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How much is this road?

After the public became justifiably upset with the fact that Government of Serbia agreed on construction of high-way from New Belgrade to Surčin by the price of around 9 million of euros per one kilometer, public enterprise „Putevi Srbije“ provided some explanation. Those explanations although useful, are insufficient. It is necessary that the information are easily verifiable in order to have debate based on arguments on the cost-effectiveness of this contract, because the Government of Serbia hasn’t publish this contract.

To protect the public property from potential taking over of harmful contractual obligations, signing of contract should be preceded by bidding of the constructors, which wasn’t the case here. Therefore, even when the contract is published,and all additional explanations provided, the doubt will remain that this work could have been more beneficial for Serbia.

„Critique of criticizers“ in the press release of PE Putevi, for commenting the price „without introduction with the details of the project“, in this case is not justifiable, having in mind that these details were not published. Or if they were published somewhere, that was not pointed out neither in the press release of the Government after signing of the contract, not in the explanations provided by the PE.

Information from the press release about additional works that increase the price of construction are now credible. However, credibility of these data would be significantly higher if additional explanation is provided – e.g. in regards to how will building of cyclist and

pedestrian tracks increase the price, what is the share in the price of overpass etc. Just on the basis of such information, estimation of price  „per kilometer“ could be done in comparable locations.

Argument about the increase of price for „emergency of works“ is not valid. Namely, it is highly unlikely that the Government and PE Roads of Serbia just found out known that this road should be constructed. If it is necessary for connecting to new high-way „MilošVeliki“, than such construction was supposed to be planned parallel with construction of recently opened section of that road.

Finally, the fact that budget for 2019, planned assets that correspond to what was signed on 18 August 2019, means not only that the price of this road is agreed upon even last year, and it doesn’t say absolutely nothing whether it is justified or not.

We remind that this is only one of the potential sections of the high-way that Serbia does not negotiate on the basis of its own Law on public Procurement, that implies competition, transparency, control and other measures of protection from potential corruption, but with prearranged contractors, and in the scope of intergovernmental agreement that are of higher legal hierarchy than the domestic laws.

Such form of contracting represents the biggest obstacle in negotiations of Serbia with European Union as part of the Chapter 5.