Road toll ‘hole’ filled with Kapsch extension
5. 9. 2016 | Source: BusinessInfo.cz
The transport ministry and Kapsch have closed a contractual supplement according to which the Austria-based firm will continue operating the road toll system for another three years without having to fend off rival bidders for the commission.
By agreeing to the deal, the state has averted potential financial damage that would have been caused by the halting of operations this coming January when the current 10-year contract expires.
The non-standard solution to the situation in the shape of a direct order for extended services has been criticised by both rivals and the right-wing opposition to the ruling coalition. Enthusiasm for it does not, meanwhile, reign within the ranks of the Social Democrats in government.
But transport minister Dan Ťok (ANO) said: “By doing this we have avoided a road toll stoppage that would cost as much as 10 million crowns a year, money which is earmarked for road repairs. We’ve also fixed insufficiencies in the original contract, which did not count with the deal coming to an end and with the transfer of the system to a different operator.” The extension means officials, after years of idleness, now have time to prepare a legitimate tender. They are currently selecting an advisor.
Ťok said the new arrangement gives the state the key to the toll system with which they would be able to transfer it should they select a new provider. The deal extension will cost the ministry a maximum CZK 5.3m, or around CZK 1.8m a year. Transport officials calculated that there would be yearly savings of around CZK 0.5m versus the current contract.
Originally published in E15 weekly, economic and business newsmagazine. Author: Jan Stuchlík