Auditor: army food contract should be terminated

Take note – story published 1 year ago

The scandalous €220 million army food procurement was “outside” of the traditional defense agency procurement system, it was not well planned and the result was not in line with the needs of the army, according to the State Audit conclusion on June 7.

As reported numerous times by LSM, The 220-million worth procurement for food supply for the Latvian National Armed Forces (NBS), which is under suspicion of unfair practices, is being investigated by the Corruption Prevention and Combating Bureau (KNAB) and the State Audit Office. Several officials have been dismissed over the purchase.

“It would be as if the army needed tanks but helicopters were purchased”, the state auditors concluded. State audit considers that the contract should be terminated.

State Audit Board member Kristīne Jaunzeme told LTV's “Rīta Panorāma” that the initial procurement plan was good – to develop a system that would supply food during both peace times and crisis. However, the result of the procurement did not correspond to this.

Jaunzeme also said that the working group set up by the former defense minister developed only approximate procurement requirements and that the result of the working group could not serve as a basis for the launch of procurement.

“Obvious breaches at all stages, the procurement was planned incorrectly initially,” Jaunzeme said.

The auditors concluded that the procurement commission waived requirements that would indicate applicants' ability to provide a real logistics service and instead set up minimum requirements, but the winner of the tender did not meet them, the winner had no experience in logistics at all.

Jaunzeme said that providing the army with food should be done by a large company with significant financial turnover, industrial capacity, and warehouses that can guarantee the security of supply chains.

According to the auditors, the contract should be terminated because it does not meet the needs of the army, it is not clear how supply would take place in a crisis situation, and “it is not meaningful to maintain” this agreement in the long term.

 

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