How do we quote prices in tenders

State Office for Refugees in Berlin : Tenders for Tempohomes cost additional millions

The sober news is: In the current year there will be no more gyms in Berlin. Translated into emotional categories, the message sounds like this: "There will be very dramatic situations in individual gyms." Sascha Langenbach said this on Friday at a press conference; he is the spokesman for the State Office for Refugee Affairs (LAF). You have to put it in more concrete terms: It's already dramatic enough. The LAF is already receiving reports from the emergency shelters that people are becoming depressed, that refugees who have never had a drop of alcohol are now turning to alcohol. "And with the subject of drugs," says Langenbach, "we will also have to deal with the next few weeks." The correct description would be even more so than before.

Around 3300 people are currently still living in 38 gyms, some for over a year, at least 1850 should move to Tempohomes, i.e. shared accommodation with more privacy, in the next few weeks. But they still have to wait. The main reason for this are complaints by operators before the public procurement tribunal against the tendering of individual accommodations. In doing so, they block the whole process; with the result that homes that are already ready for occupancy, or at least will be soon, are empty. On Friday, a Tempohome for 280 people in Wollenberger Strasse in Alt-Hohenschönhausen was handed over ready for occupancy, nobody will live in it for the time being.

Eight locations with ten accommodations affected by lawsuits

Eight locations with a total of ten accommodations are currently affected by the lawsuits. These are all accommodations that have been advertised. Two locations, Zossener Straße (Kreuzberg) and Venusstraße (Altglienicke), are operated at least on an interim basis, for six months with an option to extend three months. Langenbach could not give a clear reason why the other locations are not operated in the same way. It is also clear, however, that the complainant operators exploit errors and deficiencies in the tender. "There are too few procurement experts in the authorities," says Langenbach. In the LAF, eleven people are currently involved in the award process. "The staff is not enough."

Neither qualitatively nor quantitatively. The previous advertisements were probably so inadequate that lawyers found weaknesses without any major problems. That is why the LAF will now also make use of external expertise - from law firms that specialize in public procurement law. However, only after months of delay. The reason for this is a lack of money. In early summer, the LAF applied for seven million euros in order to be able to pay external experts, says Langenbach. After many negotiations, however, only 1.6 million had been approved. The remaining requested money will be negotiated in 2017. Only: "This money will not be enough either." After all, a "three-digit number of tenders" must be created in the next 18 months.

It is unclear who is ultimately responsible for the fact that not enough money has been approved for a reasonably professional tender. Langenbach refers to the finance senate administration. However, the reason for the hesitant approval is likely to be the usual coordination problems of the individual authorities in Berlin.

"To make tenders as low-risk and as safe as possible"

All current tenders have been stopped. The orders are put out to tender again, also with the help of external experts. The aim of the LAF is, on the one hand, to "make the tenders as low-risk and as safe as possible" (Langenbach), and on the other hand, to be able to hand over the currently blocked accommodations to refugees by the end of January. A tendering method that Langenbach did not want to specify, but which is intended to "streamline" the process, is supposed to help. But there is no guarantee that this schedule will be adhered to. "We are optimistic. We hope it will work."

Langenbach's boss, LAF President Claudia Langeheine, was not present. She can be quoted in writing: "I am absolutely aware of the extremely difficult situation of many refugees in the emergency shelters." A "further developed award procedure" should also ensure "that the districts get the necessary planning security, for example when it comes to school attendance for children who have fled." Another group of victims also needs at least as much help. The LAF is keeping an eye on them. "If someone has a medical emergency," says Langenbach, "we will find a solution."

A glance at the future shows how optimistic the LAF is. "In the summer of 2017, all gyms should be playable again," says Langebach. "That's realistic."

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