The spokesmen of the municipal groups of Cambiemos Orihuela: UP and PSOE have presented this morning the request for an Extraordinary Commission that they have registered this week and about which they hope to know the current situation of the road maintenance contract in Orihuela Costa, after the disagreements between the concession company and the City Council. Carlos Bernabé (Cambiemos) and Carolina Gracia (PSOE) have pointed out that it is one of the most important contracts in Orihuela, the Maintenance of Roads and Public Spaces on the Oriolano coast, and they criticize the conflict between the two parties since the company accuses the Department of Infrastructures of withholding the bills and not paying them without reason, as INFORMATION revealed. In the registered application, both groups subscribe that “it is not logical that the concessionaire and the city council communicate through the media if all the statements and evaluations that we have been able to know after the news published a few weeks ago are true.”
Carolina Grace has explained that “we want to know if the Contracting Area A review or modification procedure of this Contract has been started and the problems or doubts that exist so that the town council is not paying the bills, that they do have the approval of the municipal supervisor ”.
For its part, Carlos Bernabé has pointed out that “the management of this contract smells awful: first the Local Government went too far to try to be awarded to another company with worse scores and, later, boycotts the current mercantile that manages it to suffocate it. It seems that, once again, they want to protect the profits of certain companies to the detriment of others, twisting legal procedures, and this is intolerable”.
Therefore, both groups demand “that transparency is thrown” on this situation that affects various areas of the Local Government, such as Infrastructures and Contracting, and of which the mayor of Orihuela also has full knowledge and has been a part, they recalled.
As this newspaper published, the Orihuela Department of Infrastructure since October withholds the monthly payments to the successful bidder for the maintenance, conservation and repair of roads and public spaces in Orihuela Costa. The company, the Oriolana Zaplana Caselles SLU, passes at the end of the month the certifications with the work carried out so that they are paid, but the invoices, of 63,000 euros per month, The mayor of the area, Ángel Noguera (Cs), does not get to sign them, despite the fact that the municipal technician in charge of supervising the contract is giving them the go-ahead. The company has already collected the invoices for October, November, December and January, so the City Council’s debt with the winning company amounts to more than 252.000 euros. The company has completed one year since the four-year contract was awarded, with the possibility of an extension of two more, for a total of 3,309,584 euros. From the Department of Infrastructures they explained then that the retention of the payment of the invoices to the company, despite carrying out the tasks entrusted, is due to the fact that “it is perceived, not only by the mayor of Infrastructure, but also by the City Council staff in the Coast and the complaints of the neighbors, who The service is not being provided with the required quality despite the fact that the contract was improved with respect to the one that had been».
The winning company accuses the Department of Infrastructures of boycotting them. Zaplana Caselles points out the “Many impediments and trips” and “supporting so that our good work is not significant or visible.” Sources of the mercantile explained that the consistory does not supply them on many occasions the necessary material to do the work or takes it before they finish them. “They send us the cement maybe a day later or they give us two cans of paint and halfway through the job they take one away,” they complain. The contract stipulates that the company is in charge of the machinery “which is all new” and of the personnel, and the supply of materials is the responsibility of the council, which has just been awarded by the City Council so that an external company can supply them from From now.
The contract for maintenance and repair of roads and public spaces in Orihuela Costa was controversial from the beginning. The current winner, Construcciones Zaplana Caselles SL., Was not the winner initially. This is the company that filed an appeal against which it was awarded in 2019, Los Serranos, for considering that the award was not fair. In fact, the Central Administrative Court of Contractual Resources, under the Ministry of Finance, annulled that award to Los Serrano from the contract, which has a cost of 766,000 euros per year for a period of 4 years plus 2 extensions (a total of 4,596,000 euros for the 6 years). The court partially upheld the appeal of the company that came in second place, Zaplana Caselles, considering that the technicians of the hiring table – where there are no politicians – scored a quality mark that was not mentioned in the specifications or in the content of the evaluation criteria, for which it forced to subtract the point that was given to the successful bidder for this reason. And, in this way, the Department of Infrastructure, then also directed by Citizens, and the local government where the PP is also, had no choice but to give the concession to Zaplana Caselles.
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.