
While the procedures for selecting a pipeline builder are still ongoing, those for the treatment plant are almost completed. The contractors have been announced in two of a total of three public procurements under the project – for selection of a builder and for selection of construction supervision. The results of the last part are expected – for the selection of project management.
At the end of April, ViK-Shumen chose as a builder the only remaining participant in the tender – “Crystal Water” Association. It includes the Sofia company “Obonato Build” and the Hungarian “Pureco”. The first company is owned by Dimitar Pantaleev, who through “Vip-style 2005” is a partner with the three shareholders in “GP Group” – Georgi Vassilev, Vladimir Vladimirov-Zhitenski and Stefan Totev, each with a 25% share. Unlike “Obonato Build”, the Hungarian company seems to have solid experience in the construction of treatment plants, according to publication on the topic in “Capital” of May 5, 2020 https://www.capital.bg/politika_i_ikonomika/infrastructure/2020/05/05/4062856_vik_shumen_izbra_stroitel_na_prechistvatelnata/.
All other applicants in the tender were eliminated by the election commission for various reasons. A total of 5 companies applied for the implementation of the project: “Geostroy” AD, DZZD “Hydro – Vod – Story” (“Hydrostroy” AD and “VDH” AD), DZZD “PS – Aqua Shumen” (“Patstroy-Varna” EOOD and “Aqua Construction” EOOD), “Drinking Waters Shumen” Consortium (“Construction and Entrepreneurship Holding” EOOD and “SP Holding” EOOD) and DZZD “Cristal Water“ (“Pureko” OOD and “Abonato Build’ EOOD).
“One for everything – everything for one”
The public procurement for selection of construction supervision for the construction of the treatment plant is developing in a similar way – only one applicant remains at the finish. This time, totally 8 companies submitted documents for participation in the tender, but 7 of them were eliminated at the level of “technical projects”. This can be seen in the minutes of the meetings of the selection commission and its final decision, signed in late August by the manager of Water Supply and Sewerage (ViK) – Shumen – Janeta Panayotova.
Initially, all 8 candidates pass the sieve as correctness of the documents. In the first days of June, a second meeting of the selection commission was held, chaired by the chief engineer of ViK – Shumen, Todor Stoev (out of totally 7 people in the commission, 5 are from the water company and two are external experts).
At this meeting, the commission considered the technical proposals and decided to eliminate 7 of the eight applicants. The participants were rejected mainly due to a discrepancy between the schedules submitted by them and the deadlines for carrying out the activities – construction supervision, preparation of technical passport and final report.
The only approved applicant is the association DZZD “Internorm”, which includes the companies “Interproconsult” and “Stroynorm”. According to the assessment of the commission, the offer of “Internorm” fully meets all 4 areas – control over the organization of construction and assembly works, control of input materials, control of the method of construction, preparation of technical passport and final report.
On this basis, the commission proposes to the last stage – price offers, the only remaining applicant DZZD “Internorm” to be admitted. On August 3, the commission opens the bid of the participant and ranks him “first and only” with a maximum score of 100 points.
InternNorm won with an offer of BGN 897 thousand /VAT excluded/, slightly lower than the value of the order – BGN 918 thousand.
Traces lead to “GP Group”
In the competition for selection of construction supervision, the connection with “GP Group” is not as direct as in the selection of a builder. However, its shadow is reflected in the names of the complex network of consulting companies that provided contracts for the construction company, which was highlighted in a series of investigations by “Bivol.bg – https://bivol.bg/gp1.html . The then Prime Minister Boyko Borissov ordered “GP Group” to be removed from state- and European-funded projects, but this ban was later quietly lifted.
A year and a half later, traces of “GP Group” started from the winner, who won the contract for the construction supervision of the treatment plant in Shumen.
One of the companies in DZZD “Internorm” – “Interproconsult” EOOD, is owned by Salzitsa Davidova Arnaudova. Information in the Commercial Register shows that until 2018 she was only a manager in the company, and the owner of the capital was Martin Biserov Hadjiev, brother of Tatiana Delibasheva. The names of the two appeared in the companies that provided public procurement for “GP Group”, which earns millions from the state and European budgets.
All at one address
“Bivol.bg” investigations also show that Tatiana Delibasheva and Petar Elen Petrov are former and current partners in several companies, and in various combinations participate in many other associations. Among the founders of some of them is Delibasheva’s brother, Martin Hadjiev. The same names – Petar Elen Petrov and Martin Biserov Hadjiev, appear as previous owners of the sole proprietorship “Interproconsult”. Later, its capital was transferred to the then manager Salzitsa Arnaudova.
The company also has another intersection with “GP Group” – until 2018 they had a common address – 59 A, Cherni Vrah Blvd in Sofia, where the offices of all companies in the network were located.
The removal of the other applicants from both tenders for the treatment plant in Shumen immediately made an impression among those working with European projects. Eliminating participants may be justified, but there should be no doubt, say experts with whom “Pro Veritas” talked. “Applicants have been eliminated at the level of technical proposal, where there is a subjective factor,” said a longtime expert on working with European projects. According to the guild, the contractor and the project supervisor should not have any, even a distant connection, because otherwise there can be no strict control over the construction.
So far, due to such violations in the conduct of public procurement in the Municipality of Shoumen, financial corrections in the amount of BGN 4.7 million have been imposed under a European project for rehabilitation of the educational infrastructure. And representatives of various NGOs are threatening to demand the creation of a civic board to oversee the construction of the drinking water treatment plant.
The public procurement for its construction was first announced in early 2019, but was later terminated due to errors in documentation and was later re-launched. The estimated value of the site is a little over BGN 21.1 million, VAT excluded.