On 22.12.2022, the Ministry of the Interior concluded a contract with the Consortium "Mühlbauer ID Services GmbH" worth BGN 303,540,675.36 including VAT. The subject of the contract is "Design, construction and management of a System for issuing Bulgarian personal documents generation 2019". This brings to an end a long-running saga with the choice of contractor for the new identity documents. The public procurement itself was announced on 20/08/2018. The signing of the contract is delayed due to the court appeals related to the selection of the contractor.
With a letter dated 21.12.22, the day before signing the contract, the contractor stated the need to change it. The reason is - "changed factual and economic justification, as well as the unexpectedly long period between the submission of the offer for the execution of the public order and the signing of the contract for its execution".
With an additional agreement dated 02.06.2023 between the Ministry of the Interior, in the person of Minister Demerdzhiev, and the selected consortium, based on the "Methodology for changing the price of a public procurement contract as a result of inflation", prices in the original contract are updated .
After signing the additional agreement, the price of the contract increases and reaches BGN 385,031,225.34, or an increase of over BGN 80 million. The argument for this was adopted on 23.02.2023, with Decree No. 31 of the Council of Ministers, methodology.
In fact, "Methodology for changing the price of a public procurement contract as a result of inflation" applies to construction contracts as compensation for the increased prices of basic goods and materials, as well as for supplies of natural gas and heat energy", it is also stated in Article 1 thereof.
In the agreement signed by Minister Demerdzhiev, prices are updated for the various activities from the subject of the contract, including: design and exercise of copyright supervision. How "the design and exercise of copyright supervision" fits into the attached Ordinance of the Ministry of Justice remains a mystery? The activity "Maintenance for the duration of the SIBLD contract" is also indexed, the value of which was BGN 51,497,532.00 and becomes 20.36% from the indexed value of the main contract or an amount in the order of BGN 78,392,357.48 or an increase of approximately BGN 26 million only for the post-warranty maintenance justified by inflationary processes that have occurred. This again does not correspond with the methodology adopted by the Council of Ministers, which concerns "significantly increased prices of basic goods and materials".
In addition, on the basis of Art. 116 para. 1 item 3 of the ZOP, new construction activities are added for the amount of BGN 4,069,801.00, which are described as "emerging necessity". is not a significant change to the subject and scope of the conducted procedure under the PPA. Is the change of technical equipment in Appendices No. 3A and 4, which was evaluated by the election commission and is an essential part of the evaluation in the selection of the contractor, not at all in violation of the PPA procedure?
IA "Focus" addressed questions to the Ministry of Internal Affairs:
1. Has the supplementary agreement signed on 02.06.2023 to the contract with the subject "Design, construction and management of the System for Issuing Bulgarian Personal Documents Generation 2019" been checked?
2. Was the "Methodology for changing the price of a public procurement contract as a result of inflation" correctly applied, adopted with PMS 31 of 23.02.2023 of the Ministry of Justice?
3. When signing Agreement No. 578500-5086/02.06.2023, were there any harmful consequences for the budget of the Republic of Bulgaria?