A consortium led by public research group Kopint-Tárki has filed a complaint with the Hungarian National Bank (MNB) challenging its decision to award a HUF 1.8 billion (USD 7 million) contract to the pro-Fidesz think-tank Századvég despite the former offering to perform the same work for one-third less money.
The Kopint-Tárki consortium claims the sample study contained in Századvég’s proposal does not meet the standards outlined in the central bank’s public procurement announcement. The MNB has 7 days to respond to the complaint.
Hungarian news site HVG.hu reported in February that MNB had announced a public procurement for a complex set of research, analysis and strategy consulting activities. Two bids were submitted by the March 11 deadline, one from Századvég and one from a consortium led by Kopint-Tárki Konjunktúrakutató Intézet Zrt.
On April 30, MNB announced that Századvég had been awarded the contract. Századvég‘s bid of HUF 1.8 billion was the projected cost according to the tender documentation.
The Kopint-Tárki led consortium bid one-third less, or HUF 1.2 billion. Nevertheless, MNB decided to award the tender to Századvég despite its offer being 50 percent more expensive, claiming certain supplemental materials provided by Századvég along with their bid were better than those submitted by Kopint-Tárki.
Following the announcement of the MNB’s decision, Kopint-Tárki filed a request with the central bank to gain access to material provided in Századvég’s bid. After reviewing the material Kopint-Tárki says it saw that the materials provided in Századvég’s bid did not conform with the public procurement’s requirements.
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