“I want to ask you regarding the article in Der Spiegel if you had a chance to read it? About everything that is happening in recent years and that is associated with Delyan Peevski about whom no one ever speaks. I want to ask you whether when you read his newspapers, use his businesses – your business, or, how to call them, your joint businesses… Interestingly, “Spiegel” in German means mirror. I want to ask you, when you look in the mirror, have you started to see Peevski? “
Question to Prime Minister Boyko Borisov asked at a meeting with the Bulgarian diaspora in London
New data from the Public Procurement Agency, publically-available under the Public Procurement Act (PPA), provides access to information on all expenditures of the State for a period of nine years – since the beginning of 2007 till the end of 2015.
Bivol created a special search engine to quickly filter and sort data that shows in seconds the “distribution of the portions” in the country, according to the infamous expression of Ahmed Dogan, honorary lifetime Chairman of the party largely representing Bulgarian Muslims, Movement for Rights and Freedoms (DPS).
In November, the portal Opendata released loose, nevertheless structured state data, related to concluded public procurement contracts for the period from January 2011 until August 2015. The updated data cover a period of nine years and provide information on 163,722 contracts, totaling 59 818 543 584 levs (fifty-nine billion and eight hundred and eighteen million levs) of which 15.99 billion levs in European funding.
However, the information from the Public Procurement Agency is incomplete because public tenders for over 9 billion levs have been awarded to groups of companies. Bivol used the register DAXY to update the information about the companies behind these consortia which have won over 5,000 procurements in the most lucrative sectors such as water cycle, construction of highways and roads and others.
976,783,106 levs for Peevski
The aggregated data shows that the company “Vodstroy 98” JSC, linked to DPS MP Delyan Peevski, has won in nine years nearly 1 billion levs from public procurement, alone or in consortia. Of these, 672,777,472 levs came from European funding.
If we break them down by year, the contracts involving “Vodstroy 98” look like this:
Their rise during the term in office of the first government of Boyko Borisov and their culmination during the term in office of the socialist-endorsed government of Plamen Oresharski are pretty obvious.
The group of companies “Transstroy”, associated with another notorious DPS MP – Yordan Tsonev – has concluded contracts in the amount of 601,025,749 levs, of which 419,744,913 levs came from European funding. The biggest manna for them came in 2011, during the term in office of the first government of Boyko Borisov in connection with the construction of the Sofia subway.
The search engine provides many options for finding a specific procurement or for summarizing the information about government spending. One can search by the name of the institution, location, company, the subject of the bid, year etc. We can instantly find out the cost of toilet paper (764,675.65 levs) or of gasoline (675,867,965.14 levs), how much the National Security Services spent in this period of time (10,215,701.00 levs) or the Central Electoral Commission (2,265,013.00 levs) or any other institution.
The combined search reveals that Western companies do not have much luck when it comes to public procurement. Austrian “Strabag” has participated in 100 tenders for a total of 166,642,109 levs and has won 70 of them, totaling 79,960,428 levs or 47% of the available money. The mentioned above “Vodstroy 98” is way luckier – from the potential 993 million, it was awarded contracts for 976 million. This is a success rate of 98.2%. The company “PST Group” is also remarkably successful. It was entrusted with the construction of the highway “Hemus” for a record price. Another top success is the Varna-based “Hydrostroy” with 93.97% success rate. The record holder, however, is “Glavbolgarstroy” with 734 million from the available 738 million or 99.4 % success rate.
The real investigative work, however, begins after identifying the operatively interesting cases. Who are the owners and managers of companies that are serial winning bidders? Do they have ties to political parties, politicians and senior bureaucrats? Were there conflicts of interest? Can we identify circles of companies? In this, we rely a lot on our readers who know local institutions and local links (nepotism, crony, political, etc.) and can quickly establish on their own which company, for example, belongs to the brother-in-law of the mayor; which contract has been awarded to a classmate of the Minister, etc. We welcome your e-mail alerts at [email protected] and Bivol’s Facebook page.
This post is also available in: Bulgarian