First meeting of the Committee: The shipment with the toll

An unusual high amount of compensation and the undocumented Meeting – the first meeting of the tolls Committee, revealed that is worthy of Thinking. Is at ris

First meeting of the Committee: The shipment with the toll

An unusual high amount of compensation and the undocumented Meeting – the first meeting of the tolls Committee, revealed that is worthy of Thinking.

Is at risk, but not risk analysis: transport Minister Andreas Scheuer photo: Ditsch/imago

BERLIN taz | breaches of procurement rules, questionable concessions to the operators, a sum by way of compensation, could be a case for the EU Commission – the first public session of the Bundestag Committee of inquiry on Thursday afternoon for the failed toll for passenger Cars shows a number of irregularities in the project.

The investigative Committee to explain the operations of the failed Car-toll, by which the Federal payment of damages in the hundreds of millions threaten. The Car toll for foreigners was a prestige project of the CSU in the Bundestag election campaign 2013. The Federal Minister of transport, Andreas Scheuer (CSU) has inherited the project at the time of his departure in the spring of 2018 from his predecessor and party colleague Alexander Dobrindt.

fatal could be shy now that he was on 30. December 2018, with a consortium of operators, contracts signed, although a lawsuit in Austria and the Netherlands against the tolls was pending. In June 2019, the ECJ has conceded the toll, the operators are now calling for 560 million euros in damages.

It have passed according to the Ministry, a risk of 15 per cent, that of the ECJ collects the toll, said the expert of the government camp Friedemann Kainer of the University of Mannheim in the investigation Committee. "If I had a house built, I might have decided differently," he admitted. "But in the States it is something else."

The Jurist Franz C. Mayer of the University of Bielefeld, however, pointed out that from the beginning, only a very small minority of legal experts in the proposed rule for conformity with European law has held. In its opinion, Scheuer should not have the contracts in front of the sentence. "I'm almost been stunned that you took this risk," he said. Also the operators would have to be clear – what may have consequences for the compensation payment.

it is had That the Minister be in such a hurry, had in addition to the policy, apparently, also a budgetary reason. The Bundestag set up the so-called authorization for the toll Position for the financial year 2018. "The authorization was valid only until 2018, after which they would expire," said expert Ulrich Hufeld from the University of the Federal armed forces in Hamburg.

The perceived time pressure would have shy can easily get rid of. He had to do was submit a request for renewal to the appropriate Position. Then the members would be thrown but may be a look at the contracts. Have substantial shallows, is convinced Hufeld. Among other things, the agreed damages in the amount of 560 million euros, and the shift of services to the state's Truck-toll company Toll Collect, according to Hufeld a gap between the grants in the Federal budget and the actual risks for the Federal government of 1 billion euros. The German Parliament had provided for the toll with a budget of a maximum of 2 billion euros.

But the operator wanted to have the order, did not feel able to press for this sum the project. Of the four original bidders, only one was left, gave, however, an offer with a volume of more than 3 billion euros. Through the Acquisition of various tasks by Toll Collect and the reclassification of various cost items of the fix in a variable, the offer fell on the politically defined 2 billion.

How to do this exactly is unclear. In November and December of 2018, four Meetings of the heads of the operators and the Federal Ministry of transport took place that were not documented. This is absolutely unheard of, acknowledged even by government appointed appraisers Jan Endler, of the law firm Linklaters. Because the award does not make law strict requirements, to contracts of unsuccessful tenderers are vulnerable. May had not been negotiated at the Meetings, but generally speaking, on the continuation of the project has been talked about, tried of the experts, the lack of documentation to downplay.

Marco núñez Müller, of the law firm Chatham is, however, that it is the lack of documentation is a breach of the procurement rules, and not the single. "The cost of risk was passed on to the Customer. It is assumed that other Consortia in regard to the inclusion of Toll Collect, a deal would have delivered,“ he said.

Even the circumstances of the termination are bizarre. Müller assumes that the Ministry did not wait for the judgment of the court once the written grounds of judgment. In his estimation, would not have been after a notice of termination is mandatory. The high amount of compensation of 560 million euros, says the operators, by the contract, was not unusual. "This is totally unusual, that's never occurred in the case of a contract design," said Miller, whose firm advises many companies.

expert Endler denies the. "A market-unusual-favoured-nation treatment is not available," he said. Who is right? This is not only a question for legal seminars. Because of the answer depends on whether the damages in Europe is legally considered as a state aid. The amount of compensation should be uncommon, would have to approve the EU-Commission, said Müller.

Updated Date: 17 January 2020, 14:00

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