Larnaca’s public transport company Zenon on Saturday called on the government to cancel the tender procedure for the new public transport contract for the coastal town citing irregularities in the applications of the successful tender.
The company said that the successful tender, MLKP consortium, had prepared and submitted the required business plan for the transfer and implementation of the contract on its own and was not via an experienced auditing firm and an independent approved auditor, as per the terms of the tender, so the whole procedure must be considered void.
In an announcement, the company also said that Zenon’s existing contract costs the state almost €45m less, including the school routes.
It also said that the state will be obliged to pay exorbitant damages because, according to the competition documents, in case a court decision annuls the successful bid the contracting authority has to pay the initial ‘winner’ damages of up to 10 per cent of the value of the non-executed services.
The only solution is the cancellation and relaunch of the tender for the Larnaca district to ensure public interest, the company said.
Zenon had said earlier in the week that MLKP’s bid was €79m for the new 10-year contracts – for the period 2020 to 2030 – while its own was €82.2m. Nicosia’s public transport company Osel had too placed a bid for the Larnaca routes for €83.3m, Zenon said.
MLKP was also awarded contracts for the Nicosia, Famagusta and the intercity bus routes.
It signed the concession agreement to operate bus services for the Nicosia district with the transport ministry earlier in the year after a ruling by the administrative court, clearing the path for the government to close the deal with the consortium. The court had dismissed action brought against the government decision by Osel, the current holder of the concession.
Legal action was similarly taken against the government decisions for the Larnaca, Famagusta and intercity bus routes.