Grant Thornton claims violations at tenders to select advisors for privatization, challenges tender results in court
Tenders to select advisors to prepare PrJSC Indar, PJSC United Mining-Chemical Company, PJSC Odesa Port-Side Plant and state-owned enterprise (SOE) Electrotyazhmash Plant and Coal Company Krasnolymanska were held with gross violations during the second stages held on July 30 and July 31, 2018, according to participants of Grant Thornton International consulting firm network.
"Taking into account our large international experience of participation in such privatization tenders in many countries, we can state that the actions of the tender commission and the Fund [the State Property Fund] at the tenders deny all the loud declarations about fair and transparent large privatization in Ukraine," they said in a statement sent to Interfax-Ukraine.
Representatives of Grant Thornton (Ukraine), Ria Grant Thornton SPA (Italy) and Grant Thornton Consulting Ltd. Skopje (Macedonia) said that violations were committed during the second stages of the tenders on July 30 and July 31.
"During the tenders, a number of illegal actions and gross violations of the procedure for holding tenders in accordance with the procedure were committed by the tender commission," they said.
The companies said that in the presence of all the tender participants, envelopes with bids were not opened, and their compliance with requirements was not determined, and also the best bids were not determined using scoring points, as well as the winners of these tenders.
"This, in turn, created conditions for the manipulation of facts, documents and, in general, the process of scoring points and directly affected the results of the tenders. This does not give grounds to consider them unbiased and fair, and also believe that the most competitive bids won in these tenders," Grant Thornton International said.
According to Grant Thornton, the remuneration offered by them both as fixed and dependent on the results of the privatization is in some cases lower than the corresponding price proposal of the companies recognized as the winners of the tenders.
The authors of the statement said that they had informed the Cabinet of Ministers and the Special Commission of the Verkhovna Rada for Privatization about these violations, suggesting that they conduct a comprehensive operational investigation within their authority and, if confirmed, abolish the results of the second stage of the tenders.
In addition, on August 21 and 22, Grant Thornton LLC appealed to the Administrative District Court of Kyiv with administrative claims against the State Property Fund seeking to declare the results of the tenders to select advisers for Electrotyazhmash, Coal Company Krasnolymanska and Indar invalid. On August 28, the court opened proceedings in these cases.
According to the authors of the statement, another participant appealed to the Kyiv District Court the results of the tenders to select advisors for the Odesa Port-Side Plant and United Mining-Chemical Company.
"We are convinced that before the completion of the aforementioned actions and restoration of confidence... it is inexpedient to hold the following tenders to select privatization advisors, and accordingly we do not plan to participate in them. We call on all representatives of the Ukrainian and international business communities to do this," the companies said.