Τετάρτη, 7 Σεπτεμβρίου 2011

Οδηγός ανίχνευσης των bid rigging cartels

Για τη διευκόλυνση της ανίχνευσης των τεχνικών νόθευσης των διαγωνισμών και χειραγώγησης των προσφορών (bid rigging ή collusive tendering) στις διαδικασίες σύναψης δημόσιων συμβάσεων, από τις οποίες ο αγοραστής – το Δημόσιο προσδοκά να επιτύχει την προμήθεια αγαθών ή υπηρεσιών στη βέλτιστη σχέση ποιότητας και τιμής, η Επιτροπή Ανταγωνισμού της Σουηδίας εξέδωσε τον παρακάτω συνοπτικό οδηγό.



1. Suspiciously high prices?
If all or most of the tenders are significantly higher than the tenders in previous tender procedures, higher than the companies’ list prices or higher than a reasonable estimate of the costs, some companies may have submitted courtesy tenders. This practice, also known as ‘cover bidding’, means that two or more companies agreed which one of the companies shall win the contract, and the other companies submit less favourable tenders just for the sake of appearance.

2. Suspiciously inconsistent prices?
A company submitting tenders that are significantly higher in some tender procedures than in others, without any obvious reason such as differences in costs, may suggest it is involved in a bid-rigging cartel. Companies may in this case have agreed on who is to win the contract, for example, for a particular product or contracting authority, or within a certain area.
3. Suspiciously big differences in prices?
If the difference in price between the winning tender and the other tenders is inexplicably big, it may suggest that some companies in the sector have formed a bid-rigging cartel to keep price levels up. The winning tender may have been submitted by a company that is not a member of this cartel and therefore is significantly lower than those from the companies in the cartel.

4. Suspiciously similar prices?
If several companies have submitted tenders with identical (or suspiciously similar prices), it may indicate that they have agreed to share the contract.

5. Suspicious boycott?
If no tenders are received, there may be a coordinated boycott with the purpose of influencing the conditions of the contract. This suggests that the companies have agreed to abstain from submitting tenders. The aim of a coordinated boycott may, for example, be to divide a certain market between the members of a cartel.

6. Suspiciously few tenders?
If unexplainably few companies submitted tenders, it may indicate the existence of a market-sharing cartel. The purpose of such a cartel is to avoid competition within, for example, certain geographic areas. In such case, companies abstain from submitting tenders within one area so that a certain other cartel member can win the contract.

7. Suspiciously similar tenders?
If tenders refer to industry agreements that may affect the price, the companies may have agreed to apply, for example, common price lists, delayed payment fees or other sales conditions for the sector. Such agreements lead to higher prices and are generally illegal under the competition rules.

8. Suspicious patterns?
If the same company wins the contract every time it is renewed, there may be a market sharing agreement between the companies in the market. You should be observant about patterns, such as when the same company always submit the lowest tender in a certain geographic area or with a certain contracting authority. Another way in which companies illegally divide the market between themselves is when they take turns to submit the lowest tender.

9. Suspicious sub-contracting arrangements?
If the company that won the contract assigns or subcontracts part of the contract to a competitor that submitted a higher tender in the same procedure, it may suggest a bid-rigging cartel. In this case, the companies may have agreed that the winner will compensate its competitors by engaging them as sub-contractors to execute the work.

10. Suspiciously careless tenders?
If the winning tender is the only one that has been compiled in a thorough and detailed way, while the others have been drawn up more carelessly, it may suggest a bid-rigging cartel. In this case, only the winning company has devoted resources to submitting a thorough tender, while companies that deliberately lost the tender procedure did not devote any time or resources to compile their tenders..

11. Suspicious wording?
If there are similar oddities in several different tenders or in the questions that the companies ask the contracting authority, it may suggest that the companies are colluding. Look out for identical wording, identical errors in calculations or the same notepaper and standard forms.

12. Suspicious joint tenders?
A joint tender submitted by more companies than what is necessary to perform the assignment may be illegal.

Δείτε και ένα ενδιαφέρον βίντεο για το πώς λειτουργούσε ολλανδικό καρτέλ στον κατασκευαστικό κλάδο, αποκομίζοντας τεράστια κέρδη από τη χειραγώγηση των προσφορών.