Decision on complaint about tender process on the Copenhagen Metro City Circle

9. January 2013

The Public Contracts Appeals Board (Klagenævnet for Udbud) has decided the matter between MET4 JV and Copenhagen Metro. The decision was to Copenhagens Metro's advantage.

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MET4 consisting of MT Højgaard, E. Pihl & Søn, Züblin and Hochtief brought the matter before the board at the end of 2010, when the joint venture felt that the rules in connection with the tender process for the construction of the Metro City Circle had not been observed.

─ I'm obviously disappointed with the outcome of the case, but I am satisfied that the matter is settled, so we can all learn how the rules are to be interpreted, says Torben Biilmann, CEO of MT Højgaard.

For MT Højgaard the aim of the lawsuit was primarily to uncover ambiguities in the rules.

─ We perform various other tasks related to the construction of the Metro City Circle, and Copenhagen Metro is still a good customer. Such a case is not about winners and losers, but in the big construction companies we allocate many resources in terms of money, focus and manpower to these large tenders. We don't mind because those are the terms in the industry, but we need to have clear and distinct rules, so all bids are made on equal terms, says Torben Biilmann.

He expects the decision will influence future tenders in the Danish construction market.

─ With the decision we have a better understanding of how to interpret the framework for tenders of this kind. The decision indicates that the framework is slightly wider than the joint venture partners had assumed, and we will of course use this knowledge actively in future tenders, says Torben Biilmann.

The case in brief

MET4 filed a complaint in December 2010 to the Public Contracts Appeals Board (Klagenævnet for Udbud) because Copenhagen Metro had assigned the task of digging tunnels and building stations for the Metro City Circle to Italian Salini. The complaint contained a total of nine points, which can be summarized in three main points:

  • A breach of tender rules
  • A one-sided focus on the here-and-now price
  • Concerns about the handling of the subsoil in Copenhagen

The Public Contracts Appeals Board has not favoured MET4 in any of the nine points.

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