This was the conclusion reached by the State Audit Office (LRH), which assessed the state’s award strategy and practice for building construction projects in an own-initiative audit. Further suggestions relate to documentation requirements and compliance with responsibilities, according to the LRH in a press release on Tuesday.
The determination of the estimated contract value should be better documented, because this value is relevant for the selection of the award procedure. “Experience has shown that estimated order values are subject to inaccuracies. For order values that are only slightly below the threshold value, the next higher award procedure should therefore be selected,” said LRH Director Rudolf Hoscher. In this way, a combatable violation of public procurement law can be avoided.
The assessment of offers should be expanded in a risk-oriented manner. In this way, one can primarily recognize anomalies in bidding behavior. It is also important to comply with the responsibilities in procurement processes. “We found that the user and not the construction management commissioned the vocational school; this was only documented after the invoice was due,” says Hoscher. The construction management responsible had to record the entire procurement process afterwards. The procedure for contract changes, for example when commissioning additional services, should be adjusted in order to comply with the disclosure requirements under the Federal Procurement Act 2018.
In view of the age structure of the site managers – 14 out of 31 are over 57 years old, nine over 60 – the LRH sees knowledge transfer as a further challenge for the state of Upper Austria. “Awarding contracts are an essential part of a construction project; they require a lot of know-how,” advises Hoscher to the state of taking personnel measures to maintain or expand the existing expertise.