University of Latvia building project put on hold by watchdog

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The Procurement Monitoring Bureau (IUB) has stepped in to prevent the signing of an agreement worth EUR 35 million for construction at the University of Latvia's House of Letters, according to information published on the IUB website March 4.

"The Bureau has annulled the results of the competitive bidding process organized by the University of Latvia for the selection of candidates for the negotiation of the design and construction of the House of Letters," the IUB said.

The reasons confirm the definition of the proposed building as a "public building" when plans showed that more than 50% of the total area of the building will be storage space and therefore not meet the criteria for a "public building".

"On this issue, the Bureau requested clarification from the Ministry of Economics, which noted that the main use of the building itself did not indicate the (non-) public status of the building. Consequently, in order to determine that a building design has been developed for a public building, the developed construction design and the information and solutions contained therein must be evaluated," the IUB said.

As a result, the University of Latvia must now reassess the merits of the construction project's compliance with legal statutes "either by obtaining the necessary information from the competent authorities or by requesting additional information from the applicant." 

After the evaluation, the University of Latvia will have to decide agian on the results of the tender selection process and re-invite bids.

As previously reported, the University of Latvia announced the procurement in late 2019, with an estimated contract price of EUR 35 million. This is EUR 2 million more than in 2018 when the university announced the first procurement for construction of the House of Letters.

The University of Latvia has said it hopes the building could be constructed by May 2023.

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