710 million euro tenders, 90 percent of them with "red flags", the negative record of Evis Berberi's ARA

2024-02-25 20:54:36Investigim SHKRUAR NGA REDAKSIA VOX
The head of ARSH, Evis Berberi

The Albanian Road Authority has announced over 100 tenders with a total value of at least 710 million euros since 2021, when this institution was taken over by Evis Berberi. The data of Open Data Albania show that in at least 90 out of 100 tenders opened during this period by the Albanian Road Authority, there were irregularities.

Open Data classifies with a red flag a total of 95 public procurement procedures of the Albanian Road Authority in the three years of Berber's leadership. Red flagging of a procurement procedure indicates a possible exposure or risk for illegal or unethical business behavior, mainly in relation to non-compliance with anti-corruption laws. The assessment for this category is done automatically with analytical filters predefined by the Open Data system.

In the case of the Albanian Road Authority, it is noted that most tenders marked with a red flag lack competition. Which means that in these procedures, it is suspected that the winner has been predetermined, through the criteria established by ARRSH, or through underground negotiations of the companies participating in the tenders themselves.

This is one side of the coin. The other side of it, with more costs for the citizens, is that the tenders are suspected to have been given mainly by bargaining at the table, with offers almost equal to the limit fund, with fictitious competitions, criteria adapted to the predetermined winner and in many cases with fake papers. This is exactly what SPAK is investigating, since in the last few days it has undertaken an inspection at the house of Evis Berber, the head of the Albanian Road Authority.

SPAK suspects that most of the winners in the tendering procedures during the period that the Albanian Road Authority were awarded against a bribe of 15 to 20 percent of the limit fund. The suspicions are that the bribe was not always given in the classic way with bags, but also with clearing, real estate, properties, apartments, cars, direct transfer of money to offshore accounts and other forms.

Sources claim that SPAK is investigating these indications, in an effort to provide detailed and proven information.

On the other hand, SPAK is also verifying the winning companies of a series of tenders for the construction of roads, which are suspected of cheating with the implementation of the contract, the volume and the quality of the works, in order to compensate for the corruption fee.

The most flagrant case for the quality of the works is the Korçë-Ersekë road, for which SPAK has started the investigations mainly and where it is suspected that the company supervising the works is also involved in the theft.

The suspicions are about a network of work supervision companies connected underground to the head of the Road Authority, who use the power given to them by legislation to approve or disapprove the works carried out on certain roads with 'corrupt invoices' that the winning companies of these tenders must pay.

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