CONSTRUCTION OF A FLOOD PROTECTION PIPELINE
Almost every winter, heavy rains in Athens cause devastating floods that sweep away cars and ruin households and businesses. A combination of population growth, urbanisation and poor planning means that streams and rivers that used to carry away heavy rain falling in Athens have been covered over and the water has nowhere to go. Wild fires that hit the Attica region in summer time and destroy woodlands exacerbate the problem. In 2015, the damage was particularly extensive. One man died and many lost their homes and cars. The situation was not much better in 2013, 2014 or 2016.
In response, the Region of Attica (the contracting authority) is implementing a series of anti-flood projects that will upgrade existing networks or connect them with new ones. Among these is a project to create a massive and complex network of pipelines to carry flood water safely away from the municipalities of Aghios Ioannis Rentis-Nikaia and Tavros-Moschato. The contracting authority has secured more than €12.5 million in funding from the European Union to do this. Transparency International Greece, working with the Attica Region, is implementing an Integrity Pact to monitor the procurement process – from the launch of the tender and evaluation of bidders to the construction work itself.
Similar large scale public works frequently face challenges in Greece. In May 2016, the Hellenic Competition Commission launched an investigation on alleged collusion regarding tenders for public works dating as far back as 1989 and imposed fines on companies involved (press release 4/8/2017) totalling €80.7 million.
Using Integrity Pacts is one way to help prevent further misuse of public funds.
“The Integrity Pact cannot eliminate corruption but by allowing an independent eye at all stages of a public contract it can prevent and correct problems if they arise. Above all it highlights the constructive role civil society can play as part of the process and provide the public with an opportunity to understand how they can be part of it and push for more access to information, participation, good governance and timely and proper implementation of public contracts”