NGOs win legal battle to access official documents for the New Kosovo Power Plant
Pristina, July 8 2019 - Balkan Green Foundation (BGF), the GAP Institute, Group for Legal and Political Studies (GLPS) and the Institute for Development Policy (INDEP), held today a press conference to present the court decision of the Basic Court in Pristina regarding the lawsuit of organizations against the Ministry of Economic Development (MED) in February 2017.
The claim is approved as grounded and obliges the Ministry of Economic Development to allow access to: 1. Final call for application sent to pre-qualified companies for construction of TPP 'Kosova e Re', as well as access to 2. Changes in package bidders that occurred from the first call for prequalification until the bidder's selection and the reasons for the changes in the bundle. These documents were qualified by MED as confidential documents in two responses to our requests.
Rinora Gojani from BGF said that: given the complexity of the whole process for the implementation of the new power plant 'Kosova e Re' and the multi-million cost for the construction of this power plant, it is important that MED is transparent in relation to this project. The power plant implementation process has continued despite numerous problems and changes, while the general public knows little about this process.
Agron Demi from the GAP Institute said that "although there are two court cases won, no one has been convicted, no officials who are held responsible for violating the law in access to public documents, neither the Ministry is punished as foreseen by the law on access to public documents. Only access to the documents, which are almost old, is allowed. It is important that these be made public even though it is already in another process because it leaves us to understand whenever the bidding package has been changed and whether it has been in conformity with the laws in force and whether the energy strategy has been respected. Also, it is very important that these be made public because at least one other case tells us that when documents are kept hidden there are great opportunities for misuse, and here referring to the privatization of the power grid", said Agron Demi.
Whereas, Burim Ejupi from INDEP said that it is important to make public the two required documents because at the beginning when the tender was opened, the bidding package had other terms and contained Kosovo B. Despite the changes, the process did not return to the starting point to be offered bidding also to other companies / consortiums, and eventually, the bid price would be better. So this leaves us suspicious that all this has been prepared to win a single bidder and under conditions that have already been signed the contract, Burim Ejupi said.
BGF, GAP, GLPS and INDEP have today re-sent the request for access to these two official documents accompanied by the Judgment of the Basic Court in Prishtina to the Public Communications Division in MED. MED is obliged to respond by decision to requests for access to public documents within seven (7) days.